St Michael & All Angels Church

Choir Notes

Men's Group



 

The Choir is under the direction of Mr D Martyn Jones who is Director of Music at St Michael's Church. The choir is an enthusiastic group, small in number who are committed to enhancing the worship of the church through music.

The choir's repertoire ranges from plainsong through to Taize and the wonderful worship songs of the 20th Century, not forgetting the hymns and psalms of the traditional liturgy.

Martyn Jones - Director of Music

Martyn is ably assisted by Mr David Everett, assistant organist and Mrs Mary English who is head chorister.

The Choir meet every Friday evening at 6.15 p.m. in the Church, for Choir Practice. All those interested are welcome to come along and meet Martyn and members of the Choir.

Choir members
The Church organ was upgraded and enlarged in 1963. The old organ was dismantled and removed to the Cardiff Organ Works. The renovated organ, weighing approximately one ton was mounted on a platform built over the west entrance to the church. Organ Loft
The oak console, with keyboards to CC to 61 notes and pedalboard, was installed opposite the pulpit by removing two pews near the chancel. For more about the organ see below. organ console

Vicar with Choir

THE ORGAN

The organ is clearly visible at the west end of the church on a balcony over the doorway, with the console at the chancel arch by the lectern. This was not always the case. In fact it was only in 1963 that this situation was planned as can be seen from correspondence by Mr. Gill, of Cardiff Organ Works, with the then vicar, the Reverend Brynmor Vaughan. The plan was to modernise and enlarge the organ. Previous to this, the organ was in the chancel on the north side filling a good deal of the space where a small piano is now situated. This was the commonest place for an organ to be installed in Victorian times, when many churches were equipped with such instruments.

This modernising work entailed erecting the balcony platform at the west end capable of carrying the organ, estimated to weigh approximately 1 ton. Then it involved removing the old organ, overhauling the parts of that old organ to be retained in the new enlarged one, that is the pipework with their soundboard, and further supplying two more ranks of pipes for a new swell organ and one new rank for the great organ. A completely new console with electro-pneumatic action to two manuals and a new pedal board would replace the key and pedal boards with their tracker action from the old organ. To accommodate the new console two pews had to be removed at the front of the north side of the nave.

As you look at the organ in its present position you see what looks like a set of pipes. Gill's estimate makes clear that these are not speaking pipes. It says: "Neat Zinc Pipe Front to be supplied and fixed, springing from prepared moulding on front of platform. Pipes to be brush gilded." Any speaking pipes would be mounted on the soundboard. So what we see is not what we hear! Mr. Gill's estimate for the work stated that special attention would be given to the tonal quality and balance. He also stated that the organ would be tuned in a temperature close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, giving an indication of problems that every organ has with fluctuations in temperature, just like any other musical instrument. The estimate was for £1300, the equivalent of around £25,000 or so today. That was quite a sum for the parish to raise. But we know it was done!

Specification
The old organ had consisted of 5 stops on a great organ and 2 on the pedals, these being:
Great
Open Diapason 8ft
Clarabella 8ft
Principal 4ft
Harmonic Flute 4ft
Gamba 8ft
Pedal
Bourdon 16ft
Bass Flute 8ft
Coupler
Great to Pedal

The new organ specification is:
Great
Open Diapason 8ft (from old organ)
Clarabella 8ft (from old organ)
Principal 4ft (from old organ)
Dulciana 8ft (new)
Harmonic Flute 4ft (from old organ)
Swell
Gedact 8ft (new)
Flute 4ft (derived from Gedact)
Nazard 2 2/3ft (derived from Gedact)
Salicional 8ft (from old organ Gamba)
Salicet 4ft (from Salicional)
Salicetina 2ft (from Salicional)
Oboe 8ft (new)
Contra Oboe 16ft (derived from bottom half of Oboe)
Tremulant
Pedal
Bourdon 16ft (from old organ)
Bass Flute 8ft (from old organ)
Contra Oboe 16ft (as on Swell organ)
Couplers
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Great