March 6, 2018

Miracle (?) at RSCM Australia & NZ Summer School

January 2018 (9th to 16th) saw some 70 or so choristers mostly from Australia and NZ have an experience of a life – time at Auckland’s wonderful Dilworth School as the hub.
This thanks to Administrator Neil Shroff (RSCMNZ AUckland Branch Chairman) and his team including organists Philip Smith, Michael Stoddart, Janet Gibbs, and Dr Rachael Griffiths – Hughes (Harpsichord), plus a musical dog.
The massed choir is pictured at Holy Trinity Cathedral (Photo courtesy Charles Percy).

Under the inspiring musical direction of Andrew Lumsden, Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral UK, the massed choirs performed traditional and modern liturgical works, especially those by Vaughan Williams. These recognised the 60th anniversary of his death, but more importantly the inspirational impact of his music.
Performances and Services were held at iconic Auckland venues: St Matthews-in-the-City, Mt Albert Methodist Church, and Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Choristers were blessed with a wealth of enlightenment from the workshops enhanced by presentation videos driven by Michael Cox and David Finlay: Chris Artley (Composing for Choirs), Dr Morag Atcheson (Caring for the Voice), Mary Cornish (Getting the Best from Children’s Voices), Dr Incra Hughes (Vaughan Williams, the Man and his Music), David Squire (Getting the Best out of your Choir),Dr Warren Bourne (Vaughan Williams & the Carol), Roy Tankersley (Making the most of your Resources). In attendance were both President of RSCMNZ, Paul Ellis as Administrator of Voice for Life and Anita Banbury for examination purposes as Australasian Voice for Life Chief Examiner.


During the Summer School, director Andrew Lumsden performed an organ recital at Holy Trinity Cathedral. At the start of one of the items, Bach’s Prelude and Fugue, he was unexpectedly accompanied. A dog started barking. The remarkable thing was that it did so exactly in time with the music. The dog barked its final “woof” as the fugue came to a perfect end.

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