One of the schools I teach in every week is CHIPPING CAMDPDEN SCHOOL in the very pretty Cotswold town of the same name.
Last week, they performed, very successfully, the Rutter Requiem in the local church. The Head of Music, Leon James, did an excellent job of training the school choir, named “Canzona”, and with the inevitable import of a few tenors and basses, they did justice to this wonderful music.
The instrumentalists consisted of a balance of school pupils supported by more experienced players. I played harp – I was very glad to have Stephen to haul it up the path for me!
The organist, Richard Sephens, was very keen to demonstrate the capabilites of his instrument, a pipe organ (basic pitch is at A444) which recently had to have a new console. They took the decision to use this opportunity to add some digital abilities. The organ now has a section which can be played at A440 – thank goodness! – or at Baroque pitch. It can also play alongside the original pipework, enhancing and providing 32 foot sounds for which there would not have been room even if there had been the money to put extra pipes in. There is also a “satellite” console, which on this occasion was placed in among the instrumentalists, allowing the organist to actually see the conductor! The cost of this project was a fraction of what it would have been for a full new pipe organ.
Bravo!! Common sense, good housekeeping and a practical solution for the church.
Richard invited me to go and play there any time and was delighted to find someone who might be willing to go and play occasionally and give him a day off.
Pershore Abbey still doesn’t have a new organ.