Contents of Church Music Quarterly issues

Learning from Celtic traditions – audio clips and links

CMQ June 2015 focused on the theme ‘Learning from Celtic traditions’. To supplement the content of the magazine we have created a listening page where excerpts of some of the music discussed can be heard.

September 2017: God gives the increase

Singing with one voice – Victoria Johnson considers how a choir can help us understand a theology of ‘church’.
Barry Williams, the RSCM’s Special Adviser, explains the new legal guidance on church musicians
The making of a concentor – Music is enhancing the worshipping life of a new community at St Mary’s Priory, Abergavenny.
God gives the increase – A farewell message to the RSCM from Director Andrew Reid
The Fludde is over! – Emma Gibbins reports on a community singing project in South Wales.
Francis Jackson’s centenary – Philip Moore celebrates the life and music of Francis Jackson as his 100th birthday approaches.
Singing other people’s songs – John Bell considers the significance of global music for the British church and offers advice on how to sing songs from other cultures.
Hymn meditation – ‘Morning glory, starlit sky’: a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by Julian Elloway

June 2017: Let all the world

Finding a voice of our own: music in an African cathedral – Andrew-John Bethke describes the variety of music sung in Grahamstown Cathedral, South Africa.
A choir school with a difference – Arreon Harley, Director of Music at the Choir School of Delaware, USA, talks to CMQ after the after-school music programme.
Cor Videns: singing is more than just music for this children’s choir – Adrian Lucas shares his experiences working with a children’s choir in Colombia.
Church music around the world – CMQ takes a global look at some church music traditions.
In every corner sing – Why do we sing? Andrew Reid considers the benefits of singing and surveys biblical reasons to sing.
Hymn meditation – ‘Guide me, O thou great Redeemer’: a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by Mgr Robert Tyrała

March 2017: Leadership

The shepherd: sustainable, servant leadership – Bishop Steven Croft considers what the biblical example of Moses can teach us about leadership.
So we’re looking for the Archangel Gabriel, then? – Andrew Reid explores the various skills needed by those leading music in churches.
By priest and people sungen – Helen Bent and Rosemary Field have a conversation about healthy relationships and collaboration among those responsible for leading musical worship.
The RSCM: meet the staff – Following a series of new appointments and some internal re-shuffles, here’s a chart of who’s who at the RSCM.
Leading the choir – Keith and Ruth Lamdin offer advice for church choir leaders, underpinned by their experience of leadership theory and practical musicianship.
The RSCM library goes worldwide – News of an online search facility
Leadership: going deeper – Some recommended resources on leadership-related topics for musicians.
Hymn meditation – ‘Forty days and forty nights’: a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by Andrew Maries

December 2016: One Church, one faith, one Lord: Reformation

‘That they may be one’: unity after Reformation – Andrew Reid reflects on Christian unity and the role that music may have to play.
Luther, music and the Lutheran Church – Warren Bourne explores how Martin Luther’s ideas have influenced the music and worship of the Lutheran Church today.
Church music timeline – at a glance – To help set the Reformation in its context, a pictorial representation of church music history from the synagogue to the present day
One Church, one faith, one Lord – The RSCM’s 2016 International Summer School was held in Liverpool, with its theme linked to the Reformation. RSCM staff and participants report back on the event.
A faith that comes through hearing – The Revd Dr Jamie Hawkey considers the effect of the Reformation on church music in England.
Reform in Scotland – The Revd Marion Paton explains how worship in Scotland has developed from Calvinist principles.
Hymn meditation – ‘Away in a manger’: a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by Fr Alexander Master

September 2016: Reaching out - the Church in worship and mission

Worship and mission: what’s the connection? – The Revd Dr Ruth Meyers explores the relationship between worship and mission, suggesting that there is a closer connection than is often thought.
A search for the sacred – Martin Leckebusch and the Revd Anna Macham discuss how we can think ‘missionally’ about music in worship.
Singing our praises – Callum Tempest, graduate of the Leeds RC Diocese’s singing programme, investigates how churches use choral music for outreach.
‘O Lord, open thou our lips’ – Stuart Robinson reports on a moving attempt to re-write Thomas Cranmer’s 1662 liturgy.
Christ has no body now but yours – Andrew Reid reflects on the Church in mission and outreach through music.
The transformative power of music – Tom Daggett, OBE Organ Outreach Fellow at St Paul’s Cathedral, tells stories of the power of music transforming communities around east London.
The neglected Wesley? – Samuel Wesley, born 250 years ago, is less remembered than his son Samuel Sebastian, but nonetheless made a significant contribution to church music, as Philip Olleson explains.
Hymn meditation – ‘Lord, you give the great commission’: a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by Laurence Wareing

June 2016: Joy in your presence

Lost in wonder, love and praise – Andrew Reid considers how to facilitate contemplation through music in worship.
Worship at Ryde Abbey – Sister Bernadette Byrne, choir director at the Benedictine abbey on the Isle of Wight, describes how plainsong enhances contemplative worship.
Music and the Word – Catherine Pickstock considers the relationship between music and word, and how this affects liturgical practice.
A gift of the Creator – Noël Tredinnick is interviewed by Richard Brain to discuss his thoughts on music in worship.
Responding to reform – Matthew Searles looks at the contribution of Duruflé and Langlais to church music, particularly in light of the Vatican II reforms.
Hymn meditation – ‘We pledge to one another’: a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by Geoffrey Cox

March 2016: 'Whatever is excellent': quality in church music

‘Whatever is excellent’: quality in church music – Andrew Reid explores the concept of quality in relation to music in worship.
Finding an authentic voice – Gill Ambrose, with contributions from Andrew Maries, considers what quality looks like in children’s worship.
Celebrating cathedral singing – Fifty years ago the RSCM’s first Cathedral Singers choir was formed. Sarah King traces the history and describes the role of Cathedral Singers in today’s RSCM.
Quality control: the Jubilate assessment process – Music and words published by the Jubilate Group are evaluated by a rigorous process. Roger Peach and Jubilate authors explain how quality control is maintained.
Hymn book survey – We report the results of last year’s hymn book survey.
Long to reign over us – CMQ looks towards the Queen’s 90th birthday in conversation with Canon Chris Chivers and Ashley Grote.
Hymn meditation – ‘Brother, sister, let me serve you’: a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by the Very Revd Michael Sadgrove

December 2015: Sing, choirs of angels

In tune, in time, as a team – Stuart Robinson looks back over 50 years of RSCM chorister training and talks to those who remember the first Chorister Training Scheme
Voice for Life: Steps to Success – Ian Church talks to CMQ about how to prepare effectively for a Voice for Life examination.
A choir trainer’s guide to Christmas carols – Familiar, well loved, but what do they mean? Kevin Grafton explores the wide range of carols that we sing each year and uncovers some unexpected stories behind our favourites.
The voice of prayer is never silent – Andrew Reid considers the natural cycles of our lives and our world, and how the worship and witness of the church continues unceasingly.
Sharing life in song – Ken Burton looks at the history of gospel music in the UK and interviews Maxine Brooks, director of the Birmingham Community Gospel Choir.
Hymn meditation – ‘O come all ye faithful’: a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by the Rt Revd Nicholas Baines

September 2015: Trained and skilled in music for the Lord

Gifts for the Church – Andrew Reid explores how the Church can integrate musicians and congregations.
Making music thrive – In a profile of the Anglican church of St Faith and St Laurence, Harborne, Simon Palmer explains why specialist musicians are important in the church’s life.
United in worship – Teresa Brown provides a Catholic perspective on how musicians and congregations can participate together in worship.
Everyone gets to play – Nick Drake considers the role of ‘specialists’ and ‘non-specialists’ in the charismatic tradition.
Developing young talent – The RSCM Millennium Youth Choir has gone from strength to strength since its inception 15 years ago and welcomes new singers for its next season.
Training for excellence in worship – The RSCM’s new Head of Ministerial Training, the Revd Helen Bent, introduces her role and looks at the opportunities ahead.
English organ building – the future – Following his article in CMQ December 2014, William McVicker looks at further issues affecting the future of English organ building.
Hymn meditation – ‘Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided’: a meditation by the Revd Gordon Giles
Parry’s Judith and Repton
Coda by the Very Revd Michael Tavinor

June 2015: Learning from Celtic traditions

The conundrum of Celtic Christian music – John Bell considers the question and offers some answers.
Highland and island – A unique form of psalm singing is practised in Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland. Morag MacLeod describes the tradition.
Born in song – Philip Davey of Truro Methodist Church explains why music is so important in the life of the church.
Revival and renewal? The Welsh tradition – Rhidian Griffiths traces the history of Welsh church music and looks to the future.
A Derbyshire organ pilgrimage – Peter Gould spent two years touring the churches of Derbyshire giving organ recitals. Here he tells the story of ‘Peter’s Pipes Pilgrimage’.
Truth and beauty – An interview with composer James MacMillan
Stepping into eternity – Margaret Rizza offers a composer’s perspective on setting Celtic texts.
Hymn meditation ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’ – a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by David Adam

March 2015: Craft and creativity

Style and substance – Andrew Reid considers the question of style in music used for worship.
Hymns, the Word and the World – Andrew Pratt describes how hymn texts are crafted, inspired by the Bible and influenced by the events of the times.
Living catalogues: from Mundy to Moore – Stuart Robinson reviews RSCM’s expanding publishing portfolio.
Sing like never before – Songwriter and worship leader Matt Redman talks to CMQ about creativity in the worship song genre.
A Common Cross: A Personal Christ – Simon Aiken contemplates the Cross and explores how music can help us understand its significance.
Hymn meditation ‘Blessed assurance’ – a meditation by Gordon Giles
Coda – by John Bertalot

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 CrucifixionBrian 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 SingMessiah 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 & ModernCarole 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 The 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 headA 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
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
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 twenty-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 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
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 MessiahMichael 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.