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

Please help us by sharing this email widely.

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.  

Webinars:

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.   

STRAND 1: 

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. 

STRAND 2:

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

ORGANIST

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 paul@eppinganglicans.org.au 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

RSCM WA Choir Camp

This year we’re off to Geraldton during the first week of the winter school holidays, from the 9th to the 14th of July, staying at Geraldton Residential College and performing at Francis Xavier Cathedral and Holy Cross Cathedral. We only have room for 50 children so book quickly and invite your friends ages 8 to 18!

RSCM Queensland Open Day: Calling all SEQ Church Musicians!

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, The Queensland Branch is proud to be hosting its Open Day again this year.  Come and meet your church music neighbours, learn some new things, and maybe even sing a Vespers Service – and all the while learning more about what RSCM is and what we do!

We are doing our best to ensure that local churches are invited to this wonderful event, but we would be grateful if you could pass this on to all you think may be interested.  You can click the flyer below to be taken to a PDF version suitable for emailing to your contacts.

Wanted: Organist/Director of Music, Bathurst NSW

from early 2019

ALL SAINTS CATHEDRAL, BATHURST NSW

The Dean, Wardens and Parish Council wish to appoint a gifted musician to the role of  Organist/Director of Music in succession to Mr Gavin Tipping as he concludes his 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 and a request for further details to the Dean’s PA:

2019 Organ Scholarship at St Mark’s Darling Point, NSW

(02) 9363 3657 | 1 Greenoaks Ave, Darling Point NSW 2027 | office@stmarksdp.org | www.stmarksdp.org
Organ Scholarship
Commencing 2019

In memory of Angela Livingston and Michael Robinson

In memory of two members of the congregation who had a particular love for the
choral tradition, St Mark’s Darling Point proposes to offer an Organ Scholarship, to
the value of $7,000 p.a. The term of the scholarship is for three years maximum,
subject to annual review by the Rector and the Church Wardens of St Mark’s.

The recipient of the Scholarship would be:

  • A professing Christian (references from a minister required)
  • A gifted organist who is intending to pursue a musical career, and is pursuing
    studies to that effect

The Scholar would be required to:

  • Play the organ at the 8am service and, when required, at the 10am service
  • Rehearse with the choir as needed
  • Give an annual organ recital at St Mark’s
  • Participate as requested in concert programmes at St Mark’s

The Scholar may also play at weddings and funerals, and may be separately
renumerated for this work.

The Scholarship will be awarded by interview and audition. The Rector, the Director
of Music, and one of the Church Wardens form the awarding committee.

Applicants should supply a letter explaining why they would like to receive the
scholarship, with musical and spiritual references. A short-list will be made from
these applications.

Applications should be emailed to – office@stmarksdp.org

Applications close Friday November 2, 2018.

National Launch of the Ralph Morton Memorial Fund in Brisbane

RSCM Queensland is proud to be hosting a weekend of fine sacred music featuring some of Australia’s finest choirs.  The choir of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney and St Francis, Melbourne unite with the cathedral choirs of St John’s and St Stephen’s, Brisbane to present an afternoon of music from Handel to the present day. 

The concert takes place at 3pm on Sunday, 30 September 2018 at the Cathedral of St Stephen (249 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane), with parking available in the Cathedral Carpark accessed via Charlotte Street.  Tickets are just $20, available via trybooking (https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=405738&) or at the door, with proceeds going to the Ralph Morton Memorial Fund.   

The concert is to celebrate the launch of RSCM’s Ralph Morton Memorial Fund, which has been established to help encourage young church musicians to further pursue training and experiences in church music.  Ralph was the long-term President of both RSCM Queensland and RSCM Australia, and the fund seeks to continue Ralph’s wonderful work into the future. 

As part of the weekend, both St Andrew’s and St Francis will perform their own concerts: 

  • St Francis at 2pm on Saturday, 29 September at the Cathedral of St Stephen; and 
  • St Andrew’s at 4pm on Saturday, 29 September at St John’s Cathedral (373 Ann Street, Brisbane).   

Admission for both these concerts is just $20, again with proceeds going to the Ralph Morton Memorial Fund.  Hold onto your programme to be admitted to the second concert free of charge.   

Don’t miss the opportunity of hearing this national collaboration for a great cause.   

News of RSCM Winter School, Sydney, 2019

NSW Chair, Ross Cobb, writes in the NSW newsletter Newsclef (July 2018):

“I’m so excited about our RSCM Winter school, ‘SydneyinSpires‘!
Running from July 6-14 2019, and assembled from across Australia and New Zealand, our celebration of all things wonderful in church music will be led by:

  • our old friend, the inspiring Dr David Hill, Director of London’s Bach Choir and Yale University’s Schola Cantorum;
  • London’s pre-eminent church musician, Professor Noel Tredinnick from the Guildhall School of Music;
  • Dr Stephen Cleobury, Director of the Choir of King’s College Cambridge;
  • Anne Marsden Thomas, director of the Royal College of Organists’ training programme;
  • St Eustache Paris’ Maître Thomas Ospital,

with many other experts from round the world, and with the National Youth Choir of Australia (NYCA) as ensemble-in-residence.

All participants will sing in the performance of Bach’s immortal ‘St Matthew Passion’…conducted by Dr David Hill.
Throughout the week, lecture-demonstrations, services, seminars, recitals, ‘flash choirs’, workshops, and concerts will be held in our finest churches and Cathedrals. Come and sing Evensongs with King’s College Cambridge’s Stephen Cleobury.”

Exciting stuff, indeed! Stay tuned for more information. RSCM members can read more in the Newsclef magazine, linked in the Members page.

Calling Queensland organists of all abilities: Organ workshops kick off soon!

Are you an organist? Do you play regularly or have you not played for a while? These sessions are for you!

RSCM is committed to assisting church musicians at every level, and these workshops are designed to equip intermediate and/or advanced organists with skills in playing hymns, voluntaries and improvisation. These workshops will be of interest to organists who wish to improve or reinforce their skills. You may be renewing your acquaintance after time away, or you may already be playing for services regularly.

Workshops will be conducted by Dr Phillip Gearing, Director of Music at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Kangaroo Point. He has had extensive experience in liturgical music and as a teacher.

The first workshop is taking place at Nazareth Lutheran Church, Woolloongabba on Saturday 7 July from 9am -11am.  There will be a further five workshops in the series occurring over a three month period at times most convenient for those registered.

Pricing:
RSCM Members & Friends – $120
Non-RSCM Members – $180 (includes membership)
RSCM does offer scholarships in some circumstances.
Please contact us if you would like more information.

Hurry! These workshops begin on 7 July and places are limited! 

Position Vacant: Director of Music, Christ Church St Lawrence


The Anglican Parish of Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney seeks to appoint a suitably qualified and experienced Director of Music. The position will become vacant in September 2018. Christ Church St Laurence is renowned throughout the Anglican Communion for the quality of its music and liturgy. The Parish Choir sings a wide range of repertoire, has undertaken several international tours, and has produced a number of acclaimed commercial recordings of sacred music.

The Director of Music is responsible for training and conducting the choir, planning repertoire in consultation with the Rector and music staff, and the ongoing development of a large and vibrant music programme. The music department includes a professional organist, organ scholar, choral scholars and a choir management team.

The position of Director of Music is a part-time appointment, equating to approximately 3 days per week. Stipend, conditions and a detailed position description are available on request. Applications and expressions of interest may be e-mailed to the Rector, The Rev’d Dr Daniel Dries fr.danielccsl.org.au or telephone 02 9211 0560 for more information. Applications close Monday 25 June 2018.