News Archive: December 2006
This is an archive of news articles from December 2006. Current news articles can be found here and an archive index can be found here. Information in this archive may no longer be valid.
- 11th December - Music and Lights Appeal
Organisers of the 5m Music and Lights appeal to buy two organs and high-tech lights for Worcester Cathedral are celebrating after raising half the money they need.
The cathedral held a musical service on Sunday during evensong to mark the achievement.
More than 700,000 of the 2.5m raised so far has com from the cathedral community itself.
Donors who have handed over at least 10,000 will be able to record a dedication in a hand-made calendar, which will go on show permanently in the cathedral with its pages open on the current day. Thirty days have so far been dedicated.
The acting dean of Worcester, Canon Dr Alvyn Pettersen, said: "The cathedral is delighted to have reached the halfway mark and is extremely grateful to all of its supporters.
"The appeal is an exciting initiative to secure the future of music at our cathedral in Worcester for the foreseeable future. It means generations of musicians, singers, congregations and audiences yet to come will be able to enjoy the wonders of choral and organ music, animating the cathedral and its services, and safeguarding this special dimension in our worship."
- 11th December - Christmas at the Cathedral
BBC Radio 4 goes behind the scenes at Salisbury Cathedral as it prepares for Christmas in a fascinating programme to be transmitted on Tuesday 19 December at 1.30pm and repeated on Saturday 23 December at 3.30pm. Christmas at the Cathedral will also be available via the BBC's 'listen again' facility.
Janet McCarty, Producer, BBC Religion & Ethics and colleague Judith Sharp, Broadcast Assistant, visited the cathedral last week. Janet explained, We spent a fascinating few days at Salisbury Cathedral and have recorded an enormous amount of material in the region of twelve hours for a twenty eight minute programme. It was a tremendous privilege to be able to visit the Cathedral at this time of year and to talk to so many people about their role there. There's an enormous amount of work which goes on behind the scenes and I hope I can do justice to the great sense of community we found. I am grateful for the co-operation of everyone at the Cathedral who gave time to speak to us at what is a very busy period for everyone.
The programme finds out what the choristers really think of singing the same carols over and over again, discovers the worries about getting the Christmas tree lights to work and who it is who clears up after everyone else has filled themselves full of mince pies!
- 11th December - Century-old church pipe organ restored and rededicated
For several months now, the century-old pipe organ at CSI Zion Church, a heritage landmark in Chintadripet, remained silent. Several Sundays had gone by without the sonorous music that accompanied the hymns sung during the church service.
This Sunday there was an occasion for the members to rejoice, as the pipe organ, which was a rare piece in the country, was restored and rededicated by Sundar Clarke, former bishop of the CSI Diocese. This treasured possession of the church is almost as old as the church.
Manufactured in 1895 in England, the antique masterpiece of the church has been used at all important occasions in the church. As few of the chords were not working, the pipe organ was in need of repair. Restoring it remained a pipedream for the church members, as there were no specialists to repair such an antique instrument in India.
A specialist had to fly down from England, and Rs.5 lakh kept aside for the repair for the pipe organ to regain its glory, said one of the church members. The instrument is estimated to be worth Rs.1 crore.
Now, the church has got back its melody. The carol service of the church was held with the resonant music of the pipe organ this Advent Sunday. Seven famous choir groups, including Harmonics, Emmanuel Methodist Church Junior Choir, Lutheran Men's Voice and Minstrels had come together to kick off the Christmas celebrations with their carol singing.
A congregation of about 300 people listened to carols such as `Standing by the promises' sung by the choirs.
A church member said that the carol service was popular in the city. He recalled that the Governor's band used to accompany the choir during the British period.
- 11th December - Manila Cathedral pipe organ restored; 5-day concert scheduled
A five-day pipe organ festival will be held at the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral in early December to celebrate the completion of the restoration of the Basilica's pipe organ, a cultural church relic.
The music instrument is touted as Asia's biggest church-stationed pipe organ while the Basilica is reputed to be the premier church edifice of the Archdiocese of Manila which is based in Intramuros District.
The actual restoration took two years and cost P4.95 million, according to the media office of the archdiocese of Manila.
Due to a serious state of disrepair, it was not used for the last 15 years.
The concerts are scheduled on December 1, 3, 4, 8, and 10 at the cavernous Basilica, home to many historic concerts and other musical performances.
The festival, also intended to highlight the church's ongoing celebration of its silver anniversary as a basilica, will feature famous Belgian organist Luc Ponet as the main performer, according to the media office of the archdiocese of Manila.
Ponec will open the recital on December 1 at 7 p.m. He will be joined by the Tiples de Sto. Domingo and the Manila Cathedral Men's Choir.
The gala concert is on December 4, at 7 p.m., with Ponet as organist. The Manila Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Arturo Molina will participate.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo will bless the pipe organ before the concerts begin.
The Manila Cathedral pipe organ, among the country's cultural treasures, was originally built in 1958 by the Flemish organ-building company Pels & Sohn.
Its installation was marked by an inaugural concert with world-acclaimed Belgian organist Flor Peeters as the performer.
With 70 stops, four manuals, and pedal, the pipe organ has almost 6,000 pipes (flutes and trumpets) placed on seven major chests and supplied by 12 bellows and four electric blowers.
The instrument was contracted to the Las Pibased Diego Cera Organbuilders, Inc., for full restoration to its original form and function.
On December 3, at 2 p.m., Ponet will accompany a Eucharistic celebration for the Cofradia de la Inmaculada Concepcion, with Coro Santuario de San Antonio as the liturgical singers.
Later, at 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., joined by Serenta Vocal Ensemble and the Manila Cathedral-Basilica Youth Choir, Ponet will conduct an organ workshop.
Participants will be allowed access to the Cathedral choir loft where the gigantic musical instrument is housed.
On Dec. 8, feast day of the Manila Cathedral patroness, Mary the Immaculate Conception, esteemed local organist Jose Flores Jr. will be playing the pipe organ at a Eucharistic celebration at 7:30 p.m. Joining him will be the San Carlos Seminary Optimi Choir and the Manila Cathedral Men's Choir.
Finally, on Dec. 10, the 48th anniversary of rededication of the present building of the Manila Cathedral, performances will be held at 6 p.m., featuring another local organist Armando Salarza and the UST Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble.
Manila Cathedral-Basilica Rector, Msgr. Nestor C. Cerbo said that "with the instrument now rebuilt, we bring back the sounds of wonderful splendor and revive the rich musical tradition of this premier church of Manila as we lift our minds to God and higher things." (PNA)
- 11th December - Lunchtime Organ Recitals at St Mary's, Melton Mowbray
St Mary's Parish Church, Melton Mowbray, holds Lunchtime Organ Recitals on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month throughout the year,commencing at 1.10pm. Admission is Free, refreshments are available and a retiring collection is taken in aid of the Church Organ Fund..
The remaining recital for 2006 is:
Tuesday 12th December: James Gutteridge, Director of Music, St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray