What’s happening in December?

1. Marilyn Harper has written a new article entitled  Progress. In this article, Marilyn describes the thoughts provked by a recently published book called ‘O Sing Unto the Lord’ by Andrew Gant, subtitled A History of English Church Music.  She writes about timeless issues and ends on an upbeat that we, in our country, must be doing something right. Oddly the Starky series that I mention later on in this page has just finished and was a remarkably rare acclaimation of the importance and magnificence of English music!

2. We have some new music on Let the music sound from Committee member Lionel Bourne, Organist and Director of Music at St John the Divine, Kennington, who kindly had his Choir perform two carols in the middle of November, so we could have them on our website. Ding Dong! Merrily on High and In Dulci Jubilo. A magnificent choir suited to an magnificent church building.


3. Norman Harper is performing the Messiaen’s Christmas Cycle La Nativité du Seigneur at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark on Sat 16th Dec 2017 at 11.00pm

The Society’s Annual Dinner is looming on the horizon, so be sure to keep 24th January2018 at 7.00 for 7.30 free for this successful and enjoyable  event – and bring a  guest. More details given here


5. Note from our Hon Treasurer, Peter Ramell, to members about subscriptions.

“I am writing about subscriptions for 2018, which are generally due in January when the majority of members’ standing orders are paid, although some members pay at other times in the year.  Could you please complete the renewal form (downloadable from here)  and send it to me at the address shown, or email (peter.ramell@btinternet.com). Just a reminder that subscriptions are £16 for ordinary members, £11 for seniors and £6 for students. (Someone who joins as a student (18 or under) can continue to benefit from this lower student rate up to and including the age of 24, if they remain a full-time student.) Payment can be either by cheque or by standing order (to SSLSO’s bank account with HSBC). If you pay by cheque, could you please enclose a cheque with the renewal form. If you would like a new standing order form, a mandate form (with the HSBC account details) is available  from the here .   If there should be any problems please do let me know, on peter.ramell@btinternet.com .”

6. Norman Harper ran the third in his series of Improvisations workshops on  the 21st October at 2.30 pm at St John’s Shirley, Church Road, Croydon, CR0 5EE  .  A write up of the is event is here



7. A description of the Repetoire evening held en soire at Nick and Peny Jones home in November 2017 in which various ways of approaching repetoire were discussed – see  details here written up by Marilyn Harper.

8, Performance of  Benjamin Britten’s, St Nicholas, Ceremony of Carols at St John the Divine, Vassall Road, Kennington, SW9 6JA on the 16th December at 7.00pm. Organist and Director of Music Lionel Bourne.







9.  Another very good music program on Channel 4 on Wed 22nd Nov at 12.12 ( need to look at it on catch-up).  Paul Anka: Singer/Songwriter. Shows the difficulty and skill required. He wrote Diana at the age of 15 and My Way for Frank Sinatra – a favourite for funerals for some reason! Conducted by an excellent interviewer whom we never see.

This is part of a series called the Great Song Writers ( all contemporary) which is on All 4 – Channel 4. It is very much not the thing that the organist community would normally look at but is absolutely fascinating getting into the head of these creative people. You will need to look at it on a computer or have an Internet enabled TV. When I have sorted out how to log onto it I will put up the details.

10. December events – More info on the Diary and Annoucement pages 

    • Recital by Norman Harper of the Messiaen’s Christmas Cycle La Nativité du Seigneur at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark on Sat 16th Dec 2017 at 11.00pm
    • Performance of  Benjamin Britten’s, St Nicholas, Ceremony of Carols at St John the Divine, Vassal Road, Kennington, SW9 6JA on the 16th December at 7.00pm. Music Director, Lionel Bourne
    • London Philharmonic Orchestra and James O’Donnell perform Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 and Jongen’s Symphonie Concertante for organ and orchestra, op.81.Jongen’s rarely-performed symphony for organ and orchestra  at the Royal Festival Hall on Frid 19th Jan 2018 at 7.30pm. This is possibly the most spectacular organ concerto ever written.
    • Forthcoming Society event is the Annual Dinner at Bistro 1, 27 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 5LE  on the 24th January, 7.00 for 7.30 price £20.
    • Forthcoming Society event on Sat 3rd Feb 2017  is the Composite recital of members at the  Penge Congregational Church, 172 High Street, Penge, SE20 7QS at 2.00pm

11. Funds to support Organists

We are compiling sources of funds to help organists. Currently we have found four. A list of these is downloadable from here If you know of any other sources please tell me through the Contact page.

13. Recital Guides

 The London Organ Concerts Guide
 National Organ Recitals
 South Bank International Organ Series

A personal note from the Web Editor

6Martin75On a personal note, I am not a professional web designer and have done my best, with the help of Committee members, to create a vehicle to increase the dialogue between members.There will be mistakes and difficulties over the forthcoming months and some of these ideas may well transform in the light of experience. For anybody interested in the papers I wrote for the Committee as I developed the ideas, and in truth to actually help me clarify my ideas, they are available on the ‘Notifications’ page.

Martin Callingham