Southwark and South London Society of Organists newsletter September 27th, 2020

The Committee met (sort of) last Sunday and we have two meetings planned for the New Year, subject of course to Covid-19:

Saturday, February 20th. at 2.30p.m:

Composite organ recital at Penge Congregational Church, 172 high Street, SE20 7QS. You are invited to play a piece; we are limited to thirty people on the premises. I’ll come back with more on this at a later stage.

Monday, March 15th. at 7.30p.m:

Annual General Meeting at St. John’s Church, East Dulwich Road, SE22 9AT. Alasdair Friend (St. George’s, Beckenham) will demonstrate the organ.

Next meeting of SSLSO on Zoom:

This will be a discussion on choral aspects of our work, on Saturday, October 17th. at 7.30p.m. Members will be sent a link nearer the time; individuals from adjoining local societies can ask for the link and will be welcome to join in. It would be helpful to hear from you on relevant topics, such as recruiting, coping with no choir and then the return of choirs, repertoire, music when there’s only a cantor and so on. If you’d like to speak on choral topic, please let me know.


I recommend that you hear “Black Classical Music: the Forgotten History” on BBC4 television at 8p.m, with Suzy Klein and Lenny Henry. As well as Scott Joplin, you’ll hear music by Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) and Florence Price (1887-1953), who wrote some terrific and very individual orchestral music. Our first thought in this topic will no doubt be Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), who lived in Croydon during his woefully short life.

Links to enjoy:

1. Well, I said “enjoy”, but I wonder what you’ll make of this?

2. Here’s some G&S; they always liked to make their words relevant, after all.

3. A lively performance of the overture to Rossini’s opera “William Tell”.

4. John Cage’s extremely long organ piece included the first chord change after seven years recently. It ends, allegedly, in the year 2640; Here is a link to the music (if you have enough time to spare), and here are comments from local organists:

a. I’d hate to be the page turner for that one….

b. Pretentious nonsense!

c. I think I have found my piece for Penge.

d. I think it would be worse conducting it than turning pages!

5. You may have your scientific thought on this.

6. Three pieces of music recorded locally for us:

a. Vivaldi – Largo from Sonata in Bb major.

b. Scott Joplin – The Entertainer.

c. Vivaldi – Largo from Sonata in E minor, RV 40.

7. And more from Steven Devine on the harpsichord.

Finally: how to celebrate Christmas this year with your friends (as told to me, a vegetarian); take this with a pinch of salt and LAUGH:

Funerals can have an attendance of thirty, weddings fifteen now and Baptisms just six, so…..for Christmas, shoot the chicken and invite thirty friends round for the funeral!

Next newsletter on October 31st; good wishes, in the meantime,

All good wishes, John