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Forth in Praise

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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

January 14, 2014

Fame at last?

evelyn @ 9:31 pm

Well, not exactly fame, but a rather boring email attachment of mine has become, to my great surprise, the most recent post on the Choir of St Columba’s blog, the James MacMillan one.  Their previous article had been about the National Music Advisory Board, which they saw as secretive and only interested in its own type of music, something which a ‘national’ body shouldn’t be, of course. They wanted to know more about this mysterious committee.

I was on the NMAB for some years, and I wouldn’t have called it secretive, so I sent in my own impressions, with permission to use as they wished.  But read the rest here.

James MacMillan is now requesting membership of the NMAB for his Musica Sacra group. By rights, there should be no problem about that. But after his savaging of the NMAB’s chairman’s music he may not be the most popular of new members.

A colleague has suggested that James MacMillan also savaged ME in that article, when he said:

  • Some Catholic dioceses run courses for wannabe composers to perpetuate this style. It is a scandal. People with hardly any training and experience of even the basic building blocks of music have been convinced that there is a place for their puerile stumblings and fumblings in the modern Catholic Church because real musicians are elitist and off-putting.

Well, of course, we had our Forth in Praise composers’ day in November 2012, but the style he is referring to is Dan Schutte’s, which we most certainly didn’t promote.  In fact, we didn’t promote any particular style, just tried to impart technical and word-setting information generally.  And we are real musicians.

I await the NMAB developments with great interest …


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