Memorial Service for Brendan Chandler 

Friends and family of Brendan Chandler gathered today, 8th April, for a memorial service at St. Mary’s Church, Bridgwater, a church which Brendan had served for over 40 years. As well as his membership of St. Mary’s, and its choir, Brendan had been a loyal member of SOCA, and of the R.S.C.M., and these organisations were represented in the congregation.

Adrian, Brendan’s brother, paid a warm tribute, mentioning aspects of Brendan’s personal, professional and musical life. The news of Brendan’s attachment to buses and coaches was a surprise to many! The Reverend Trish Ollive, who took the service, mentioned at the start Brendan’s love of The Book of Common Prayer, and traditional words were used throughout. An ad hoc choir finished the service by singing Rutter’s Gaelic Blessing, directed by Peter Cartwright, Brendan’s brother-in-law. Doug Smith played gathering music before the service, and I played for the service itself, with 2 well-known hymns, and the music of J.S.Bach opening and closing the event.

Afterwards, there was a chance to reminisce in Bar 27 over an excellent buffet and drinks. All felt that the service had been a fitting tribute to the man.

On a personal note, I will always remember Brendan’s phenomenal memory. He was the choir librarian, and as we planned the next month’s music, selecting anthems and settings for the services, Brendan knew, without reference to the catalogue, the precise location of all our music.

“I think we’ll do Dyson in F for choral evensong.”

“1988 Festival Service Book, page 7. I think there will be enough copies, but if not, we have extras in folder 273.”

And there was never any need to check.

John Bodiley

Buckfast Abbey Organ

buckfast-abbey-west-end-2-1SOCA members may be interested in a first-hand account of the new Ruffatti organ in Buckfast Abbey. I (John Bodily) went on Epiphany Sunday to hear Richard Lester play Messiaen’s La Nativité. This is a piece I always enjoy listening to, though I privately think that a couple of the movements are overlong and rather repetitive! Apologies if this upsets Messiaen buffs. Continue reading

Chairman’s Report – November 2018

ChairmanThis year has seen a range of activities featuring many different instruments and styles so indicative of the versatility of our chosen instrument. It is interesting to note the predominance of large organs which are so much a part of our recent heritage of technological development since the mid- Victorian era. But there are many small and chamber organs, some with only a single manual (as is the one I play regularly at the Bishop’s Chapel) and these challenge our musical ingenuity to play repertoire that works well making the best of restricted resources. Continue reading