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[Hymn of the Month] Golden Sheaves by Sir Arthur Sullivan

Arthur Sullivan
Sir Albert Sulliivan

Sir Arthur Sullivan, image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Our tune this month is Golden Sheaves, composed by the very popular man of his time (and ours) Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (13 May 1842 – 22 November 1900). Sullivan was a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) and an English composer. William Chatterton Dix (1837 – 1898) wrote the words to “To thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise” that accompanies this tune.

Sullivan is the musician part of the Gilbert and Sullivan duo who formed a partnership that can be compared to Tim Rice and Lloyd Webber of their era. Gilbert’s lyrics were made to shine when combined with Sullivan’s music and their collaboration resulted in great operatic pieces such as “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado”.

Sullivan wrote his first composition at the age of eight but really began to flourish under the training of the Reverend Thomas Helmore, master of the choristers at Chapel Royal. Helmore encouraged the young Sullivan’s composing talent and arranged for one of his pieces, “O Israel”, to be published in 1855, Sullivan’s first published work. To add to his early accolades in 1856, the Royal Academy of Music awarded the first Mendelssohn Scholarship to the then 14-year-old Sullivan, allowing him to study first at the Academy and then in Germany, at the Leipzig Conservatoire.

Sullivan went on to complete works that included 23 operas, 13 major orchestral works, eight choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, and numerous hymns and other church pieces, songs, and piano and chamber pieces. The best known of his hymns and songs include “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “The Lost Chord” which he wrote while at the bedside of his dying brother, Fred. Sullivan was knighted for his contributions to music in 1883.

This is played on our Envoy 35-F , which is a very popular church instrument.

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan KingstonJonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

Jonathan works with us as our very own inhouse organist – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on

More About the Organ Being Played In This Demonstration

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Envoy 35-F A ‘Physical Modelling’ based instrument with 35 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a huge internal library allowing the user to create 4 totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic.   It benefits from a full compliment of divisional thumb pistons and additional toe pistons. This organ also has a full 32 note pedal. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.

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