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Church Music Quarterly

Church Music Quarterly (CMQ) is the RSCM magazine, published in March, June, September and December of each year. It is available exclusively to Members and Friends of the RSCM.

CMQ offers expert advice, information, news and inspiration to around 40,000 readers worldwide – from organists, choir directors and church music leaders to clergy, singers, instrumentalists and supporters who love and care about music in worship.

The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland has issued a collection of prayers from hymns by Gordon Giles, many of which originated in CMQ in Gordon's 'Hymn meditation' articles. Find out more.

In this issue

CMQ covers

Pages from CMQ

Each issue includes:

  • Feature articles, profiles and interviews on a wide variety of topics to do with church music (click on the tab above for contents of back issues)
  • Contributions from leading musicians, theologians and personalities
  • Reports from RSCM members around the world and the latest information from the RSCM's administrative centre in Salisbury
  • New CD releases and church music books surveyed by an expert panel of reviewers.

Contributions

Please send reports, press releases, letters and classified advertisements for CMQ to the Communications Officer:
Communications Officer, 19 The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2EB UK
T: +44 (0)1722 424848; F: +44 (0)1722 424849; E: cmq(at)rscm.com

Copy date for each issue is two months before issue date:

  • 1 January (March issue)
  • 1 April (June issue)
  • 1 July (September issue)
  • 1 October (December issue)

Reviews

Items for review should be sent to the Reviews Editor:
Julian Elloway, Reviews Editor, Highmead, Field Road, Stroud, Glos GL5 2JA
T: 01453 840388; F: 01453 840388; E: cmqreviews(at)rscm.com

NB: All reviews are now available online. Printed music reviews and training articles are published in sister publication Sunday by Sunday.

Advertising

Classified adverts

Each issue includes classified adverts; these are also listed on this website. RSCM members receive a discount on rates. The deadline for classified adverts is two months before publication.

Display adverts

Media pack cover

Display advertising space is for sale in both CMQ and Sunday by Sunday.

To place a display advertisement, please contact the Advertising Manager:
Stephen Dutton, Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG
T: +44 (0)20 7776 1011 / 2; F: +44 (0)20 7776 1017; E: displayads(at)rscm.com
The booking deadlines for display advertising are:

  • 13 January (March issue)
  • 13 April (June issue)
  • 13 July (September issue)
  • 13 October (December issue)

Advertisers in CMQ and Sunday by Sunday also receive a link on the RSCM website for no extra charge.

Some recent articles to download or read online

From the archive

Contents of recent issues

December 2014: Peace and Goodwill to All

  • Filling the gap
    Stuart Robinson discovers that there are many varying opportunities for those searching for a gap year in church music.
  • O little town
    Mark Browse looks at hymn tunes and the places that inspired them.
  • O come, all ye unfaithful
    Andrew Reid looks at the nature of our 'neighbour' in our Christmas ministry.
  • English organ building: is there a future?
    William McVicker at London’s Royal Festival Hall, assesses the work of two of our most influential organ builders who died in 2013 but who live on through the organs they created and the companies they founded.
  • Commissionings and recordings
    Sam Gladstone reports on one school’s initiative of comissioning new music.
  • A summer Christmas
    Ralph Morton on a 'hot' Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Strengthen for service
    Nicky Davies discovers a new RSCM course the deepens understanding of music and liturgy.
  • Hymn meditation
    'On Jordan's bank': a meditation by Gordon Giles to help us prepare for Christ’s coming.
  • Coda
    British composer John Rutter makes a plea for the neglected practice of teaching children Christmas carols.

September 2014: The church of now

  • The worms that won't turn
    Stephen Tomkins explores the phenomenon of 'earworms' - pieces of music that we just can't shake out of our heads.
  • A life in the week of a country choir-trainer
    Despite fearful odds, many persevere with the task of leading music in unpromising situations. In this fictional parish the village organist records a week of challenges met and opportunities grasped in which the purpose of the task is never forgotten.
  • Sacred shapes
    Simon Jones takes a deep breath, and has a go at Sacred Harp, a form of gospel folk-music first sung in the Appalachians. Why is this form of hymnody proving so popular among young Londoners?
  • A children's champion
    Described as 'a children's champion in the life of the church', the Revd Dr Sandra Millar believes that worship should entrance children. Our Director Andrew Reid spoke to her to find out how that might happen.
  • Hymn meditation
    ‘One more step along the world I go’: a meditation by Gordon Giles on the 'Marmite' hymn by Sydney Carter.
  • Coda
    'I feel like I have a connection with worshipping communities that existed hundreds of years before mine': Dominic Gwynne describes how organ builders play their own part.

June 2014: Looking back and looking to the future

  • Communicating through music
    Andrew Reid explores the way communication through music reflects the nature of God, and the implications for musicians and congregations
  • The trained organist
    Stuart Robinson discovers that a fascination with steam trains is more widespread among church musicians than you might have imagined
  • Remembering Gerald Knight
    We mark the 35th anniversary of the death of Gerald Knight, the second director of the RSCM and ‘Ambassador of Church Music’, in an article by Trevor Jarvis
  • A Wolverhampton centenary
    Peter Morris examines the factors behind the successful growth of a church choir
  • Transeamus: Planting a new music group
    Martyn Burt reports on the ways in which new musical approaches transformed a church’s evening worship
  • Hymn meditation
    ‘All people that on earth do dwell’: a meditation by Gordon Giles on the widely-loved metrical version of Psalm 100
  • Coda
    ‘Whoever sings, prays twice’ - we give St Augustine of Hippo space to quote what he really wrote about singing in praise and love of God

March 2014: Singing the psalms

  • What have the psalms done for us?
    The Rt Revd Gordon Mursell explores the possibilities that the psalms offer in personal and corporate devotion
  • A brief history of the psalms
    Neil Sands presents a timeline
  • Recent approaches to singing the psalms
    Anne Harrison reviews contemporary psalm settings
  • Uncovering Coverdale
    The Revd John Paton helps explain the language of the BCP psalter
  • In pastures green
    Ashley Grote compares musical settings of Psalm 23, 'The Lord is my shepherd'
  • A Mirror to the Soul
    An interview with Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith about his latest collection of hymns
  • Hymn meditation
    'In Christ alone': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Sister Mary Pia

December 2013: Behold, I make all things new

  • Advent - Season of hope and promise
    Advent reflections for church musicians and worship leaders by composer Marty Haugen
  • International Summer School 2013
    Reporting on the RSCM's recent Summer School in York
  • Generation and regeneration
    Director Andrew Reid's Summer School address
  • A music director's Advent journal
    Rosemary Field takes a humorous look at the preparations for a Christmas carol service.
  • RSCM Education 2014
    Introducing some major developments in the RSCM's educational programmes
  • Day by day these things I pray
    Frances Novillo talks to composer Margaret Rizza about her prayer life and the new RSCM publication Officium Divinum.
  • A beginner's guide to sitting still
    The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, considers what choral evensong offers the Church.
  • Childe Okeford revisited
    A journey into the past ... looking back through the archives, the RSCM's Honorary Assistant Librarian, Trevor Jarvis pays a visit to our first ever affiliated church.
  • Hymn meditation
    'While shepherds watched': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Victoria Johnson

September 2013: Setting the oppressed free

  • Magnificat: sounding justice
    John Bell examines biblical and hymn texts on the theme of justice and considers how to incorporate songs of justice within the worshipping life of the Church.
  • Freedom in captivity
    Jonathan Aitken tells Andrew Reid about his church music background and how a prison sentence transformed his experience of faith.
  • Reaching the high notes
    A little help and advice from vocal coach Jane Emmanuel on stretching your range!
  • Choral festivals: indulgence or necessity?
    Andrew Reid discusses the value of gathering together to worship at choral festivals.
  • The Oxford Three-Day Course
    Philip Bowcock takes a behind-the-scenes look at how an Area event is organized.
  • God of Justice
    CMQ interviews songwriter and worship leader Tim Hughes about the connection between worship and social justice.
  • Learning to play the organ?
    Lee Dunleavy recommends straightforward repertoire for those taking their first steps on the pedals.
  • Hymn meditation
    'For the fruits of his creation': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Worship Transforming Communities
    A report of a conference organized by the Church of England's Liturgical Commission
  • Coda
    by the Revd Mgr Philip Whitmore

June 2013: Singing a new song to the Lord

  • Psalm 98 - A psalm for Music Sunday
    The Rt Revd Graeme Knowles celebrates the biblical call to 'sing unto the Lord a new song'.
  • Village services: a new approach
    Andrew Ballard visits a small village community in the Lincolnshire Wolds to learn about its music and worship, and Frances Novillo offers advice on singing without accompaniment.
  • Sure foundations
    The first students are about to complete the Foundation Degree in Church Music at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), run in partnership with the RSCM. Heather Bamber finds out what they have gained from the course.
  • Church Music: Sound Ministry?
    Clare Stevens reports on a church music conference held at CCCU in April.
  • Pachelbel meets Benny Hill?
    The RSCM carried out a survey on music at weddings and funerals for the CCCU conference. Stuart Robinson presents the results.
  • Encouraging lay ministry
    Canon Rob Jones and Jon Payne introduce a partnership in lay ministry training between the Diocese of Worcester and the RSCM.
  • Choosing a new hymn book
    A new edition of Ancient & Modern is the latest hymn book on the market. Julian Elloway surveys recent publications and offers advice on how to choose a book for your congregation.
  • Hymn meditation
    'Like a mighty river flowing' by Michael Perry: a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Tax for church musicians
    An update from HMRC explains how changes in the law affect churches and those employed by them.
  • Reaching Out without Dumbing Down
    Andrew Reid reviews a book exploring 'a theology of worship for this urgent time'.
  • Coda
    by Ian Sharp

March 2013: Worship: the spirit and the mind

  • The spirit and the mind
    RSCM Director Andrew Reid considers the RSCM motto Psallam spiritu et mente and its challenges for music and worship today.
  • Benjamin Britten and music for the church
    Paul Spicer discusses Britten’s church music and faith in the composer’s centenary year.
  • A day to remember
    Dennis Whitehead was one of 20 RSCM choristers selected to sing at the Queen’s Coronation. Sixty years on, Heather Bamber uncovers the diary that he kept of his experiences.
  • Contemporary worship music: different perspectives
    Research student Mark Porter explores the role of music in the contemporary worship movement and looks at the differing experiences of worshippers.
  • Come and Sing Stainer's Crucifixion
    Brian Kay leads a workshop on the well-loved Passion meditation.
  • On the road with the RMAs
    Four Regional Music Advisers were appointed three years ago, funded by the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation. Jon Payne explains how local churches and committees are benefiting.
  • We're all in this together
    The RSCM works in partnership with a number of groups in carrying out its mission. Alan Mitchell and Frances Novillo report on recent collaborations in the London and South region.
  • Hymn meditation
    'There in God’s garden by Erik Routley: a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Jonathan Rea

December 2012: Music in community

  • Andrew Reid: RSCM at heart
    We welcome the new Director of the RSCM, Andrew Reid.
  • The RSCM staff team
  • The big community sing
    Fiona Bolton describes how a course in community engagement inspired her to set up a community gospel choir and local charity.
  • Come and Sing Messiah
    Following his article in September 2012 exploring Fauré's Requiem, Brian Kay leads a workshop on Handel's masterpiece.
  • Worship encounters
    Salisbury Cathedral's new Canon Precentor, Tom Clammer, considers the role of cathedrals as centres of mission and community.
  • From generation to generation
    The RSCM International Summer School is just eight months away and Andrew Reid whets the appetite for what is on offer.
  • Copyright: your questions answered
    Confused about copyright? CCLI helps to answer some common questions about licences for churches and schools.
  • With one accord
    CMQ interviews David Hooke, Director of the Adoramus Choir and Orchestra from North London.
  • We three kings of Orient aren't
    Writer, historian and self-styled 'grumpy old bloke' Nick Page offers a humorous look at some classic carols.
  • Hymn meditation
    'Joy to the world': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Composer anniversaries
  • The Light of God's Glory
  • Coda
    by Fr Peter Allan

September 2012: Music in ministry

  • Serving like Jesus: Jesus as model for ministry in worship
    Marty Haugen considers what church musicians can learn from the ministry of Jesus.
  • We who share these gifts
    New Eucharistic Prayers for children have been authorized for use in the Church of England. Christopher Woods and Gill Ambrose discuss the musical opportunities for churches and schools.
  • Come and Sing Faure's Requiem
    Brian Kay leads a workshop on the well-loved work by Gabriel Fauré.
  • Keeping church music in the public eye
    David Ogden reports on some exciting recent projects for the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir.
  • Psalm surfing
    An invitation from Graham Kendrick to rediscover the psalms (without having to get wet!)
  • 400 years ago...
    A snapshot of two composers whose anniversaries fall in 2012
  • Hymn meditation
    The Summons ('Will you come and follow me?'): a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Archbishop Bernard Longley

June 2012: Making contact with today's culture

  • Making contact with today's culture
    Bishop Graham Cray, Archbishop's Missioner and Team Leader of Fresh Expressions, explores the connection between worship and culture.
  • In quires and places where they sing
    Jon Payne explores opportunities for 'visiting choirs' at cathedrals.
  • Craftsman's art and music's measure
    An interview with Malcolm Archer in his 60th birthday year
  • So you think you can't sight-sing?
    Sight-reading tips for beginners from Voice for Life author Chris Fay
  • Farewell, Gordon!
    As Gordon Appleton retires after 19 years, colleagues look back on his contribution to the RSCM.
  • Worship music from Land's End to the Olympic Stadium
    Ahead of the Olympic Flame, an open top bus is providing worship music to the nation. Karen Burke investigates.
  • Chanting a familiar tune
    Peter Kirk makes some fascinating discoveries in the National Archive of Anglican chants.
  • Hymn meditation
    'How shall I sing that Majesty?': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Mark Greene

March 2012: Music, media and modern technology

  • Recorded music in worship
    What place does recorded music have in worship and how can it be used to good effect? John Leach offers some suggestions.
  • Recorded accompaniments - should they be used?
    The controversial question of digital accompaniments for congregational singing
  • Training today's choirs
    Introducing the new, revised Voice for Life publications from the RSCM.
  • Joining the bandwidth
    Songwriter and blogger Vicky Beeching describes the online revolution and considers how church music could benefit.
  • The Chislehurst years
    Harry Bramma discusses a new book about the origins of the RSCM.
  • Seasonal music for your choir
    Following Nick Ash's article in December on celebrating the seasons, Regional Music Adviser Nigel Groome offers suggestions for church choirs.
  • The Missal is launched
    The new Missal translation is now being used in English-speaking Roman Catholic churches. Philip Jakob assesses how things are going.
  • A composer ahead of his time?
    20 years after the death of William Mathias, Stuart Robinson explores the legacy of the Welsh composer and church musician.
  • Hymn meditation
    'My song is love unknown': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Paul Thomas

December 2011: The creative choral tradition

  • The sacred sounds of today
    Ronald Corp examines the contemporary choral world and introduces the composers writing for the church.
  • From Hollywood to the Holy Word
    CMQ talks to composer Thomas Hewitt Jones about his connection with church music.
  • Victoria: music 'from the blessed spirits'
    A portrait of the Spanish Renaissance composer by the Sixteen's Sally Dunkley
  • Musicians and clergy: forging new relationships for 21st-century worship
    Paul Ferguson considers how musicians and church leaders can work most effectively together for today's worship.
  • The parish choir - now and then
    A profile of the choirs of St Wulfram, Grantham, Cambridgeshire
  • The RSCM in your area
    Regional Music Adviser Gordon Appleton takes a behind-the-scenes look at the work of RSCM Area Committees.
  • The church's year
    Why does the church have a calendar? Nick Ash provides an explanation.
  • Hymn meditation
    'O come, O come, Emmanuel': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Contemporary Christmas songs
    Fresh musical ideas for Advent and Christmas in contemporary styles
  • Coda
    by Jeremy Begbie

September 2011: Music and worship in the school

  • Resourcing school worship
    An initiative from the Church of England's Liturgical Commission to support worship in schools
  • Songs of Praise: the Golden Jubilee
    Fifty years old and flourishing, the BBC's Songs of Praise is a remarkable broadcasting success. Paul Leddington Wright considers the reasons why.
  • Working with children
    Practical tips from Sue Hollingworth for leading singing with young people
  • Methodism and its music
    As the Methodist Church launches its new, authorized hymn book, Martin Clarke considers the importance to Methodists of 'singing the faith'.
  • Songs, Psalms and Spirituals
    John Barnard and David Iliff introduce a fresh resource from RSCM Press.
  • Organ and outreach at Halifax Minster
    News of an educational programme using the Minster's organs
  • Voice for Life in the school
    Voice for Life isn't just for churches - the RSCM's Education Team explains how it can be used to enhance a school's music programme.
  • Happy 75th, Harry!
    Stuart Robinson talks to former Director of the RSCM, Harry Bramma.
  • engageworship.org
    An update from the Music and Worship Foundation by Sam Hargreaves
  • Hymn meditation
    'Earth's fragile beauties we possess': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Mary Hawes

June 2011: Praise Him with the strings and pipe

  • Praise Him with the recorder and trombone
    Colin Davey, RSCM Education Programmes Manager, introduces a new course for leaders of music groups.
  • Ancient and modern?
    What are the reasons for using music in different styles, and how can a local church do this with integrity? Roger Peach shares his experience at St John the Baptist, Keynsham.
  • Organists in training . . .
    Tom Bell surveys the training opportunities available for church organists.
  • Fuelling the rumour mill
    John Bell of the Iona Community considers how a change of perspective can revitalize worship in the local church.
  • In good voice
    Tips for using your voice well from choral expert Esther Jones
  • When the congregation is the choir
    Regional Music Adviser Gordon Appleton discovers worship, liturgy and community in Huddersfield.
  • Choir training, composing and the RSCM
    An interview with Martin How as he celebrates his 80th birthday
  • Hymn meditation
    'There's a wideness in God's mercy': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by the Rt Revd Graeme Knowles

March 2011: Celebrating hymns

  • Hymns - back to the future?
    In a survey of the development of the hymn, the Bishop of Tonbridge reflects on today's need to sing hymns that challenge.
  • 150 years of Hymns Ancient & Modern
    Carole Richmond celebrates 150 years since the publication of the first edition of A&M.
  • The living art of hymn writing
    What are the necessary ingredients of a new hymn or song? Four experts offer advice to aspiring writers.
  • Ornaments of grace: 400 years of the King James Bible
    James Catford of Bible Society explores the Bible's influence on church music.
  • Sir John Stainer: A life in music
    As Durham University prepares to host a major exhibition, Jeremy Dibble considers the importance of John Stainer's contribution to church music.
  • Finding strength in numbers
    John Catterall and Peter Hooper share their thoughts on recruitment to church choirs.
  • Hymn meditation
    'There on the hill, behold beyond the city': A meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Improving your magazines
    How we are responding to your needs and suggestions
  • Coda
    by Revd Dr Keith Albans

December 2010: Music to shape the Church

  • Music to shape the Church
    What factors should be considered when choosing music? Douglas Galbraith explores how we are shaped by what we sing.
  • A new partnership for learning
    The RSCM and Canterbury Christ Church University announce a new Foundation Degree in Church Music.
  • Choosing choral repertoire
    Jon Payne, Regional Music Adviser for Central and Eastern England, provides practical advice and repertoire suggestions for church choirs.
  • Cathedral music - an endangered species?
    Ian Sharp talks to Peter Toyne, Chairman of the Friends of Cathedral Music.
  • Singing at the Papal Mass
    Frances Novillo, Regional Music Adviser for London and the South, relates her experience as a cantor during the Pope's visit to the UK.
  • Paying church musicians
    Guidance on remuneration for musicians from the Directors of Organist Publications Ltd
  • Howells and a wartime anthem
    Simon Reynolds reflects on the well-loved anthem by Herbert Howells, Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks, 70 years after it was composed.
  • Coda
    by Katherine Dienes-Williams

September 2010: Worship today - the old and the new

  • A musical mixed economy
    Marking the publication of the new hymn book Sing Praise, Peter Moger surveys the trends in congregational music over recent decades.
  • Worship 4 Today
    Helen Bent explains how a training initiative in the Diocese of Sheffield is enabling worship leaders from different traditions to learn from one another.
  • Aled (HonRSCM) at 40
    Stuart Robinson talks to Aled Jones, HonRSCM.
  • Welcome to Brian Gill
    Introducing the RSCM Council's new Chairman
  • Enniskerry Gospel Choir
    An Irish town is discovering a new dimension to worship, as a result of its ecumenical community choir.
  • Learning new language
    As the Roman Catholic Church prepares for a new English translation of the Mass, Michael O'Connor considers the implications for church musicians and congregations.
  • The organ music of Denis Bédard
    Paul Isom explores the service music of Canadian composer Denis Bédard.
  • Hymn meditation
    'Be the God of all my Sundays': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Maggi Dawn

June 2010: Every tribe and tongue

  • A little reverse mission
    C Michael Hawn goes in search of a global perspective on worship.
  • The riches of the global Church
    Geoff Weaver offers his personal reflections on worship and culture.
  • Let the children live!
    Choral singing is sowing 'seeds of hope' for street children in Medillín, Colombia.
  • Exploring the worldwide RSCM
    A special feature on the work of the RSCM outside the UK and Ireland
  • Renewing worship in Pakistan
    CMQ interviews Eric Sarwar, Director of the Tehillim School of Church Music.
  • Finding our voice to praise God
    Swee Hong Lim describes how the Church in Asia is developing a musical identity.
  • 'The best boy' who had ever sung for him
    Peter Horton pays tribute to the composer SS Wesley on the 200th anniversary of his birth.
  • Hymn meditation
    'The Church's one foundation': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Brother Alois of Taizé

March 2010: Creating young musicians

  • Riding the crest of a wave
    Esther Jones considers the impact on church choirs of the government's latest music education initiative.
  • Breakout!
    Charlotte Hill introduces a choral outreach project in rural Cambridgeshire.
  • Mending bridges
    A Yorkshire church has put the choir at the centre of its strategy for mission and growth.
  • The Peterborough Sound
    Gary Sieling celebrates the 100th birthday of Dr Stanley Vann, church musician and composer.
  • The 'Pop' Factor
    A pop music project which brings together churches, primary schools and their communities
  • Music in difficult times
    An essay by Cally Hammond on the power of music
  • Hymn meditation
    'For the healing of the nations': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Ralph Morton

December 2009: Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs

  • Choosing songs and hymns
    Mark Earey offers practical guidance on this important subject for all worshipping communities, whatever their style or tradition.
  • Dancing with unicorns
    Jon Riding visits the ancient and mysterious world of Coverdale and introduces a new publication.
  • Making the right connections
    A report from 'Worship Connect', a conference hosted by the London School of Theology
  • My favourite carol
    In a special feature, guest contributors share their favourite Christmas hymns and songs.
  • Purcell for church choirs
    Peter Nardone offers encouragement to explore the music of Henry Purcell
  • Treasures new and old
    A modern language choral evensong has recently been introduced at Sheffield Cathedral, as Simon Cowling explains.
  • The art of the descant
    As Sir David Willcocks celebrates his 90th birthday, Ben Lamb assesses the influence of his Carols for Choirs arrangements and considers how to construct a successful descant.
  • Hymn meditation
    'Come, thou long-expected Jesus': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Jeremy Fletcher

September 2009: Voice for Life

  • Ten years of Voice for Life . . .
    . . . and an exciting new launch, introduced by Esther Jones
  • Get a voice, get a life
    Bishop David Stancliffe reflects on how singing can 'give you a life'.
  • Keep the boys singing!
    How does a parish church sustain a choir of boys and men? Andrew Kirk introduces the choir of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.
  • How well do you know your (musical) neighbours?
    A survey of music in churches carried out by the Guildford Area of the RSCM
  • Mendelssohn, Britain and Elijah
    Julian Elloway looks at the British adoption of Mendelssohn and his music, and Elijah in particular.
  • Songs for all ages
    Gill Ambrose, editor of ROOTS Adult and All Age, takes a practical look at the role of singing in multi-generational settings.
  • Transcendence
    From Coldplay to plainchant: the 'fresh expression' at York Minster, organized in collaboration with the Visions Alternative Worship arts collective
  • Hymn meditation
    'I, the Lord of sea and sky': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • Coda
    by Noël Tredinnick

June 2009: Music and Mission

  • Mission-shaped music
    Andrew Maries challenges us to think about how music in worship can be mission-shaped.
  • Serving the whole body of believers
    CMQ talks to Irish composer Keith Getty about his vision for writing and sharing congregational music for the 21st-century church.
  • Evangelical Anglicans
    News from the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England about a recent consultation with contemporary songwriters
  • First past the post
    An interview with Nicola Lawrence, the first student to achieve an Award in the RSCM's Church Music Skills programme
  • Hymn meditation
    'We have a gospel to proclaim': a meditation by Gordon Giles
  • A living tradition
    Professor Edward Higginbottom argues for the relevance of BCP choral evensong in the modern world.
  • Searching for a star
    The competition is launched for the BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year.
  • If Handel died at 24
    Alan Mitchell asks if he would be remembered.
  • Coda
    by Richard Morrison

March 2009

  • Bristol Cathedral Choir School
    Canon Wendy Wilby describes the establishment of the first Choir Academy in the UK.
  • Choral masterclass
    Christus factus est by Anton Bruckner, discussed by David Hill
  • Training a new generation
    How Christ Church Cathedral,Dublin and Portsmouth Cathedral are engaging young people in singing and worship
  • Resourcing musicians for the church year
    'Season by Season' with anthems, hymns, songs and spirituals
  • In the footsteps of St Francis
    Millennium Youth Choir Director, David Ogden, previews the choir’s Easter pilgrimage.
  • MYC gives birth to the professional Voces8
    Chris Wardle describes how former MYC members are reinvesting the experience and training they received.
  • The Harold Smart Memorial Competition – 20 years on
    Jon Simsic’s winning piece 'shows a sophistication rarely seen previously'.
  • Haydn’s church music
    A bicentennial survey by Julian Elloway
  • Hymn meditation: 'There is a green hill'
    Gordon Giles explores how Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander’s popular hymn communicates the significance of Christ's death to children.
  • Anne Marsden Thomas’s organ lesson
    Anne Marsden Thomas teaches us about 'Playing the words' with examples from Mrs Alexander’s hymn.

December 2008

  • Responsorial Psalms
    Eric Osborne demonstrates how to write your own, so as to be 'Ready to sing, ready to raise a God-song'.
  • Choral masterclass
    Locus iste by Anton Bruckner, discussed by David Hill
  • A century of God be in my head
    A musical retrospect by Kenneth Shenton
  • International Summer School and Conference 2008
    Transforming, enabling and inspiring worship
  • Jimmy Jib salutes the Baby Jesus
    As broadcasters gear themselves up for another round of Christmas transmissions, Stuart Robinson surveys worship on television and radio.
  • Strange Duties
    A guardian angel watches over the choir: a short story by June Humphry
  • Lambeth Praise
    Esther Jones offers a musician's view of the Lambeth Conference.
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    A lesson on the use of the Swell pedal, using pieces by Vierne and Guilmant
  • Hymn meditation: 'Jesus, good above all other'
    Gordon Giles shows how Percy Dearmer’s hymn takes the Christmas story into our world and our hearts.

September 2008

  • Choral masterclass
    If ye love me by Thomas Tallis, discussed by Hugh Benham (buy Hugh Benham's new edition here)
  • Church Music Skills
    The RSCM’s pioneering new education programme is launched in September
  • Rejoice in God O ye tongues
    How 300 pupils from schools in South Wales valleys joined Llandaff Cathedral’s Girl Choristers to sing Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb
  • Celebrating Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Anne Harrison suggests hymns, anthems and voluntaries to celebrate his life and music on Sunday 12 October (see full music list here)
  • Geoffrey Beaumont and the 20th Century Church Light Music Group
    An assessment by Simon Parry of their contribution to contemporary hymnody
  • No Entry: Recording in Progress!
    Home-made recordings on a limited budget: Stuart Robinson suggests what to do and pitfalls to avoid
  • The RSCM archive of recordings
    John Henderson is the custodian of a treasury of recordings, from 1909 to the present day
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    J S Bach’s In dir ist Freude – an organ pedalling lesson
  • Hymn meditation: ‘Come down, O Love divine’
    Gordon Giles discusses this great hymn, with music by Vaughan Williams and others

June 2008

  • Lindsay Gray
    A profile of the RSCM's new Director: singer, organist and educationalist
  • Angel voices ever singing
    Who are the south London boys of Libera, who have just released a new CD and have completed a north American tour that included singing in Pope Benedict's Washington Mass? Stuart Robinson finds out
  • International Summer School and Conference
    Transforming, enabling and inspiring worship! Music, worship, practical activity, discussion and fellowship for singers, instrumentalists and clergy from around the world
  • That wandering Knight so fair
    An appreciation by Kenneth Shenton of the work of Gerald Knight, the RSCM's second Director, who was born 100 years ago
  • Worship changes lives!
    Transforming Worship: Living the new creation, the Church of England's recent liturgical initiative, provides the context for Peter Moger to examine the potential of music to effect transformation
  • Sacked!
    Church organists have employment rights. Barry Williams and Robert Leach discuss with Stuart Robinson some of the implications of a recent court ruling
  • Hymn meditation: ‘Jerusalem the golden’
    We contemplate John's vision, in the book of Revelation, of a new Jerusalem, as Gordon Giles leads us to probe the meaning of this ever-popular hymn
  • All change at Guildford and Chichester
    Katherine Dienes-Williams and Sarah Baldock talk to Roderic Dunnett about being the first women to be appointed as Organist and Master of the Choristers in England's Anglican cathedrals
  • The forgotten Christmas carol of George Herbert Salter
    Andrew Earis describes the career of George Salter, Sydney Nicholson's first chaplain of the School of English Church Music, including new information, a newly published carol, and a newly discovered photograph in Sydney Nicholson's photograph album
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    A lesson in how to find pedal notes without looking at your feet, based on the first verse of Guilmant's Magnificat Op 41, No 2

March 2008

  • The 21st-century church musician
    How are you investing in worship? Huw Williams and Mervyn Hogg explore the essential skills (musical and non-musical) and fresh approaches needed by the next generation of music leaders
  • Ivor Gurney: chorister, organist and composer
    As the 90th anniversary of the First World War Armistice approaches, and following the 70th anniversary of Gurney's death, Roderic Dunnett recalls a musician who was a chorister, pianist, organist, poet and composer
  • Voice for Life: How to run a Young Voices Festival
    Programme director Leah Perona-Wright explains how the RSCM Young Voices Festivals can be used on a local level to encourage the involvement of young singers
  • Hymn meditation: 'Christ triumphant, ever reigning'
    Gordon Giles explores the history, the three tunes, and meaning of one of the best and most famous hymns of our time
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    Study notes on Gigout's popular Toccata in B minor
  • The choir of Ashdown House
    Remarkably, a small number of private household choral foundations survived in Britain into the twentieth-century. Peter James describes one of the last of these choir schools, as seen through the eyes of a former chorister.
  • In every corner sing
    Geoff Weaver celebrates the arrival of a major new publication and explains why we should sing the songs of the worldwide church

December 2007

  • All my hope on God is founded
    A tribute to the outgoing Director, John Harper, by the Chairman of Council, Mark Williams
  • Facing new challenges
    John Harper concludes his series of articles on the first 80 years of the RSCM with a review of the period 1989 to 2007
  • Play it again
    Jo Brand describes learning to play the organ
  • Fanfare for Francis
    Simon Lindley celebrates Francis Jackson on the occasion of his 90th birthday
  • Music in The Rainbow Nation
    Leah Perona-Wright reports on her Voice for Life tour of South Africa
  • From tails, to jeans and sweatshirt
    John Rutter in conversation with Stuart Robinson
  • Philip Ledger: conductor, pianist and composer
    To mark Philip Ledger's 70th birthday, Tim Rogers explores his wide-ranging career
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    Study notes on Le Banquet céleste by Olivier Messiaen, in preparation for the centenary of his birth next year
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles reflects on ‘As with gladness men of old’, the words of which are directed to Christ who is the light of the world, and encourages us to copy the wise men's journey of hope and faith

September 2007

  • The Golden Years? The RSCM from 1952 to 1989
    John Harper continues his review of the history of the Royal School of Church Music, examining the eras of Gerald Knight and Lionel Dakers
  • 'A continuous and unbroken search for the sacred'
    Rosemary Broadbent talks with the composer James MacMillan about the sacred as part of the mainstream of music
  • A life enriched by church music
    From founder King's Singer to RSCM Vice President, Brian Kay describes the importance of church music in his varied activities
  • Organise your choir rehearsals
    Joseph Cullen shows how a little forward planning can help you to achieve so much more
  • Carrying a torch for church music
    As the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir launches its new CD, we look back with David Ogden over its first seven years and with confidence to its future
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the themes of the popular hymn ‘Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour’, a hymn steeped in Biblical theology
  • Anne Marsden Thomas’s Organ Lesson
    Study notes on the Aria by Noel Rawsthone
  • The special world of choir schools
    Brian Rees describes life in choir schools in the fwenty-first century

June 2007

  • Elgar’s spirituality
    Emma Disley marks Elgar’s 150th anniversary with a look at his faith and its impact on his music
  • From Nicholson to Knight
    John Harper explores the history of the RSCM through the trials of the war years to its arrival in Addington Palace in 1954
  • Sunday by Sunday: ten years old
    A personal view by its first coordinator, Robin Sheldon
  • An unequal music
    Andrew Maries on the relationships between music, worship and community
  • Redefining outreach: eighteen choir schools and growing
    Benjamin Saunders, Director of Music, outlines the singing outreach programme at Leeds Cathedral
  • God in your iPod: ‘alternative worship’ and the spiritual soundtrack of your life
    Steve Collins on the use of music in ‘alternative worship’ services
  • Hymn meditation
    In preparation for St Mary Magdalene’s Day, Gordon Giles looks at ‘Mary, weep not, weep no longer’
  • Anne Marsden Thomas’s Organ Lesson
    Study notes on 'Cantabile' from Widor’s Symphonie IV
  • Byrd, Gibbons and Murphy’s law
    Andrew Johnstone writes about his experience of re-editing two favourite Reformation-period evening services for the RSCM Press
  • Praise him on the marimba!
    Colleen Hart explains how using the marimba can add excitement to worship

March 2007

  • Nicholson's vision: the earliest years of the RSCM
    John Harper's first article in a four-part series celebrating 80 years of the RSCM
  • St Sepulchre and the School of English Church Music
    Andrew Earis on the links between the RSCM and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
  • A living Orthodox tradition: Music in a Welsh community
    Vladimir Lysak and Nicole Crossley-Holland describe the pattern of Orthodox worship in the chapel of St Celer
  • Sad and distracted times
    Peter James on the life and times of Thomas Tomkins
  • Sing freedom
    Geoff Weaver explores the connection between singing and freedom
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the origins and themes of the modern hymn 'From heaven you came, helpless babe'
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Practice notes for Toccata Primi Toni by Einar Thærup Sark
  • Choir or organ?
    David Hill dispels the notion that church musicians must choose between the choir and organ
  • Speaking and singing with one voice
    Brenda Smith outlines the importance of good vocal health for choir trainers
  • Come on, worship!
    David Ogden marks the launch of Sunday by Sunday Collection 2 with a look at music for the Eucharist

December 2006

  • A festival of nine lessons and carols: Some reflections
    Stephen Cleobury shares his thoughts on the world-famous King's carol service
  • Hosanna! dyma'r dydd: Welsh plygain services
    Rhiannon Ifans on a unique Welsh Christmas tradition
  • Working with the young church choir: repertoire
    To celebrate the launch of the Voice for Life Songbook, Esther Jones looks at music for young voices
  • How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
    Jan Payne on a new training scheme offered by Ely Diocese for church musicians
  • Potential in partnership
    Frances Novillo explains the advantages of pooling musical resources between churches and schools
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the origins and themes of the well-known carol 'Ding dong! merrily on high'
  • Playing the organ for funerals
    Robert Fielding on the demands of playing the organ for funerals

September 2006

  • Putting words into people's mouths
    Anne Harrison talks to the eminent hymn-writer Timothy Dudley-Smith
  • The spiritual theme: another view of Benjamin Britten
    Graham Elliot on Britten's spirituality and sacred music
  • Ouseley and his legacy
    David Bland reflects on the life of Fredrick Ouseley and his contribution to English church music
  • Songs to teach the faith: songs to keep the faith
    Elspeth Hannen on promoting young people’s participation in congregational song
  • From boys to men
    Jenevora Williams offers guidance to those working with young male singers with changing voices
  • Going for gold
    John Wardle offers advice on meeting the challenges of the RSCM Gold award
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the origins and themes of the well-known hymn 'Love divine'
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Study notes on Lento by Frank Bridge
  • At a PC near you
    Following the recent launch of the RSCM’s first podcast on its website, broadcaster and musician Stuart Robinson considers podcasting, and offers some DIY podcast tips
  • Christmas is coming…
    John Barnard explains why The Carol Book has quickly become an RSCM Christmas bestseller

June 2006

  • Man on a mission
    Leah Perona-Wright talks to Bazil Meade, the founder and director of London Community Gospel Choir
  • The centrality of worship
    After ten months as National Worship Development Officer for the Church of England, Peter Moger reflects on worship and formation within the Church
  • Prom Praise for Schools
    Alan Mitchell reviews a musical extravaganza for schools in London
  • The echo of tradition
    Steve E Plank shares thoughts on historical performance in the modern Church
  • Going for silver
    John Wardle offers advice on preparing for the RSCM Silver award to singers and their choir trainers
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the origins and themes of 'Holy, holy, holy!'
  • RSCM Newsletter
    News from the RSCM; St Albans Area Convention; RSCM Australian Summer School; RSCM in South Africa; RSCM in New Zealand; RSCM in Ireland; RSCM validated awards; News of members
  • RSCM relocation update
    From Surrey to Salisbury: the relocation of the RSCM 'hub'; Contact details for the RSCM in Salisbury
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Advice on playing the organ for weddings
  • Small can be beautiful
    Geoff Weaver offers advice and encouragement to churches with limited musical resources

March 2006

  • Happy Birthday to the English Hymnal
    To mark the centenary of The English Hymnal, Canon Alan Luff considers its origins and aims
  • Raising standards of hymn singing
    John Barnard gives guidance on choosing and singing hymns
  • At heaven's gate
    David Ogden considers the influence of the hymnbook on worship
  • Engaging with the past
    John Harper reflects on the past and its relevance today, and particularly on Ireland
  • Irish Church Music
    Peter Parshall continues our series on Celtic Church Music
  • The sound in your hand: a view of gesture for choral conductors
    Michael Brewer challenges choral conductors to explore the impact of gesture on the sound of their choirs
  • Going for bronze
    John Wardle offers advice on preparing for the RSCM Bronze award
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles on Twells's hymn 'At even, ere the sun was set'
  • New hymn by Timothy Dudley-Smith
    The text of a new hymn entitled 'Our God and Father, whose eternal mind'
  • Anne Marsden Thomas’s Organ Lesson
    Study notes for organists on 'Air' and 'Gavotte' from Twelve short pieces with a full voluntary added by Samuel Wesley
  • Caring for the king of instruments 5: Time for restoration
    Dominic Gwynn gives advice on organ restoration projects
  • Choral Masterclass
    Bill Ives gives advice to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing his anthems Listen sweet dove and There is a land of pure delight

December 2005

  • Throughout all generations
    In the first of two articles based on his keynote speech at the RSCM International Summer School and Conference, John Harper considers our responsibility to the future of church music
  • Sacred space
    Jeremy Fletcher takes readers on a virtual tour of York Minster and considers how it has been used for worship over the centuries
  • Manx Church Music
    In the third of our articles on Celtic church music, Fenella Bazin examines the Manx tradition
  • Discernment and discrimination: four categories of psalms, hymns and worship songs
    Guy Jansen explains his methods for establishing quality control when seeking new congregational music
  • Return to the source: Pope Benedict on the way forward for church music
    In this final article in his series on church music and renewal, Michael O'Connor explores the writings of the new pope
  • Alternatives to electronic organs
    Richard Wood explains that with careful planning pipe organs can compete in price with electronic instruments
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the origins and themes of the ancient advent hymn 'Come thou redeemeer of the earth'
  • Anne Marsden Thomas’s Organ Lesson
    Study notes for organists on Gordon Slater's An Easter Alleluya
  • Caring for the king of instruments 4: organ builder's troubles
    Dominic Gwynn outlines the role of the organ builder
  • Choral Masterclass
    Peter Nardone gives advice on how to prepare for the Christmas carol service

September 2005

  • Talking with Townend
    Worship leader and composer Stuart Townend talks to Leah Perona-Wright about his life and music
  • Music and renewal III: Isaac Watts and the salvation of children
    Michael O'Connor examines the attitudes of childhood evident in Watts's hymns for children
  • The land of song and the language of heaven: the Welsh dimension
    In the second article in the series on Celtic church music, John Harper examines the link between Welsh spirituality and music
  • Spiritual sounds
    David Ogden explores why one of the most famous jazz musicians of all time should turn his hand to sacred music
  • Vain repetition or fresh expression?
    Anne Harrison considers one aspect of using short songs in worship
  • Why the organ?
    John Harper explores the reasons for the prevalence of organs in places of worship
  • The lost carol
    John Harper reveals how an enquiry from South Africa lead to an RSCM detective hunt across three continents!
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles takes a look at the origins and meaning of Toplady's well-known hymn 'Rock of Ages'
  • Anne Marsden Thomas’s Organ Lesson
    Study notes for organists on Tuba Tune in D major by C S Lang
  • Caring for the king of instruments 3: overcoming faults
    Dominic Gwynn on how to combat some of the organ's enemies and mitigate some of the effects of wear and tear, moth and mice, heating and building works
  • Choral Masterclass
    Martin Neary gives advice to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing Tallis's O Lord, give thy holy spirit and Salvator mundi

June 2005

  • The heart of worship
    Leading Christian singer-songwriter Matt Redman talks to CMQ about his life and passion for music
  • Music and renewal II: Martin Luther’s musical reformation
    In the second article of this series, Michael O’Connor considers the significance of music for Martin Luther and his stand against the Church
  • The funeral of Pope John Paul II
    Michael O’Connor reviews the music and liturgy of the papal funeral service
  • Musick fyne: Scottish Church Music up to 1603
    Alistair Warwick looks at the distinct voice of music in Scotland
  • Never a dull moment
    An interview with Simon Lindley to mark his 30th anniversary as Organist and Master of the Music at Leeds Parish Church
  • From Tallis to the present day
    As Waltham Abbey celebrates the 500th anniversary of its most famous music director, Thomas Tallis, Matt O’Connor reviews its thriving musical tradition
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the reasons for the popularity of the well-known hymn ‘Immortal, invisible’
  • Anne Marsden Thomas’s Organ Lesson
    Study notes for organists on Buxtehude’s Praeludium in C major, BuxWV137
  • Caring for the king of instruments 2: environmental issues
    Dominic Gwynn on how to combat some of the organ’s enemies and mitigate some of the effects of wear and tear, moth and mice, heating and building works
  • Choral Masterclass
    Martin Neary gives advice to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing Wesley’s Blessed be the God and Father

March 2005

  • New, improved blend - and how to achieve it
    Tips from Mike Brewer to help you develop the sound of your choir
  • Sing glory, sing holy - echoing the music of heaven
    John Harper considers the practicalities of Archbishop Rowan's call to sing the Gloria and Sanctus in the Eucharist
  • Music and renewal I: renaissance Italy
    Michael O'Connor considers the role music played in Savonarola's reforms in renaissance Florence
  • These shoes are made for walking
    After a recent trip to the Philippines, David Ogden reports on the work of the Asian Institute for Music and Liturgy
  • Singing in Eastern Europe
    Geoff Weaver compares the English attitues to song with that of the Eastern Europeans
  • Composer profile: Alan Ridout
    To mark the publication of Alan Ridout's Francis, John Watson recalls the composer's life and music
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles considers the relationship between dance and the Christian faith through Sydney Carter's well-known hymn 'Lord of the dance'
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Study notes for organists on the 'Toccata' from Widor's Symphonie V
  • Caring for the king of instruments 1: understanding the basics
    The first in a series of articles by Dominic Gwynn on keeping pipe organs in good health and happiness

December 2004

  • Angel voices...
    Archbishop Rowan Williams considers the significance of the Sung Eucharist service
  • Christmas in the tropics
    Richard Owen prepares for Christmas in Trinidad and Tobago
  • '...For the sheet love of trying to make nice sounds': the church music of Herbert Howells
    Paul Spicer on Howells's legacy to the Anglican Church
  • Classical British organs
    Dominic Gwynn celebrates 25 years of organ building with a look at the classical British organ
  • Music on the Medway
    Edmund Aldhouse reports on Rochester Cathedral's 1400th anniversary celebrations
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles examines the origin and themes of 'Once in Royal David's City'
  • Composition review service
    Kit Perona-Wright introduces a new RSCM service for composers
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Study notes for Bonnet's Romance sans paroles
  • Choral masterclass
    Geoff Weaver gives guidance to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing The Salisbury Service, a new congregational mass setting by Grayston Ives
  • Software review: Sibelius 3
    The latest version of the Sibelius music notation software under the microscope

September 2004

  • Hymns, forms and language
    J R Watson on the form and shape of a hymn
  • Mission and motive
    Simon Reynolds gives guidance to choirs making cathedral visits
  • The value of vocal training
    Therees Hibbard considers the place of singing in music education
  • Challenges and opportunities
    John Harper reviews church music today
  • Barry Smith and the music of freedom
    Chris Chivers pays tribute to the work of Barry Smith as he celebrates forty years as Organist and Master of the Choristers at St George's, Cape Town
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the themes and origins of the well-known harvest hymn 'We plough the fields and scatter'
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Guidance for organists on choosing the stops
  • Choral masterclass
    Martin Neary gives guidance to choir trainers on rehearsing and directing Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei! and Hear my prayer by Purcell

June 2004

  • Voice for Life
    Leah Perona-Wright on the new revised RSCM Voice for Life scheme
  • Raising standards in Sunderland
    James Lancelot outlines the Durham Cathedral singing outreach programme
  • My soul doth magnify the Lord
    June Boyce-Tillman reviews the results of the Magnificat Project for women composers
  • In the beginning
    Marie Therese Levey on the emergence of the Western tonal system
  • The Lord's song in a strange land
    David Hope outlines his experience of church music in Vietnam
  • Hymn meditation
    Michael O'Connor explores the themes of Fullerton's hymn 'I cannot tell' and the origins of its tune Londonderry Air
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Study notes for Flor Peeters' Chorale Preludes on Sine Nomine and Alta Trinita Beata
  • Choral masterclass
    Martin Neary gives practical advice to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing Purcell's Thou knowest, Lord

March 2004

  • A brief introduction to Part-writing
    Antony Pitts on composer Arvo Pärt and his unique musical formula
  • The future is eclectic!
    Leah Perona-Wright interviews Christian singer-songwriter Graham Kendrick
  • Endless alleluias in Pakistan
    Geoff Weaver reports on his recent trip to Pakistan
  • Hymn meditation
    Gordon Giles explores the origins and theology of Charles Wesley's hymn 'Jesu, lover of my soul'
  • Kenneth Leighton's liturgical church music: a brief survey
    We celebrate the 75th anniversary of Leighton's birth with an article on the composer's liturgical music
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Study notes for Krebs's Trio in D minor
  • Choral masterclass
    David Ogden gives practical advice to choir trainers on rehearsing music for Easter services

December 2003

  • A new song in an old mode
    Alan Rees considers the use of modern modal chants in contemporary worship
  • Church bells: music or chaos?
    Graham Carey takes a philosophical look at whether the sound of church bells can be considered as music
  • Dancing towards Christmas
    Anna Burson explores the origins of the English carol
  • RSCM, CCLI and other initials
    Tim Ruffer, Manager of RSCM Press and Music Direct, on when it is lawful to photocopy RSCM publications
  • Hymn meditation
    The first in a series of hymn meditations: Gordon Giles explores the themes of Joseph Anstice's advent hymn, 'When came in flesh the incarnate word'
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Study notes for Bach's Chorale Prelude 'Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ', BWV 649
  • Choral masterclass
    Martin Neary looks ahead to Lent and gives guidance to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing The Lamentation by Bairstow

September 2003

  • Behind the veil
    Nina Large gives a performer's perspective on the premiere of Tavener's seven-hour vigil The Veil of the Temple and considers its significance for Temple Church
  • Music for the harmonium: an untapped resource
    Frank Conley on why we should take a fresh look at repertoire for the harmonium
  • Allan Wicks at 80
    Peter Thresh talks to Allan Wicks, former Organist and Master of the Choristers at Canterbury Cathedral, about his life in church music
  • Gregorian Chant sung in Latin
    In this the second article of our series on the contemporary use of chant, Alistair Warwick looks at the use of Gregorian Chant in Latin (also available online)
  • The art of hymn-playing
    Anne Marsden Thomas on how to lead traditional hymns from the organ
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    Study notes for Lefébure-Wély's Sortie in E flat
  • Choral Masterclass
    Renaissance performance practice: Edward Wickham gives guidance to choir trainers on tackling music by Dunstable and Powers
  • Going Global
    Geoff Weaver reviews Michael Hawn's book Gather into one: praying and singing globally and considers the case for adopting a global approach to worship

June 2003

  • Singing God's praises in the rainbow nation
    Sally Harper reports on her recent trip to the South African branch of the RSCM
  • Do angels sing in English?
    Peter Allan considers contemporary use of traditional chants set to English words
  • The resurrection of music
    Michael O'Connor on why we should aspire to more than the voice of an angel
  • The gospel of the twenty-first century
    Ken Burton explores the enduring qualities of gospel music and the way in which it has adopted to contemporary culture to maintain its wide popularity
  • Scandals in the cloister II
    James Saunders' second article on the history of English Cathedral Choirs from Elizabeth I to Charles I
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    Study notes for John Stanley's Voluntary in C, Op 1 no 1
  • Choral Masterclass
    Geoff Weaver gives guidance to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing Byrd's Sing joyfully
  • Creating colour II
    In his second article of the series, Robert Fielding gives advice to organists on accompanying psalm settings in styles other than Anglican Chant

March 2003

  • Zwingli and church music: another look
    Bruce Gordon challenges the widespread view of the Protestant Reformer, Zwingli, as a man who despised music
  • Music as identity
    Geoff Weaver considers the significance of worship and song within troubled communities
  • Scandals in the cloister
    Revd James Saunders on the turbulent history of English cathedral choirs from Elizabeth I to Charles I
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    Study notes for Franck's Prélude (from Prélude, Fugue and Variation)
  • Choral Masterclass
    Martin Neary gives guidance to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing The Lamb by John Tavener
  • Creating colour
    Advice from Robert Fielding on accompanying Anglican Chant

December 2002

  • Anniversary message from Her Majesty the Queen
  • Striking the anvil
    Professor John Harper on the significance of church music in contemporary culture
  • Music: the sense of the sacramental
    Professor Ann Loades explores the sacramental nature of music
  • Solemn and strange music
    Dr John Arnold, the Dean of Durham, on the role of music in enriching the liturgy of the Church
  • Seeing the face of Christ in others
    Dr Sally Harper reports on the work of the National Network of Pastoral Musicians
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    Practice notes for Elgar's Vesper Voluntaries, Op 14 no 3
  • Choral Masterclass
    David Ogden gives tips to choir directors on how to enliven Christmas services
  • An introduction to improvisation
    Guidance for organists on developing improvisatory skills by Gerard Brooks

September 2002

  • Maxwell Davies at Westminster Cathedral
    Mark Langham on the newly-commissioned Mass to mark the centenary of the Westminster Cathedral Choir
  • Chapel Music at HMP Whatton
    Andrew Moodie reports on his visit to HMP Whatton and considers the significance of the chapel choir for the residents
  • 'A music birthed through silence': meeting Margaret Rizza
    Sally Harper talks to Margaret Rizza about music, meditation and prayer
  • Hymns in regular metres: towards a rescue package
    David Wright puts forward a case for hymns in regular metres
  • Thomas Attwood Walmisley (1814–1856): the forgotten legacy of a Cambridge musician
    Nick Abbott reconsiders the contribution of Walmisley to English Church Music
  • The human touch: organists for tomorrow
    Robert Fielding tackles the issue of how to encourage young musicians to play the organ
  • Choral masterclass
    In preparation for St Cecilia's Day, Ralph Allwood gives guidance to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing Britten's much loved Hymn to St Cecilia

June 2002

  • Youth Music: the singing challenge
    Alan Harwood examines the strategy of the National Foundation of Youth Music to get young people singing
  • Out of Africa
    Back from a trip to Kenya, Geoff Weaver reports on the liturgical renewal taking place in the Anglican Church in Africa
  • An eclectic playground: style and genre in Stanford's church music II
    In the second article of the series, Jeremy Dibble considers the musical style and form of Stanford's anthems
  • Composing for worship
    Advice on writing liturgical music from composer, Peter Aston
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's organ lesson
    Practice notes for 'Short' Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 553, attributed to J S Bach
  • Choral masterclass
    To mark the publication by the RSCM of a new edition of I was glad by Hubert Parry, David Ogden gives guidance to choir trainers on rehearsing and performing the ceremonial anthem

March 2002

  • An eclectic playground: style and genre in Stanford's church music I
    In the first of two articles to celebrate Stanford's 150th anniversary, Jeremy Dibble explores his eclectic approach to church music
  • Western Gallery church music for the twenty-first century
    Francis Roads charts the history of West Gallery music and considers the application for today's churches
  • Bucking the trend
    Christopher Barton discusses his strategies for maintaining a thriving trebles section
  • Back to basics
    John Harper challenges us to consider why and how we use music for worship
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Practice notes for Andante with variations in D major by Mendelssohn
  • Choral Masterclass
    In the first of a new series, Paul Spicer presents a masterclass for choral directors on Stanford's Beati quorum via

December 2001

  • The Advent of Handel's Messiah
    Michael O'Connor explores the Advent themes of Handel's best-known oratorio
  • Music from the Iona Community II: 'Enemies of Apathy'
    In the second article of this series Sally Harper examines the work of the Wild Goose Resource and Worship Groups
  • Music and the deaf
    Paul Whittaker outlines the challenges and rewards faced by deaf musicians
  • A Christmas Card from America
    Neil Weston examines the differences between Christmas in American and English churches
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Practice notes for 'Plein Jeu' (from Suite du deuxième ton) by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault
  • Jubilation in Jubal
    Chris Hayward considers the place of orchestral instruments in church

September 2001

  • Music from the Iona Community I: 'The Church always needs new songs because the world changes'
    In the first of a two-part series, Sally Harper explores the music of the Iona Community
  • Classrooms to choir stalls
    Esther Jones talks to Rosemary Field about her scheme to encourage children to fill the choir stalls
  • Rediscovering the sound of the English Tudor Organ
    John Harper reveals how an old dairy door and a piece of rotting timber have transformed our knowledge and understanding of the pre-Reformation English organ (more information)
  • Pianos for Uganda
    Fiona Carr outlines the way in which the Pianos for Uganda project is bringing music to the young people of Uganda
  • Music and healing
    Music therapist Angela Fenwick considers the healing power of music
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Practice notes for Fanfare by Kenneth Leighton
  • DIY in the choir stalls: producing your own recording
    Tips on producing your own CD from Jonathan Jennings

July 2001

  • Salisbury Girl Choristers: ten years on
    A decade after the inauguration of the Salisbury Girl Choristers, Director of Music Simon Lole examines their contribution to the musical life of the cathedral
  • The church music of Walford Davies
    Lewis Foreman surveys Walford Davies's contribution to church music
  • Singing the Lord's song in a strange land
    As BBC Songs of Praise enters its 40th year, three senior members of its production team discuss their aims and objectives
  • Striking a chord
    Roger Firman considers the challenges and rewards of life as a visually impaired musician
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Practice notes for J S Bach's chorale prelude Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645
  • Principles of improvisation
    Acclaimed organist, composer and improviser, Naji Hakim offers thoughts on the theory of improvisation
  • Net resources for church musicians
    Daniel Spreadbury reviews a selection of the best web resources on vocal technique

April 2001

  • Gregorian chant: living tradition or museum piece?
    Peter Wilton considers the performance of Gregorian chant from its beginnings to the present day
  • In conversation with Bob Chilcott
    Esther Jones talks to composer Bob Chilcott about his music and work with young singers
  • Rubbra reassessed
    In celebration of the centenary of Rubbra's birth, Gary Higginson takes a fresh look at the composer's contribution to church music
  • Music and text in local orders of service
    A helpful guide to producing local orders of service by Mark Earey
  • Anne Marsden Thomas's Organ Lesson
    Practice notes for JS Bach's chorale prelude, Wir glauben all' an einen Gott (from Clavierübung III) BWV 680
  • www.grovemusic.com: not a free lunch, but one well worth paying for
    Daniel Spreadbury reviews the new online version of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

Earlier issues

Currently, issues prior to April 2001 do not have their contents listed on this site.

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