At the June meeting of the Down & Dromore and Connor Organ Scholarship Board of Management, thanks were extended to outgoing office bearers the Rev Canon John Auchmuty (St Columba’s, Knock) and Mr Gerald Hill.
Canon Auchmuty has served as a member for 14 years and as Chairman for five years, and Mr Hill has served for eight years, one of which was as Honorary Secretary.
The Board also expressed gratitude for the faithful service of the Rev Canon David Humphries who has served the committee in various roles for almost two decades.
New office bearers elected were: The Rev Canon Stephen Fielding (Chair, St John’s, Malone) and Mrs Beth Aiken (Honorary Secretary, St Mark’s, Dundela).
In his concluding remarks as Chairman, Canon Auchmuty said that ‘it had been a great joy for him to serve as Chair of the Board. It was now a new triennium. Board meetings run smoothly; administrative work is up to date and there are no impending issues.’
He said that he will continue to support the work of the Board as rector of St. Columba’s, where lessons will continue to be provided.
Canon Fielding said he was very pleased to have the support of the board as chairperson going forward and to assisting in all the valuable work it does both in Connor and Down and Dromore in training up organists in this ‘wonderful Scheme.’
“The refreshed and renewed board includes Beth Aiken, Ian Bell and Richard Campbell who bring a wealth of experience and insight,” Canon Fielding said.
“We are very privileged as board members along with their tutors to play a part in the formation of the scholars in a way that respects and reflects the rich heritage of the Anglican tradition of music-making for the liturgy within a Church of Ireland context.”
The board received reports of auditions and assessments and was delighted to offer invitations to four incoming organ scholars to commence their three-year term of lessons beginning in September 2023.
More information about the Organ Scholarship Scheme will be provided to potential and experienced organists at the annual Awards Service of Choral Evensong at 3.30pm on Sunday September 17 at St Columba’s, Knock. At this service, benefactor, tutors, assessors will be thanked, and two outgoing scholars of excellence will be formally recognised. All are warmly welcome to attend.