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 rosemary.fletcher@methodist.org.uk enclosing a CV.

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. “

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:

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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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