Inspiring Organists of the Future

I decided to research “Who are the organists of the future?” following the publication of the Hubbard Report in January 2018, which stated just 4% of organists are under the age of 30. Initially I thought I might look at a project qualification through school, however the support I have received from the organ world has enabled it to become much more than that. With feedback from over 250 organists of all ages, many of whom provided additional supporting comments, several interviews conducted, further questions asked and much research carried out, it has become a project of passion (and too long for a school qualification!). The final title being:

Inspiring Organists of the Future: Does More Need to be Done?

To read the report, please just click on the title above and it will take you to a copy. I do hope you find my report, ideas and conclusions interesting. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

I’d value any feedback you may have.

 

12 comments

  1. This piece of research is exactly what was needed to validate the thoughts that people have had about the organ and its music. Looking forward to seeing it flourish and be used as the most valuable piece of research [possibly ever] conducted. A real inspiration, Anna. Thank you for your contributions.

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  2. Dear .Anna,
    Congratulations on producing such a splendid and informative report – the time given to the research indeed shows your dedication to the organ. Your report does highlight some very interesting observations. I am a village church organist and I agree with the comments that it one sometimes feel a little isolated. Your enthusiasm and love of the organ is marvellous and I hope that you never lose it. After 55 years of playing the organ still feel enthusiastic and like you I attended the Bloomsbury Organ Day and was inspired by Dame Gillian Weir who I have always very much admired.
    All the very best to you for your career and organ studies, and I have no doubt in my mind that you will make your goal as a DOM in a cathedral or other music establishment.

    Kind regards

    Richard Marsh

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  3. Thank you for your impressive report – it made really interesting reading. I was pleased that you picked up on the demise of ‘The Organist Entertains’ which I used to listen to. There was quite an outcry when it was axed as it was the only programme to cover a really broad spectrum of organ music. Did you ever consider incorporating the world of the theatre organ in your study? I guess it would not really have been feasible. However I do wonder whether the decline in the use of popular electronic organs in the home might have had some effect on the shortage of church organists. Probably it is the commitment to playing every week that is one of the main obstacles to recruitment rather than a lack of keyboard players.

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    • Thank you for your comments. Did you know there is a version of the organist encores online? I didn’t have the resources to do theatre organs too. Maybe one day when I’ve finished school!

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  4. Hi Anna!
    Congratulations – what an impressive achievement!! This looks worth its weight in gold. Ive only had time to skim read it as yet, but look forward to digesting it properly soon. I hope that you’ve been able to send a copy to the RCO (to Simon)? All the best, Dan

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  5. Dear Anna, what an outstanding piece of research! It’s sharp, focused and worthy of a great future organist, as I am sure you will be. I’m a rank amateur of 68, going on 90 myself, with access to an organ that far exceeds my deserts, but everything you have said rings so true, at every level. I shall follow your website with interest and if you do prepare posters that I can run off (therefore small format A4), I will certainly endeavour to put them up in Church.

    My best wishes: thank goodness we have someone of your own age who is so dynamic and inspiring to support the world of the most beautiful of instruments!

    Yours,

    David Fishwick

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