I write this on a slightly sad day having returned from playing for the funeral of my local church organist. She had reached the age of 80 and had played at St Mary’s Helmdon for almost 40 years.
So another vacancy on the bench has opened up with precious few candidates willing or otherwise to fill it. It was therefore somewhat personally appropriate that this afternoon saw the publishing of the video on the clever features of the Viscount Choirmaster which enables digital organs to be managed effectively when no organists is available. Dare I say actually that it may play better than some organists that I have had the pleasure of hearing, myself included.
Choir Master supporting the Organist
While a machine can never bring the absolute level of personal touch that a musician will bring to accompaniment the Choirmaster does an extraordinarily good job and will make a very good substitute if your organist is on holiday, ill or as Helmdon now finds itself, with no regular organist at all. Mind you they have a small pipe organ so it would not help out there for the time being.
To help you understand just how versatile the Choir Master is we have prepared the video below that shows the device in action most skilfully presented by our friend and colleague Francis Rumsey, organist of St Mary’s Witney.