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

Church music: an unlikely global social network

Photo Credit: Hans-Jörg Gemeinholzer

During my recent time in Northern Europe, I had the opportunity to see dozens of wonderful sacred spaces.  Towers protruding from the landscape, these buildings are often imposing on the outside, and remarkably beautiful on the inside.   As a Christian, sitting in these amazing buildings is both awe-inspiring and uplifting.  As an organist-nerd, I am often transfixed at the amazing instruments (plural in many cases!) that are in these churches.  Take the gilded “old” organ in the German Church in Stockholm (pictured) – I challenge any organist to not get itchy fingers looking at this marvellous instrument!

Given the complexity, fragility and dedicated craftsmanship of these impressive instruments, it comes as little surprise that it is difficult to gain access to their consoles.  In fact, many of the churches I visited offered tours, tower climbs and even organ recitals – but never the opportunity to see the organ up close.  At some places (including the German Church above) I asked a church delegate whether it would be possible to view the console.  The usual response was either “no”, or “I don’t know what our organist would say about that”.

I was to be based in Copenhagen for six weeks whilst studying, and I realised before my trip that I should try to find a church in which to practise while I was away.  I emailed three church organists at large churches close to my residence, asking them whether it would be possible to either have lessons with them whilst overseas, or at least to have some practise time at their church.  I received responses from all three, and offers for both lessons and practise time from two of them.  I accepted the offer from the first respondent, and arranged a time to meet for coffee once I’d arrived.

Babett was organist at Grundtvigs Kirke in Copenhagen (pictured), a church about the same size as the city’s cathedral, and with a stunning four manual Marcussen and Son organ.  Not only did Babett make herself available for lessons, but she also gave me my own key to the organ loft so I could come and go as I pleased! She also made sure I was up to speed with the organ recitals that were happening around town while I was there.  She accompanied me to a recital at the cathedral, and insisted that we join the recitalist upstairs for a glass of wine after the concert.  She introduced me to the recitalist (director of music at another city church), the cathedral’s director of music, and to the console of the cathedral organ.

A couple of weeks later, Brisbane’s own Christopher Wrench gave a recital in one of the city churches.  I met up with Christopher after the concert, and he introduced me to the church’s organist, who was only too pleased to show us around the church, including its Carillon.  We then shared a lovely meal at a local restaurant and traded musical war stories.

It’s suffice to say from the experiences above that I felt well and truly immersed in the church music culture of Copenhagen.  As someone living in a foreign city with only the few friends I’d met at university, it was amazing to feel so “at home” in the church music community so far from Australia.    The act of sharing an art form transcends countries, generations and church hierarchies.  It would seem that “what the organist does say” is quite different from what the church curators imply.  Behind the ornate organ cases and locked organ consoles are organists who are friendly, engaging and willing to welcome you into their church music community – all you have to do is reach out to them, and common interests takes care of the rest.

Adam Hoey is the Chairman of the Queensland Branch of the Royal School of Church Music.

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.

Catholic Worship Book II Official National Launch

Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, cordially invites you to the much anticipated launch of
Catholic Worship Book II – published by Morning Star Publishing

Friday 8 April 2016 at 5:30pm for 6pm-7pm
Catholic Leadership Centre (in the Celtic Hall) Corner of Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street, East Melbourne
Admission is by gold coin donation
A wine and cheese reception will follow the launch in the Catholic Leadership Centre.
Copies of the People’s Edition will be available for purchase or order at the launch for the special one-off price of $30 | Online purchases (Online prices apply)
Webcast nationally at 6pm AEST via (log in early to ensure time for software download, if needed) | Groups viewing webcast, please register at for acknowledgement during the launch.
RSVP by Tuesday 5 April 2016 Mrs Anita Plant, National Office for Liturgy | or (03) 9926 5762


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

Victorian Branch: Lenten and Easter Seasonal Choral Singalong and AGM

Flyer AGM, Lent & Easter,

Wine and Cheese Convivium, followed by seasonal selections from “Sunday by Sunday” and the Annual General Meeting

When                   Monday, March 7, 6:30pm for 7pm start

Where                  St Francis Church, Melbourne

Cost                     RSCM Members Free; non members $20 (waived if joining at the event)

RSVP                   Extended to Monday, February 29

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

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


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.