RSCMNZ Aus and NZ Summer School, Auckland 2018

Now is the time to begin thinking about and preparing for participation in the forthcoming RSCMNZ combined Australia and NZ Summer School 2018.

Dates: 9th -16th January 2018.

Course Director is Andrew Lumsden, Organist & Master of the Choristers, Winchester Cathedral, UK, ably supported by renowned local specialists.

Auckland NZ is the venue and Holy Trinity Cathedral, with its 2 new stunning organs and the beautifully completed Selwyn Chapel, is the hub.

Planning is well underway and because 2018 is the 60th anniversary of Vaugham Williams death, his music and that of contemporaries are featured.

More details here

Vale, Ralph Morton, FRSCM

It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of our RSCM Australia president, Ralph Morton, FRSCM.Ralph Morton 2

His brother, Graeme, reports that he passed away very peacefully on February 20, surrounded by his family, just as his favourite anthem, Like as the Hart by Herbert Howells, was being played in the ICU.

Among the tributes, a message has been received from Andrew Reid, Director of the RSCM, who says:
“I am sad for your loss, and ours, but like you I rejoice in Ralph’s faith and in the Resurrection, and I am grateful to have known a
man with no apparent ego who served others, the Church, the RSCM and his Lord so faithfully. Rarely has a person been so open to the good in so many different traditions within the Church, and that has been a great blessing to RSCM Australia.”

The funeral was held on Wednesday 2 March at St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane.

Winning Music from the Summer School 2016

The 2016 Summer School has taken place in Canberra. Here’s as taste from the final service: the choir sings the winning entry in the ACT Branch 2015 Composition Competition, an Old English setting of Psalm 33 by David Yardley:

If you weren’t there, see what you missed! Watch the Preview Video of the 2016 Summer School here

Ralph and Graeme Morton, FRSCM

Ross Cobb posted the following message on the RSCM NSW Facebook Group on January 30, 2016:

“Huge congratulations to Brisbane brothers, Ralph Morton and Graeme Morton on their awards of Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music. Ralph and Graeme, respective directors of music at Brisbane’s St Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral and St John’s Anglican Cathedral, are two giants of the choral world in Queensland. They have encouraged and trained several generations of musicians and the excellent standards of choral singing in the whole of the East Coast are in the main main due to their selfless and unstinting work over many years. Australian music will be forever in their debt, and we rejoice that their amazing work has been further recognised internationally.”

Graeme Conducting
Ralph Morton 2

Director of Music sought for Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland

Are you an accomplished musician and conductor with a proven track record in conducting choirs, a passion for sacred music and liturgy, and an ambition to take your talent to the next level?  If so, look no further than Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, New Zealand which seeks to appoint a new Director of Music.

The Director of Music will:

  • Lead a committed Cathedral Choir in excellent music making,
  • Provide musical education through leadership of the Cathedral Choristers and as Principal of the Cathedral Music School, 
  • Be actively part of the Cathedral’s journey to Consecration, which includes the installation of the largest organ to be built in the UK since the 1940s, the acquisition of a new Chapel organ, and restoration of an historic George Croft organ.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a vibrant and positive Cathedral community, actively committed to the highest musical standards, in Auckland, one of the world’s most liveable cities. This role is a 0.75 position.

For a full job description and application package, please email the Cathedral Precentor:
The Reverend Dr Tony Surman,  The deadline for applications is Friday, 2 October 2015.

ACT 2015 Composition Competition announced!

This year there will once again be a Choral Section and an Organ/Keyboard section.
The Finalists’ Concert will be held on the first evening of the 2016 Summer School in Canberra.
The winning choral entry will be performed during the Summer School by the massed choir.
Please go HERE for more details.

ACT: Composition Competition 2014 Finale

Congratulations to Julian Smith, of the UK, who was declared the winner of our 2014 composition competition in both categories – the judge’s choice and the people’s vote.

The task was to compose a new congregational mass setting.

All four finalists’ entries were sung at Wesley Uniting Church, Forrest, on August 9. ‘Singability’ was put to the test by projecting the melody lines onto a screen so that the audience could join in, and many did.

Once again we were lucky to have Ross Cobb, musical director of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, on hand to adjudicate. In his comments, he illustrated the difficulties inherent in writing music for a congregation, where there is a need for memorable melody that must be ‘simple’ but not ‘simplistic’, and how tricky it can be to embed this within a composition that still feels inspired rather than pedestrian.

Ross recognised that all the entrants’ settings contained elements that were musically interesting, but the overwhelming feel of both judge and audience was that Julian Smith had come closest to writing singable phrases that a congregation would be able to pick up on.

In the course of the event, tributes were paid to Ron Muffett, out late, longserving committee member, in whose memory this year’s competition was dedicated.