Digital Support: Resources for the times

Original subject: Digital Support and Resources

Picture of Hugh Morris, RSCM Director, smiling in a field

Hugh Morris
RSCM Director

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For all of us for whom church, faith, and church music are fundamental threads running through our lives, this is a moment of severe disorientation.  
The RSCM is a Christian charity and ‘promotes the study, practice and improvement of music in worship’. 
In the absence of all of the usual routines of life, we have put together a whole range of initiatives, which we hope will help to hold everyone together: we can still work on fulfilling our mission until the darkness lifts and we are in the light again. 

For everyone, wherever you are: 
Our website now features, free for all
Hymn of the Day, and Sunday Self-Service – a simple act of worship with music, readings and prayers which will change weekly. Specific resources for Holy Week and Easter will be available in due course. We will shortly be adding a daily vocal warmups video – a short session to keep your body moving, and voice in good shape if you’re a singer. If you don’t consider yourself a singer, do it anyway! 

For choristers (of all ages):
We recently launched our Showbie app, which has support materials for RSCM Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. See here if you missed it in CMQ. This was originally launched to trial the concept, but we are now adding much more content to it as quickly as we can. This will include, for each level, some pieces which choristers can learn from the syllabuses by following the teaching videos which will appear shortly. In the current situation, we will ensure that this remains free of charge. We will also be using this Showbie platform to include more general Chorister Training material in separate classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced choristers – the latter including material suitable for e.g. experienced cathedral choristers. Some of the webinars (see below) will also be specifically aimed at developing skills for choristers.  


We will be launching a new stream of our Education work on Friday (27th March), when we will host the first RSCM public webinar at 10am [British local time: UTC+0 to UTC+1*]. In these extraordinary times, we are making sure they are open to everyone, not just our Membership. Friday’s session will cover topics for choir trainers, organists and music leaders on how to help your choir and musicians stay engaged and focused through this challenging time, with input from musicians who have already put strategies into practice. See here for details, and how to book yourself a place. You will be able to watch the recorded session subsequently if you can’t attend ‘live’.  From next week a new, integrated and co-ordinated series of webinars, led by experienced tutors, will take place. You can join live – in which case, you will be able to ask questions, comment etc. – or you can watch the ‘completed’ webinar as a video.  These will take the form of two clear strands.   


In the morning [UK time – UTC+0 to UTC+1*], sessions will cover: 

Mondays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Vocal coaching – extended sessions to help you keep your voice in good shape, and including exercises which if you are yourself a choir trainer, you will be able to use with your own choir when you get to work with them again.

Tuesdays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Organ Studies – discussions, advice and support for organists.

Wednesdays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Aural Skills – helping singers and musicians with aural development. 

Thursdays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Choral Conductor Training – practical support for choir trainers, taking core choral repertoire as the skeleton frame on which to build new and strengthened skills and techniques. 

Fridays (dates will shortly be available here) at 10.00am [UK time*]
Lift up your Voice – learn repertoire which works when you have no developed choir, or experienced organist, just mainly congregational voices. It will include how to develop the skills to teach and lead others with confidence. 


In the afternoon, daily sessions (excluding [UK] bank holidays) for Voice for Life

Monday – White level (starting on 6th April) at 4.00pm [UK time*]
Tuesday – Light blue level (starting on 7th April) at 4.00pm
Wednesday- Dark blue level (starting on 8th April) at 4.00pm
Thursday – Red level (starting on 9th April) at 4.00pm
Friday – Yellow level (starting on 31st March) at 4.00pm 

Across a six-week programme, experienced teachers will guide you through completing the workbooks in a structured, helpful way; you will be able to ask questions.  

To join in these Voice for Life sessions, you will need to order the relevant workbook from our web-shop. These have currently been reduced to £3.50 per book
. Just add the workbook to your basket, then view basket and add this voucher code: VFLWEB2020. The web-shop also currently has free postage on all orders. 

You might like to know that we are currently preparing the first of a new, interactive stream of Voice for Life app-based books – but … these are still in preparation. In … [the] meantime, we hope this will be a useful, parallel development.  

In all of this, please remember that RSCM staff, who are all safely at work from home desks, are doing their very best as they adjust to a very different landscape from our usual Salisbury offices. Please be patient if replies to queries take a little longer, and understand that they will need to prioritise where they direct their time.  We thank you for your support, and pray that you and your families stay safe and well. 

[* From 29 March to 4 April, UK time is 6 hours behind WA time (AWST),
9 hours 30 minutes behind SA time, (ACDT**)
9 hours behind Qld time, and (AEST)
10 hours behind NSW, Vic and Tas (AEDT**).
Britain observes daylight saving (BST) from 29 March until early 25 Oct.
**For Australian areas observing it, daylight saving ends on 5 Apr and resumes on 4 Oct.]

Wanted: Organist, St Alban’s Epping


St.Alban’s Anglican Church Epping

St.Alban’s Epping is seeking an Organist who is familiar with Anglican liturgy, to play at two Sunday morning services (one with the Parish Choir), to assist at Wednesday evening Choir Rehearsals, and to play on other occasions as required. The Organist will work in partnership with the Choir Director in leading the musical aspects of worship.

An appropriate stipend will be agreed on. To obtain a job description, please contact the Reverend Paul Weaver by emailing or ringing him on 0408-285-776.

If you wish to apply for the position, please send an application with your CV, and names and contact details of two appropriate referees – one of whom should, if possible, be a member of the clergy. We need to receive applications by Friday February 14. Applications can be sent to:

                  The Reverend Paul Weaver
                  St.Alban’s Anglican Church
                  PO Box 79
                  Epping NSW 1710

Position Vacant: Organist, West Epping Uniting Church NSW

West Epping Uniting Church (located on the corner of Carlingford Rd and Orchard St, Epping in Sydney, NSW) is urgently a seeking a new organist, as their regular organist is no longer able to play.

This organist is required to play in West Epping’s traditional Sunday worship service that takes place every Sunday morning commencing at 8am. There are normally four or five hymns selected from Together in Song (or the Australian Hymn Book) together with the need for music shortly before and after the service.

This service has a strong tradition of traditional hymn singing and the pipe organ is greatly valued.

This would suit either an established organist or a student.  The church is able to offer remuneration in line with established scales or offer payment according to accepted levels.

The organ is described here:

Enquiries may be made of the minister,

Rev John Barr

Church Office:  (02) 9868 3574
(Office Hours: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 3.00pm; Friday 8.30am to 12.30pm)

Canberra Summer School Public Events

If you’re near Canberra, here’s a great chance to learn something of what RSCM does!  You can attend these open events from our National Summer School even if you’re not a Summer School registrant.

  • Monday 11 January Composition Competition Finalists’ Concert/Workshop
    4 pm, The Dining Room, Bruce Hall (ANU Campus), 40 Daley Rd, Acton
     You can park at Bruce Hall, but pop into Reception at Bruce Hall for a parking permit!
  • Wednesday 13 January Evening Service
    7 pm, St Andrew’s.  (A further event may follow.  You may enquire about access to this.)
  • Saturday 16 January Concert Streams
    11 am – 12;30 pm; 2 – 3 pm,  Wesley
  • Sunday 17 January Final Service
    9:30 am – 12:30 pm.  St Peter’s

Follow this page!  It may be updated with further details or with links to them.
Official source: 2016_SS_Timetable.jpg

Venue details:

St Andrew’s: Presbyterian Church of St Andrew, 1 State Circuit, Forrest, ACT

St Peter’s: St Peter’s Lutheran Church, 6 Boolee St, Reid, ACT

Wesley: Wesley Uniting Church, National Circuit, Forrest, ACT

Wanted: Organist/Director of Music, Bathurst NSW

Organist/ Director of Music

from January 2016


The Dean, Wardens and Parish Council wish to appoint a gifted musician to the role of Organist/Director of Music in succession to the Rev’d Michael Deasey, OAM as he retires from 10 years of ministry at the Cathedral.

We are an inclusive Anglican Cathedral and parish with a fine tradition of choral music, a robed choir and an extensive repertoire.

The position includes a weekly choir rehearsal, two Sunday services and availability for occasional diocesan services and funerals.

The three manual cathedral organ consists of 31 ranks and 35 stops, and is probably the finest and certainly the most versatile in the Central West. It receives regular maintenance and is in excellent condition, its majestic tone matching the impressive and reverberant space of the cathedral.

Expressions of interest to the Dean:

Further information from 1st September 2015 can be found on our new website:

Bathurst Cathedral


RSCM Director Andrew Reid re-visits Australia

Andrew Reid is the world leader of RSCM, and impresses with his energy, focus, openness and commitment.  He directed the Summer School in Brisbane this January.  With experience in both Anglican and Catholic traditions, as well as a healthy respect for non-conformist contributions, he embodies RSCM’s aims to further church music in all its forms.  We are fortunate to have him in Australia again so soon, this time visiting locations further south.  Have a look at the calendar events!  (The view on this dedicated calendar page allows you to subscribe and to keep abreast of changes.  Alternatively, click an event and get in touch with the registered contact.)Andrew Reid

Which British cathedral … ?



Which British cathedral …

  • housed the first big collection of two-part church music – back in the 11th century?
  • was a favourite haunt of Jane Austen?
  • hosted the funeral of John Tavener (the convert to Greek Orthodoxy, and famed composer of Blake’s The Lamb)?
  • has the longest nave of any Gothic cathedral in Europe?
  • has its music directed by the leader of RSCM NSW’s first event this year?

Andrew Lumsden is the organist and music director of Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, England, UK.

He will be bringing his enviable musical skills to the RSCM workshop preceding the NSW branch’s AGM on 28 February.

Who better to lead us in Stanford in A and Wesley’s Ascribe unto the Lord than the person who oversees eight choral services a week with one of the great choirs of England?

See the Events pages for details!

Posted in NSW

Inspiring the young

Gone are the days when a church musician could get away with a diet of hymns and standard anthems.

For educators in schools, those days never existed!

I think we should salute the work of people like Stephan Kooper, the leader of the forthcoming Primary Schools’ Workshop in Sydney on 21 October.

If this brochure from last year’s Moorambilla Festival is anything to go by, Stephan will offer a breadth of experience and a vitality that will serve to inspire our primary schoolers with a love of church music.

Revealing previews of the new Catholic Worship Book II

Excitement is mounting over the significant new liturgical music resource for the Catholic Church.  It’s not yet published, but interested members and others will be able to get insights into its scope with the next general RSCM event in NSW.

This event will be held in south-western Sydney, at John the Baptist Catholic Church, Bonnyrigg Heights.

Co-led by David Russell (deputy chair of RSCM NSW) and Bernard Kirkpatrick (a member of the National Liturgical Music Board), the workshop will be “an opportunity to peruse the structure of this new resource and sing through some samples of its contents”.

Pick up the details here (the Google map lets you plan driving or public transport connections, too – click the lower-right corner of the map to do this):


Posted in NSW