A recent comment received from a bride who found a wedding organist via this website:
“[Our organist] has been marvellous. His enthusiasm for helping make our wedding day special genuinely enhanced our enjoyment of the Church service. He was proactive and cheerful, and his rendition of The Sailor’s Hornpipe as we left the church made everyone smile! I unreservedly recommend him!”
STEPHEN BELL MA (Oxon), FRCO (CHM)
Retired independent school Director of Music. Fully qualified, professional organist. Widely-experienced with large repertoire.
Location: Ash, near Martock, Somerset. Available Sundays & weekdays: weddings/funerals. Prepared to travel, but will require mileage. Fee negotiable, but must reflect qualifications & experience. 50% additional fee expected for any service where a video is made. Prepared to play in any denomination, but in “traditional” style. Not prepared to work with worship groups or bands.
JOHN BODILEY LTCL, ARCO
Widely experienced organist & pianist, mainly as accompanist. Occasional recitals. Some experience of choral conducting & music arranging.
Bridgwater-based. Willing to travel up to 25 miles. Fee negotiable. Available for Sunday & weekday services, and all weddings & funerals. Ecumenically liberal. Available also as rehearsal pianist, and for examination accompaniment.
PAUL BURNETT BMus (Hons), PGCE
Organist with a broad musical range including choral accompaniment as well as more informal styles. Traditional style churchmanship preferred, with over twenty years experience of singing and organ playing at parish & cathedral level. Used to working with choirs.
Available for occasional Sunday deputising, choir practices, weddings & funerals. Bridgwater/Taunton/Wells area, own transport. Rates negotiable.
Tel: 07577 326 839 (mobile)
Please see my website ontherightnote.co.uk which includes helpful information on weddings & funerals.
ANDREW CARTER FRCO, LRAM, ARCM
Extensive experience as player, with a wide & varied repertoire, and as a choral conductor. Available also as piano accompanist.
Willing to travel within a 20-mile radius of Wellington. Available in principle both Sundays and weekdays. Fees negotiable, but must reflect qualifications & experience. Any mainstream denomination, but not worship groups or bands.
Tel: 01823-667685 / 07929 733 164 (mobile)
Sixty years experience Anglican Eucharist, Matins & Evensong, Weddings & Funerals.
Good sight reader and accompanist but not comfortable with worship songs.
Available as locum Sundays & weekdays.
Based in Congresbury, North Somerset.
JONATHAN DELBRIDGE FRSM, LRSM, LTCL, ALCM, DipMusTh(ICMA)
Jonathan is an experienced professional organist & pianist who performs at venues throughout the UK including the Royal Albert Hall, Norwich Cathedral & York Minster. His concert programmes are known for being highly entertaining & varied, and he likes to interact with the audience giving background information on the pieces performed injected with humour. In addition to concerts, Jonathan is available for weddings, church services, funerals & accompaniment work.
Tel: 07719 187 508 (mobile)
Experienced organist and conductor with wide experience of the ministry through music in a Parish Church. Former Director of Music of St John the Baptist, Glastonbury and considerable involvement with the Royal School of Church Music. Available weekdays and some Sundays – based in Glastonbury.
Telephone 01458 830894 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Experienced, former deanery parish church organist (both urban and rural) available to play for weddings, funerals, church services and other ceremonies. Fee negotiable.
Taunton based but prepared to travel.
Tel: 01823-421723 / 07952 337 075
Dr. IAN HEAVISIDES ATCL
Widely experienced organist & choirmaster in both Anglican & Methodist denominations. Occasional recitals. Available Sundays and for Weddings/Funerals. Based in Chard. Prepared to travel within a 15 – 20 mile radius but would request mileage. Not prepared to work with worship groups or bands.
Organist at Meare for the past 12 years (to June 2015). Available to play for weddings & funerals in Glastonbury, Street, the Polden villages and surrounding area accessible by public transport. All denominations.
Organist of moderate ability. Can play most well-known hymns, as well as Murray & Appleford mass settings. Can also play Anglican chant & responsorial psalms. Some experience of choir-training. Can compose/arrange for small choirs. Preferably not modern worship songs. Also a bell ringer.
Prepared to travel up to one hour’s drive from Burnham-on-Sea. Would appreciate reasonable recompense for my travel costs.
Experienced organist, conductor and accompanist. Former independent school Director of Music and current Music Director at parish church with wide-ranging music ministry. Based in Taunton, Somerset. Available some weekdays / Saturdays / Sunday evenings.
RAY WILLIS ARCM, ARCO
Widely-experienced organist, pianist, harpsichordist, choral trainer & conductor. Expert sight-reader & accompanist.
Weston-Super-Mare, Wells & Yeovil based, but willing to travel within reasonable distance of the M5 corridor. Broad liturgical experience from cathedral to village church. Available weekdays & Saturdays. Fees negotiable, but must reflect qualifications & experience.
Tel: 07880 918 697 (mobile)
Widely-experienced church organist who also plays piano as accompanist. Any denomination, though more formal worship preferred. Plays regularly at churches in & around Tiverton. Versatile & reliable musician, willing to spend time to gauge the type of music needed for any occasion.
Located in Tiverton. Willing to travel to Mid-Devon, East Devon, Somerset & Exeter. Available weekdays & weekends. Has own transport. Willing to meet with wedding couples to discuss music. Wedding fees from £55. Other fees by arrangement.
Tel: 01884-258360 / 07973 175 080 (mobile)
Whilst the association is happy to unite churches with organists who offer themselves to deputise, it has not checked the skills and abilities of the players concerned. Churches should make their own enquiries where necessary.
Organists’ Fees – an interesting survey
As an itinerant organist with no regular church employment, I am occasionally asked what I charge for playing for services. My reply is that I usually take whatever the church is accustomed to giving. The analysis below is taken from a website, PNMS, well worth a look if you don’t already know it. Philip Norman advertises requests for both occasional and full-time organists, and his site contains quite a bit of useful information. The requests are usually, but not exclusively, within the M25. Increasingly, his website covers different parts of the country.
A few words of explanation: forgive me if this is already clear to you; I don’t intend to be patronising.
The first column is for playing for a church service, and the second, playing for a private service, such as a baptism held at a non-service time. The other columns are largely self-explanatory: the sixth column is the fee you can command as a singer; and the last column, a fee as an instrumentalist – a trumpeter, perhaps. The fact that the only figure is £150 suggests that only one instrumentalist submitted any figure!
“Mean”, of course, is the average. The “Mode” is the most commonly paid fee. Max. and Min. are obvious. If you were to draw a list of fees, from the highest to the lowest, and make a mark exactly half-way down that list, that would be the “Median”.
To those of us in the rural South-West, some of these fees seem very generous, especially the maxima. One has to remember, however, that a fee of £200 for a service probably means turning up at St. Luke’s, Chelsea, or St. Peter’s, Eaton Square, and accompanying a professional octet of singers in a Mozart mass on a large, unfamiliar instrument, with just a quick run-through before the service. In other words, you would be a professional organist. Playing Thorne or Gregory Murray with 4 hymns, and a bit of music fore and aft, for a congregation of 15 on a small organ in a country church, which is what I usually do, is not the same! The list, however, does suggest to me that a number of churches where I play are not over-generous, or perhaps not very realistic, in the charges they apply for weddings and funerals: particularly for weddings, where quite a lot of playing, and possibly a rehearsal are required.