Southwark and South London Society of Organists newsletter November 28th, 2020

Let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year, as Advent looms up tomorrow!

You will have received the Recital Round Up from Richard Pilliner (Vice Chair) this week and the 2021 calendar from Andrew Chadney (Secretary). They and Peter Ramell (Treasurer) will continue to be in touch as the need arises.  I’ll send the next newsletter on January 9th.

Ray Luckett RIP
Our longstanding member and one time Honorary Secretary Ray Luckett peacefully died on Thursday night, aged 94, with his wife Gwen and son Andrew and family at his side. Ray and his wife Gwen were familiar figures in Beckenham until a few years ago. SSLSO presented Ray with life membership a few years ago. If you would like to send a card to Gwen, she is living at home and I can supply her address.

Arthur Wills RIP
The former Director of Music at Ely Cathedral died recently. This is the obituary from the Daily Telegraph, spotted by Norman Harper.

The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland
This organisation is offering a hymn for every day from Advent to Epiphany.  Each hymn has a reflection and the series is highly recommended.

Employment of Organists and Directors of Music
The Committee discussed this important topic in their meeting last weekend. Thank you to Bridget West for her notes: “We are all aware that churches up and down the country have been hit financially by the pandemic. And so they are looking at every aspect of their outgoings, including organists/directors of music.
“Following formal advice to parishes by the Legal Advisory Commission of General Synod in January 2018, almost all organists/parish musicians/directors of music are employees, whether or not PAYE is operated on their salary/fees. This brings protection in that, if an organist’s post is to be made redundant (it is the post not the person that is made redundant), then there is a formal process which must be followed, and compensation must be paid. Regrettably, a number of churches have been reluctant to do this.
“Anyone needing help and support is advised to contact the Musicians’ Union, who have been wholly successful in cases for organists.”

Thomas Trotter
Peter Smith sent this link. He says: “Good to see an organist being honoured”.

Duruflé Requiem
My colleague at St. John’s, Neil Stevenson, describes this performance as “the height of musicianship”.

Enfield and District Organists’ Association
Three days ago, several of us joined the Enfield group in a Zoom session in which their guests Anne Marsden Thomas and Frederick Stocken introduced their new tutor, The New Oxford Organ Method. This was a useful link which Richard set up for us. In 2021 we have an outing to the Enfield area and we aim to invite their members to join us to one of our events South of the Thames at some point.

Other musical links:
1. Steven Devine, an early music specialist who plays harpsichord and sometimes directs the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, offers this topical song with sopano Kate Semmence.  Do see more here.

2. A friend of mine from college days, Margaret Archibald, has sent two links:
(a) a clarinet version of Salley Gardens.
(b) Gavin Edwards has recorded a video for us that is not only full of information and anecdotes but offers a fascinating close-up of hand-horn technique, a view that most of us never get to see!
Margaret’s musical charity is worth supporting; you can read more at

3.  Tim Harper, son of Marilyn and Norman, performs Six Sixes: Trio Sonatas – ‘Schübler’ Chorales – Mendelssohn – Howells – Joubert – Vierne.

4. From our member Ian Clifford: You’ve never heard Bach’s famous D minor like this before (and it’s all for an excellent charity).

All good wishes, John