Dr. Julie Ainscough at the Frobenius organ of All Saints' Parish Church, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (U.K.).

Dr. Julie Ainscough at the Frobenius organ of
All Saints' Parish Church, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (U.K.).

Photograph: © Copyright 2012 Michael Harrold Artist Management.

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My organ teacher, the late David Sanger.

David Sanger (17th April 1947 - 28th May 2010) was one of the world's most accomplished concert organists, having been a pupil of world-renowned professors Marie-Claire Alain and Anton Heiller.  David was not only a superlative performer, but also an exacting and inspirational teacher, a delightful friend and a man of impeccably upright character whose common sense, humour and wisdom engendered affection and respect from all who knew him.  His passing, in the most tragic circumstances on the 28th of May 2010, is mourned deeply around the world.  May he rest in peace.

David appeared on the juries of many international organ competitions:   e.g. St Alban's, Paisley, Speyer, Biarritz, Alkmaar, Odense, Nürnberg and Lucerne.  As a recording artist, he made over 20 CDs, all of which received highly favourable reviews, to say nothing of an earlier string of LP records which began with a highly-acclaimed recording of the César Franck "Grande Pièce Symphonique" (now available on CD: Resonance 445 014 - 2) and works by J.S. Bach (made in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz, for Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft).

David Sanger was professor of organ at the Royal Academy of Music in London for some years and chairman of the organ department there from 1987-89.  Between 1989 and 1997 he was a Consultant Professor at the R.A.M.  He was guest professor for a period of two years at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen.  He was a Visiting Tutor in Organ Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, and was a much sought-after teacher of organ at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  David had many successful students at international competition level, including two winners at the Calgary International Organ Competition.  He wrote an organ tutor in two volumes for beginners, entitled 'Play the Organ' (published by Novello - NOV010232 and NOV010235), which became the most widely used in Britain in recent years.  He ran courses for advanced students at his home in the Cumbrian Lake District, including tuition on the Bevington organ installed there.  From time to time, he composed music for organ, as well as for strings and choirs.  David had been elected President of the Royal College of Organists to serve until the end of the 2010-11 college year, a responsibility which he fulfilled with distinction up until his untimely death.

St. Augustine's Abbey, Chilworth, near Guildford, where I serve as titular organist.

Saint Augustine's Abbey, Chilworth, is one of four Roman Catholic Benedictine monasteries in Great Britain which form the English Province of the international Benedictine Congregation of Subiaco.  There are also Roman Catholic and Anglican Benedictine communities in the country which have other affiliations.  The Order of Saint Benedict, as a monastic sub-culture, has three mottoes.  The first is "Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus", which is the motivation for the Order's existence. It means: "So that God may be glorified in all things". The second is "Pax", meaning "peace", and is the reward hoped for in leading the monastic life.  The third is "Ora et labora", or "work and pray", which is what monastics do in order to obtain the first two.

The Abbey at Chilworth is dedicated to Saint Augustine and was founded originally at Ramsgate in 1856, with an Abbey church designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin in the Gothic Revival style.  The Ramsgate community elected to move because of the rising cost of maintaining their substantial property and because of their election to relinquish responsibility to the Archdiocese of Southwark for parochial duties in favour of a more contemplative, prayer-led life.  The move to mid-Surrey took place in the late Autumn of 2011, after the Parish of Chilworth had been closed and the few remaining members of the former Franciscan community (for which Order the monastery had been built in 1890) were re-deployed elsewhere.

Instrument Makers: Piano

"Bösendorfer ranks among the world's oldest piano manufacturers, rich in tradition and world-famous for its unmistakably inspiring sound as well as the outstanding quality of its instruments.  Within every Bösendorfer piano lies not only a full year's work, but also the know-how that has been passed down from one generation to the next since the company's founding in 1828.  The selection of first-class materials and above all the extremely careful workmanship - most of which is still done by hand - distinguish each individual Bösendorfer.  Acquiring a Bösendorfer is a lifetime dream for many people. For them, we build something very special, with devotion and professionalism.".

"In 1978 a team of technicians, comprised of acoustic physicists, wood technologists, piano makers and pianists was formed around the pianist and engineer promoter of the enterprise, Paolo Fazioli.  The purpose was to critically analyze the current position concerning the global manufacturing of pianos and to define the process for the construction of a conceptually new piano.  Each instrument is individually handcrafted, combining high quality materials with the finest workmanship and technology. Our ideal of sound is an objective to which we constantly strive.".

"Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty, and investment value.  Handcrafting each Steinway requires up to one full year - creating an instrument of rare quality and global renown.  A Steinway piano is an incomparable creation - a unique achievement that sets the world standard for how a piano should look, play and sound.  It is, quite simply, a treasured possession that grows in value over the course of time - a rare and enduring creation which is handed down with pride from one generation to the next.".

Instrument Makers: Pipe Organ

"Harrison & Harrison (established 1861) has maintained its traditional strengths and its sense of identity while continuing to develop: since the 1980s the firm has revived its tradition of tracker-action organs".

N.P. Mander Ltd. was founded in 1936 by Noel Pike Mander, M.B.E., F.S.A. (1912-2005), although there were organ builders in his family since the 18th century (e.g. John Pike England).  Her Majesty the Queen appointed him a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1978, in recognition of his services to organ building over half a century.  John Pike Mander became Managing Director on the retirement of his father, serving his apprenticeship in Hamburg from 1968 with the noted German organ builder, Rudolf von Beckerath, and returning to Germany in 1980 to take the Master Organ Builders' examination.  John Mander was a founder member of the Institute of British Organ Building and served on the board of the International Society of Organ Builders for six years.  N.P. Mander Ltd. has become established firmly as a major exporter of superb quality pipe organs, the most famous of which is the four-manual, 68 stop (91 ranks) instrument built in 1991 for the Jesuit church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in Park Avenue at 84th Street in New York (pictured above).  This French Romantic-style pipe organ, the largest ever to be built in Britain with mechanical key action, has been the subject of great acclaim from some of the foremost organists of our time.

"Organ Design is managed by the organ builder Edward Dove.  Organ Design Ltd. provide tuning, maintenance, restoration and design of both church and cathedral organs throughout the UK and Norway.  Organ Design have built, over three decades, many new pipe organs throughout the UK and the Company cares currently for over one hundred instruments".

"Martin Goetze (who died on August 23rd 2015) and Dominic Gwynn set up the firm in 1980 to help revive interest in the classical tradition in British organ-building, to revive interest in pre-Victorian British organ and choral music, assist congregational singing and provide a suitable instrument for modern liturgies".

"Since 2005 Walker have retained facilities in Brandon, Suffolk and Devizes, Wiltshire.  Here an enthusiastic staff, all of them Walker trained, seek to build on the firm's musical tradition and reputation for technical innovation".

Music: Conservatoires, Universities & Professional Bodies

"The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music was founded in 1889 as the outcome of a proposition by Sir Alexander MacKenzie, principal of the Royal Academy of Music, to Sir George Grove, director of the Royal College of Music, that their two pre-eminent musical training institutions unite to create an examining body "inspired by disinterested motives for the benefit of musical education... which would genuinely provide a stimulus and an objective for a high standard of achievement".  At the very heart of ABRSM's work lie three convictions:  first, that the journey towards musical accomplishment is of great intrinsic value to those who embark purposefully upon it;  secondly, that milestones enable most travellers to travel faster and further; and, thirdly, that ABRSM exams are the best milestones for this particular journey.".

"Goldsmiths is all about the freedom to experiment, to think differently, to be an individual".

"The Incorporated Association of Organists (IAO) comprises over 6,000 members worldwide and is open to all lovers of the organ and its music. Whilst many of our members are indeed organists and/or choir trainers, our wide range of programmes (many of which are arranged by our 90 affiliated associations) have a wide appeal to all".

"The Incorporated Society of Musicians exists to promote the art of music and to serve the interests of the music profession, the Society and its members".

"Since it was founded back in 1822, the Royal Academy of Music has become one of the most recognisable names in music.  Great traditions do not guarantee future success, but at the Academy they do inspire us to achieve an especially happy blend of continuity and cutting-edge work.  Cherish as we do our distinguished alumni, fine teachers and enterprising study programmes, at the Academy we never simply rest on our reputation.  Every day we question the quality and effectiveness of our work, reappraising our primary goal:  how to realise the potential of each and every musician at the Academy.  Remaining the most stimulating, dynamic and friendly musical environment, we want every student - wherever they come from - to make their individual mark and to leave equipped for the realities of professional life".

"Founded in 1882, the Royal College of Music enjoys a reputation as one of the world's leading conservatoires, providing specialised musical education and professional training at the highest international level for performers, conductors and composers, enabling students to develop musical skills, knowledge, understanding and resourcefulness which will enable them to contribute significantly to musical life in this country and internationally.  The College's influence on the development of music in the last 100 years is incalculable. Through its doors have passed some of the most distinguished and influential figures in British music history.  The College's influence is not merely historical, however:  it continues to grow, year by year, attracting some of the finest talent of each generation".

"The Royal College of Organists is the only organisation in the United Kingdom with a Royal Charter to be dedicated to the promotion and advancement of a single instrument, the organ.  Described by Mozart as "the king of all the instruments", the organ holds a unique place in world music with a tradition stretching back over two thousand years.  The College has nearly 3,000 members based in 40 countries around the world.  Together we work to promote the best in organ playing and choral directing, and to encourage anyone who is interested to learn more about this fascinating and versatile musical instrument, and to explore its history and repertoire.  Through RCO Academy, we place education and outreach at the heart of our work, ensuring that the College is not only an association of all the great names in the organ world, but also a lively, dynamic organisation committed to involvement at all levels of music making.  As a professional examining body, the College has a long history of accrediting organists and choral directors in order to maintain the highest standards in musical performance and music teaching.  The College's qualifications are held by many and are recognised worldwide as a measure of achievement and distinction".

"We pride ourselves on our long track record of success in preparing young talented musicians for a long and sustainable career.  The programmes of study are delivered by a strong international team of tutors, and will offer you a flexibility of learning that will suit your particular needs at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  You will have valuable access to advice and guidance from a host of companies who have professional partnership links with the RNCM.".

"Through education, training, publications, advice and encouragement, we aim to support church music today and to invest in church music for the future".

"The highly vocational nature of our courses combine with our intimate scale to create a very distinctive and supportive learning environment for our students.  The Conservatoire's approach to learning and teaching is based on an acknowledgement of each student's unique potential, creativity and talents.  Above all else, the Conservatoire seeks to nurture in its students a spirit of creativity, innovation, enterprise and excellence.  All of our courses take account of the needs and potential of each individual student and learning, teaching and assessment take place in a challenging and vibrant artistic and academic environment.  Performance is an essential aspect of what we have to offer and because the Conservatoire is, in terms of the number of performances, the busiest performing arts venue in Scotland we can offer our students an impressive range of performance opportunities.  The former Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama ranked number one in the UK for music education in the Guardian newspaper’s University Guide 2008".

"The University of Surrey is an international university with a worldwide reputation for excellence in teaching and research.  Music activities at Surrey are characterised by two qualities:  integration and breadth.  We have a bias towards the music of modernity, which means that almost all of our research addresses music since the mid-nineteenth century, and most of our modules have a similar focus.  That aside, whether you are a budding composer, performer, sound designer or musicologist, your interests will be embraced and nurtured by the Department.  The curriculum is so structured that almost any musical activity you might want to engage in can receive credit, and none is regarded as of less intrinsic value than any other".

"Located within the beautiful Wren designed King Charles Court at the Old Royal Naval College Greenwich, Trinity College of Music richly deserves its international reputation as one of the premier institutions in the United Kingdom for the study of music.  The College is celebrated for its fine facilities, which include state of the art practice rooms equipped with superb pianos, the outstanding Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts and the magnificent concert halls in nearby Blackheath.  Our exciting new relationship with the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, our beautiful site set alongside the River Thames and Greenwich Park, our highly distinguished and talented professorial staff and our innovative and comprehensive course provision make Trinity the natural choice for all who seek the best in professional music performance training.  Trinity has long been acknowledged for fostering and promoting a caring and supportive environment in which its students can flourish and we are particularly proud of the high profile of our professorial staff, who work as acclaimed soloists or belong to top London orchestras and opera companies.".

"Trinity College London is a leading international examinations board with a difference. Our reputation rests on our continuing ability to provide respected qualifications both in the English language and across a growing range of disciplines in the performing arts.  But what sets us apart is our focus on the learner, every learner. Our exams and assessments are designed to help students and trainees progress;  to mark an achievement at each stage of their development, and at all levels of competence, on a journey towards fulfilment of their own individual talents and abilities.  Today we deliver 500,000 assessments each year worldwide. Our international network is growing and our educational role in the UK community is deepening.".

Hampton School, where I teach pipe organ.

"Hampton is an academic, independent day school for boys from 11-18.  For over 450 years Hampton has been helping boys fulfil their true potential and we are delighted that, year on year, our exam results, both at GCSE and A Level, rank among the best in the country.  But we're not all about hard work.  Hampton offers a huge range of intellectual and co-curricular activities giving boys a full, rounded education, with many opportunities to shine.  We aspire to enable our boys not only to make sense of the world but also to want to go out and improve it".

Music: Courses, Summer Schools & Competitive Music Festivals

"Oundle for Organists has become a unique international brand, with courses throughout the year all over the UK and abroad.  By now, some 2,000 young organists have attended "Oundle" courses, whether in Oundle or elsewhere, and have raved about them.  The keynote is inspiration - never competition.  The student age range is 9-29, whilst we also now offer an adults weekend in October and a welcome to all our courses for Observers of any age.  Core curriculum has become the preparation of teenagers for university organ scholarships:  our Prospective Organ Scholars' course typically attracts over 40 aspirants.  Recruitment for the summer courses at Oundle and the autumn "Advanced Academy" in Toulouse is served by "Get Ahead!" taster days around the UK, and the early-stages weekend, "Pulling Out The Stops", held every Easter:  35 course days during 2009, in Oundle, Oxford, Cheltenham, Newcastle, Guildford and Toulouse".

"'A benign and life-enhancing voyage of discovery'.  'Music at Langham House', in the village of Robertsbridge, East Sussex, promises a highly enjoyable and stimulating weekend of music-making in a beautiful setting.  The weekends, led by Paul Roberts, are open to amateur pianists at all levels of proficiency and include a mixture of group teaching and individual lessons. Up to eight participants can be accommodated either at Langham House or in attractive accommodation close by. All meals and classes are at Langham House.  'Music At Castelfranc' is a piano summer school with a difference.  It offers the best qualities of conservatoire teaching and learning in a non-competitive context, music making in idyllic surroundings, intensive study in a relaxed environment.  Music at Castelfranc offers accommodation in the spectacular Château de Castelfranc, owned by the British charity the Dandelion Trust.".

"The Chetham's International Piano Summer School is a source of inspiration, fun, insight and focus for everyone who enjoys the piano and piano playing.  Now in its ninth year, it continues to grow and develop as a 'piano republic of equals'.  There is no elitism on the course, though everyone is extremely serious about piano playing.  There is no other summer school that manages to cater for the universal:  Adult amateurs, promising children and observers are as welcome on the course as concert pianists, international young artists preparing for top competitions, and professional music teachers".

Music: Concert Information

"'Hundreds of concerts. Dozens of venues. One website'.  www.organrecitals.com was established on 28th January, 2004, and is owned, designed, and maintained by Stephen D. Smith.  The Recital Diary is a service, not a business, that takes pride in its appearance and in the accuracy of its information".

"'Concert Diary Ltd. - the interactive Concert Guide with listings for Opera, Ballet and Classical Music Concerts across the UK".

Music: Teacher Information & General

"Richard Priest opened Allegro Music in 1984, developing the business into one of the country's leading classical music suppliers, which he runs with his wife, Barbara - a trained music librarian.  They pay particular attention to organ and choral music and, as well as holding extensive stocks of organ music and CDs, Allegro Music also runs an archive service for out-of-print organ music for Oxford Universtiy Press, Peters Edition and Schott".

"Established in 1972 by Ramsay Silver (1931-1996), Banks Music Publications are now regarded as the most comprehensive service available for the supply of choral music.  The Eboracum Choral Series contains over 500 titles mainly by modern composers and arrangers.  Dr. Francis Jackson, the highly respected Yorkshire composer and organist has been the series' general editor for many years.  We have recently introduced the Eboracum Popular Choral Series in response to the growing number of requests for lighter repertoire.  In addition to choral music, we publish a select number of pieces for organ, piano, voice, and other solo instruments.  A very important part of the work we do at Banks Music Publications is the archive service.  We can supply copies of out-of-print choral leaflets from Oxford Univeristy Press (choral & vocal), International Music Publications (IMP), EMI, Warner Chappell & Belwin Mills, and Williamson Publications.  We also act as distributor for a number of smaller catalogues.  A complete list of of the companies we represent is available on request.  'In a world where mutability is the one thing on which we can rely, certain names carry with them an aura of comforting constancy: Banks (Music Publications) is a treasured example in the world of music, and their Eboracum Choral Series continues to be a wonderfully reliable resource' (Rebecca Tavener, Organists' Review: February 2009)".

"MusicTeachers.co.uk is a free service which aims to support musicians in every aspect of education and performance".

"We are very proud of our independently owned music shop in Leamington Spa.  We are considered to be one of the country's premier sources of sheet music, classical CDs and DVDs, instruments, and accessories.  We are delighted to announce that we were crowned Best Classical Music Instrument Shop at the 2013 Music Industry Association Awards, and were also nominated in the category of Best Independent Retailer.  Our staff are all musicians and music lovers with a wealth of knowledge and experience;  they can assist you with any query.".

"Rhinegold's books and magazines are an essential part of everyday life for professional musicians, teachers, singers, pianists, impresarios, opera fans, music administrators and GCSE and A-level exam candidates studying music, drama and theatre studies.  And if you're looking for jobs in music, you will find a selection of the best teaching, playing and management jobs from every sector of the industry.  The full list is published fortnightly in 'Classical Music' magazine".

"Our website is known as The UK Piano Page.  It contains information about everything related to pianos;  we are the home of UK piano industry.  We have designed the site to make things easier to find and allow professionals listed on this site to update their details.  We have one of the largest collections of piano history information on the internet, with a special emphasis on the history of the piano industry in the United Kingdom.  We also cover a wide selection of overseas piano makers, and provide links to sites with a piano history theme.  The UK Piano Page also contains a wealth of information on tuners, manufacturers, movers, accompanists, teachers, entertainers, hire companies, French polishers, piano part makers, and piano construction.  You may even find places to wine and dine with live piano music in the background.  We have a database of pianos for sale by shops around the UK, as well as a free section for the general public to advertise their pianos for sale.  We also operate an extensive online piano gift shop where you can buy piano stools, castor cups, metronomes and lots of other piano related gifts and accessories.  We have an active piano discussion forum where you can seek answers to questions on pianos, their history, and piano music".

Music: "Social & Learned Societies"

"The Academy takes its name from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, in effect the musicians' union in seventeenth century Rome of which Corelli, Pasquini and Alessandro Scarlatti were members.  The sphere of interest is early music, interpreted loosely as music dating before 1825.  General Meetings are held twice yearly in central London.  An admission ceremony is followed by a musical entertainment and refreshments.  Members receive twice yearly the Academy's news letter, VOX, detailing forthcoming events and members are invited to submit articles for publication.  It is hoped that in the future it will be possible to hold occasional meetings outside London and to arrange visits to places of relevant musical interest.  The Academy is a social and learned society and not an examining body.  From time to time the Chapter may award Honorary Fellowships in recognition of an individual's musical contribution ".

"The British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) aims to promote objective, scholarly research into the history of the organ and its music in all its aspects, and, in particular, into the organ and its music in Britain;  to conserve the sources and materials for the history of the organ in Britain, and to make them accessible to scholars;  to work for the preservation, and where necessary, the faithful restoration of historic organs in Britain;  to encourage an exchange of scholarship with similar bodies and individuals abroad, and to promote, in Britain, a greater appreciation of historical overseas schools of organ-building".

"Founded by Henry Willis III in 1926, The Organ Club exists to promote public awareness and appreciation of the art and science of the organ, its players and its music. Membership is open to all who are interested in the organ and organ music and both players and non-players are equally welcome.  The Club continues to thrive and meet the aspirations of its members in promoting knowledge about organs, organ music and organ performance. Monthly visits to interesting instruments, annual tours to areas of the UK and abroad, masterclasses, an annual lunch and a tri-annual journal are the immediate benefits of membership along with sharing an interest with like-minded people - and all for a fraction more than 50p a week".

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