Vacancy for Organist at St Saviour's, St Albans

St Saviour’s Church, Sandpit Lane, St Albans is looking for an organist to take over from Dr John Winter, who retired in 2020.

St Saviour’s is a Church of England Parish Church in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. The duties involve working with the Choir Director, playing for the regular Sunday Sung Mass at 10.00 am on Sunday mornings, accompanying choir anthems plus the congregational setting of the Communion Service and various responses. There are also special evening services such as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Ascension Day, Corpus Christi, Harvest Festival Evensong, All Souls’ Day, Service of Lessons and Carols, Midnight Mass. You would not be required to attend Friday evening choir practices, except by occasional special arrangement.

You will get to play on the International Organ Festival Society’s own organ, built in the Baroque style by Peter Collins. You will also play on the ‘Parish Organ’, originally built by Nicholson’s, and worked on by Willis amongst others over the years; this instrument is not in a good state of repair, but some of it is still usable, and it is hoped that work to improve it may be undertaken before too long. Salary by negotiation.

Please contact Nicholas Hare, choir director: ( or phone 01727 855626 or 07817 730296.

Organist vacancy at Marlborough Road Methodist Church

A vacancy has arisen once again for an organist at Marlborough Road Methodist Church in St Albans.

Currently the organist plays for Sunday morning worship, and on other occasions such as our annual Carol Service and Wesley Day Celebration in May. Throughout the year there are opportunities to play for weddings and funerals.

Historically MRMC has a traditional musical style but we would be open to new ideas and initiatives from the successful candidate, in consultation with the minister.

The organ itself has been well maintained and is one of the three in St  Albans used for practice during the biennial International Organ Festival. Payment would be in line with the current guidance from the RSCM and take into account the experience of the successful candidate.

There is possible potential for a children’s choir, if the applicant were able to make links with our Brownie groups and the local Primary School with whom we have links.

For more information you are welcome to contact the minister Reverend Rosemary Fletcher at enclosing a CV.

Vacancy for an Organist and Director of Music at St Mary’s, Northchurch

St Mary’s Church in Northchurch (Berkhamsted) Hertfordshire wish to appoint an Organist and Director of Music.

St Mary’s is an attractive and well-maintained church at the heart of Northchurch. Its origins go back 1000 years and it has an enthusiastic and welcoming congregation. The organ, a fine 3 manual instrument, is in good repair and attracts praise from visiting organists. After many years, the Organist and Director of Music, Jenny Hoare, is relocating to the Marches. The choir has ten experienced adult choristers singing in four-part harmony with a wide repertoire of anthems and which sings at the Parish Eucharist on Sunday, at festival services and occasional evening services.

The clergy and PCC members regard the musical life of St Mary’s as a very important part of worship in the services and in church life, both for the pleasure of the existing congregation and to help attract new congregants. Clearly the ideal candidate will be excited about the role and hopefully would want to stay in the position for some years.

The Director of Music will be part of a team and responsible to the incumbent. The responsibilities are two-fold:


• Play for Sunday services at 10.00am
• Play for church festivals as required
• Play for weddings and funerals as required
• Choose hymns month by month
• Liaise with clergy re music list
• Accompany choir on Sundays and at special services
• Ensure organ is maintained in good working order

Choir Leader

• Arrange and run weekly rehearsals
• Prepare anthems for Sundays and special services
• Keep a database of singers in line with data protection advice
• Oversee music library
• Liaise with clergy re choir items and music lists
• Act as a corresponding member for RSCM
• Recruit new members for the choir
• Liaise with youngsters for a junior section

Remuneration in line with RSCM rates depending on experience/nature of the candidate, and there are additional services, such as weddings and funerals, for which additional fees would be paid.

Applications/ CVs to Margit Pendl-Dobbie at

We look forward to hearing from you.

Closing date for applications: 30th April 2021

Leighton Buzzard Chorister in BBC Young Chorister 2020 Final

Alexander Olleson

Alexander Olleson

Congratulations to Alexander Olleson, who was the winner in the BBC Young Chorister Final, broadcast on December 6th, 2020.

Paul Dickens, Director of Music at All Saints Leighton Buzzard, said:
“Alexander became a member of the All Saints choir in 2014 when he was 7 years old. In 2016 he joined the choir at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, singing with us when he was back in Leighton Buzzard and joining us on our summer residentials to sing in several English cathedrals. Earlier this year, he was awarded a music scholarship at Bedford School. Alexander has been back singing with us regularly since March: firstly as part of our virtual choir during lockdown and then on Sundays when lockdown eased and we returned to sing in church. His sister, Olivia, joined us in 2016 and is a member of the National Youth Girls choir.

Alexander is an accomplished musician. Apart from his singing, he plays piano and violin and is entirely self-taught on the organ. “

Resounding Body: Building Christlike Church Communities through Music

A new book by Andy Thomas of St Andrew’s Church in Bedford, about to be published by Sacristy Press (paperback, special pre-order price £12.99).

Miles Quick, the RSCM’s Head of Congregational and Instrumental Music writes: “This book will be an inspiration to all who are called to serve a congregation as church music leaders in a local parish situation. Full of hope and thoughtful ideas, it deals sensitively with many of the practical issues involved in including a wide range of people in the musical ministry. Highly recommended!”

For more information visit the Sacristy Press website at

Award for Andy Benoy

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We are delighted that Andy Benoy, our former Area Committee Member, was awarded a Certificate of Special Service at the RSCM’s Celebration Day Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral on October 5th.

Andy is pictured receiving his certificate from the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall.

The announcement in the March issue of CMQ reads:  Andrew Benoy made a significant contribution to the work of the RSCM St Albans, Hertford & Bedford Area over more than 35 years. He fulfilled a number of key roles on the committee as well as leading musical events and serving as an Area examiner. He was also organist of St Michael’s Church,  Watford for 41 years. Now living in Sidmouth, Devon, he is organist and choirmaster at a local RSCM-affiliated church. 

Want to Sing Regularly at St Albans Cathedral?

abbeyHere’s an opportunity to sing regularly at St Albans Cathedral.

The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban PARISH SINGERS is a voluntary, auditioned, adult choir who sing at most of the 9.30 Parish Eucharist Services throughout the year, as well as at Carols on the Hour at Christmas and occasional evensongs. We sing a variety of music, but mostly traditional motets. Prospective members who are competent singers and sight readers are very welcome to come along and try us out prior to audition.

Rehearsals are in the Cathedral Song School on Wednesday evenings 8-9.15pm every two to three weeks, followed by a quick drink in the White Hart opposite.

The choir is very friendly and auditions, with Andrew Lucas – Master of the Music – are not onerous. Please contact the Cathedral Music Secretary, Lizzie, on 01727 890245 or by email:


Sponsor A Pipe in the Harrison & Harrison Organ at St Albans Cathedral

Christopher Muhley – St Albans Cathedral Music Trust

The great organ at St Albans Cathedral was restored and tonally enhanced in 2009 and now is once again fully operational. A major programme of restoration and development by the original builders – Harrison & Harrison of Durham – was initiated in August 2007 when it could be delayed no longer.

For over forty-five years the organ had been used every day for rehearsal, practice, services and performances. Such heavy usage had, however, paid its toll. The mechanism had become worn and unreliable and it became clear that a full refurbishment could be put off no longer.

The programme of work comprised the complete restoration, repair, cleaning and adjustment of the instrument. At the same time some sensitive tonal enhancements consistent with the organ’s essential character were made including the addition of a 32-foot reed.

Through donations to the organ restoration fund and other gifts, the St Albans Cathedral Music Trust has been able to allocate some £690,000 towards the scheme. This enabled the contract to be signed and the work carried out. However the need to close the gap on the total cost of £830,000 is urgent.

One way of helping is through the “Sponsor a Pipe” scheme, which has been launched by the Music Trust. You can sponsor a pipe in memory of a departed friend or relative, in thanksgiving for a special event, as an unusual gift, or simply for yourself. Families, schools and groups can help too by sponsoring a pipe jointly.

A separate brochure (see link to pdf below) explains how you can take part, and what you will receive in return.

Please be generous in your support so we can also celebrate the raising of the full cost.

Further details: Sponsor A Pipe Brochure (PDF file)

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