Thursday, 28th June - 1.15 pm : St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol
Paul is a former cathedral organist, most of whose time is now spent as a professional organ consultant and recitalist.
Paul was Rector Chori and Cathedral Organist at Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, from 1989 to 2016, having previously been Assistant Organist of Rochester Cathedral, Assistant Director of Music at Tonbridge School and Organ Scholar of New College, Oxford, where he studied with Sir David Lumsden and Professor Nicholas Danby, gaining an MA in Music. He is Conductor of the Nottingham Bach Choir and a diploma Examiner for the Royal College of Organists. He is also Organ Adviser to the dioceses of Southwell & Nottingham and of Lincoln.
Independent Organ Adviser
As an Accredited Member of the Association of Independent Organ Advisers Paul is in great demand throughout the UK and beyond as an organ consultant. New or restored instruments for which he currently has, or has had responsibility can be found in thirteen cathedrals, in universities such as Glasgow, Manchester and Sussex, great churches such as Bridlington Priory and Selby Abbey, schools such as Glenalmond, Repton and Marlborough, concert halls such as Leicester’s De Montfort Hall and a large number of churches of all denominations.
He teaches the organ and trained a stream of organ scholars at Southwell, Rochester and Tonbridge—many of whom have gone on to have distinguished careers. He holds the FRCO and ARCM organ performance diplomas, has been elected an FRSA and has been awarded an Honorary FGCM and an Honorary FRCSM for “distinguished services to Church Music”. Paul was President of the Cathedral Organists Association 1999–2001, is Secretary of the annual Diocesan Organ Advisers’ Conference, has twice been President of the Nottingham & District Society of Organists, and has been a Trustee of the Royal College of Organists, the Nottingham Albert Hall Binns Trust, the East Midlands Choirs Trust and the Percy Whitlock Trust, also having served as Chairman of the RSCM Southwell & Nottinghamshire Area for many years.
Paul is a regular guest choral conductor in the UK and abroad (Europe and USA) for festivals, choral workshops and summer schools, having done much work for the RSCM over the years. As a player he has performed in most of the major venues in the UK, also playing abroad (2005 Brussels Cathedral, 2007 St-Sulpice, Paris; 2008 Norway; 2010 Altenberg, 2013 Weingarten, 2015 Madgeburg, etc), as well as appearing on television and radio. His organ and Southwell Minster Choir recordings have been warmly received in the musical press.
Paul is well known for his writings on the organ (he is a consultant and author for The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians) and for reviews in the international journal Organists’ Review, of which he was Editor from 1992–2005. His published books include historical accounts of the organs of Tonbridge School, Rochester Cathedral, Southwell Cathedral, and, most recently, New College Oxford (Positif Press, Oxford, 2015).
On the 9th of June at Lambeth Palace the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred upon Paul the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship.
The citation read:
For his distinguished service as Rector Chori and Cathedral Organist at Southwell Minster and as one of the UK’s foremost organ consultants.
Paul Hale has given Southwell Minster and the Diocese immense and devoted service over 27 years - an outworking of his own strong faith. In his time the Cathedral’s musical tradition has been developed and enhanced, with generations of choristers, lay clerks and organ scholars benefiting from his expertise in conducting, playing and teaching. He founded the Southwell Minster Choir Association, the Minster Chorale and the Girls’ Choir and established an annual St Cecilia concert. Such is the outstanding level of interest and support for music of the highest quality, which Paul has fostered, that Southwell now has an Annual Music Festival centred in the Minster.
As one of the UK’s foremost organ consultants, Paul has contributed to the installation and renovation of important large instruments in cathedrals and churches and the design of new ones.
Monday 21st May
Just back from a busy weekend. Played a recital (Couperin - with Nivers chant - and Franck) on the wonderful Dobson at Merton College Oxford on Saturday, then zoomed over to Cambridge on Sunday morning to give an all-Couperin recital on the glorious Metzler at Trinity College before Evensong. I had prepared for Trinity the previous week as the organ is a real challenge to register and all needed to be prepared and marked up in advance. I couldn't have been made more welcome by directors of music Benjamin Nicholas and Stephen Layton, to whom I owe many thanks for the invitations and their abundant hospitality. Here are photos of both venues.[/p][f][img] src="assets/images/news-pix/merton.jpg" [alt][fc]The Dobson organ in Merton College, Oxford[/fc][/f][p]
Wednesday 9th May
It's not every day that one discovers an organ hidden behind a wall for a generation, but that's what happened to me on 9th May. The former Great Yarmouth Grammar School (now Great Yarmouth Charter Academy) has a fine 1960/1991 Williamson & Hyatt organ bricked up in its hall since the mid 1990s but now revealed and ripe for cleaning. It will come up a treat.
Tuesday 1st May
On 1st May Anne and I enjoyed the life-enhancing experience of Simon Rattle conducting (using no score) the LSO in Mahler's Ninth Symphony, at Symphony Hall in Birmingham—the hall Sir Simon himself brought into being during his glorious years with the CBSO. Notwithstanding the five-star review The Times had given its Barbican performance the previous week, nothing could have prepared us adequately for the impact of this masterwork, played by the greatest of the UK's orchestras in the finest UK hall, under the most sensitive imaginable direction of the UK's leading conductor. It doesn't come any better than that. The photo was taken just before Sir Simon entered.