Page 45 - Church Music Quarterly June 2019
P. 45

Arnold Pugh made an invaluable contribution to the musical heritage of Rugby during his active life as a musician, composer, teacher, organist and director of music at Rugby Parish Church.
Born in Canada in 1935, Arnold moved to England and studied the organ with the late David Sanger, among other notable teachers. Arnold taught piano and organ at Rugby School, with pupils including Christopher Betts, formerly
a resident musician at Washington National Cathedral in the USA.
Church music flourished at St Andrew’s during his long tenure, with several notable professional recordings, commissioned works from significant composers, broadcasts and choir tours in the UK and abroad.
The many boy choristers and
pupils taught by Arnold are grateful for his guidance and encouragement; a number have become professional musicians. This is a testimony to his inspiration, dedication, discipline and devotion to his art.
Karl Dorman
Barbara Smithdorf, founding member of the parish choir of Holy Nativity, Cape Town, South Africa, died on 10 January 2019. She was instrumental in many projects undertaken by the choir, and served as choir treasurer for over 20 years. A proponent of the Anglican choral tradition, Barbara was always eager to improve and learn new music, and felt that singing to the glory of God was ‘food for the soul’. She will be greatly missed for her angelic voice and inherent organizational skills. The parish has undertaken to build a music room – a space for pre-service rehearsals and music training – in memory of her. May she be kept in perfect peace. We love you Barbs! Ashley Petersen
Edward George Haines, known to all as Ted, died suddenly just a few minutes after playing the piano at home in December 2018. Ted joined the choir of St Peter & St Paul, Grays, as a 12-year- old and soon learned to play the
organ. He was deputy organist under Len Nottridge and he married Audrey, a member of the choir, in 1961. Ted later became organist and choirmaster and, six decades after he started, was still organist when he died.
Ted accompanied the Townswomen’s Guild Choir, including events at St Martin-in-the-Fields and Chelmsford Cathedral and he conducted the joint carol service for the parish church combined with St Thomas’s choir for many years.
Ted taught lots of local children to sing in the choir, and to play the piano and keyboard. Before retiring Ted was a primary school teacher working in Thurrock and Havering.
Ted will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He leaves his wife Audrey, two daughters and four grandchildren. Peter Robinson, choirmaster
The RSCM is sad to record the death of Professor Ruth Steiner FRSCM, a leading scholar of Gregorian chant. The RSCM’s principal focus is on practice, but that is underpinned by knowledge, scholarship and research. Professor Steiner was a pioneer in promoting the use of digital technology as a tool for chant research, and the founder of the internationally acclaimed Cantus database of Western chant.
Professor John Harper, Director Emeritus RSCM
Peter Hurford, born on St Cecilia’s Day in 1930, has died aged 88. He won an organ scholarship to Jesus College, Cambridge where he studied music and law, obtaining degrees in both.
On leaving Cambridge, Hurford became a pupil of the French organist André Marchal in 1951. In 1956, he was
appointed organist of Holy Trinity, Leamington Spa, to succeed Harold Dexter. Following the sudden death of Peter Burton, Hurford applied for the vacant post of organist and master of the choristers at St Albans Cathedral. He began his duties in January 1958. Hurford soon realized that the cathedral organ (a four-manual Willis) was in urgent need of attention. This was an opportunity to design, along with Ralph Downes, an instrument capable of playing the repertoire of the last 300 years. The work was undertaken by Harrison and Harrison, and completed in 1962.
In 1963 Hurford founded the International Organ Festival, also becoming its artistic director – a post he held up to 1978. Thanks to the driving force of Hurford, St Albans Cathedral now possessed an instrument that was ideally suited to re-establishing the organ as a major instrument. Hurford stated the twin aims of the festival as being ‘to foster among young English organists a high standard of organ performance through contact with their contemporaries from abroad’
and secondly ‘... to encourage the
art of improvisation’.
Hurford had a long association with the RSCM. Although not on the full-time staff, he gave organ masterclasses and taught at the Addington Palace summer courses from 1975 until 1994. In addition, he gave a number of recitals on the newly installed Peter Collins organ in the Great Hall, some of which were broadcast by the BBC. He was awarded the FRSCM in 1977.
In 1978 he relinquished his post at
St Albans to concentrate on recital work across the globe, and to undertake the recording of the complete organ works of J.S. Bach for Decca and BBC Radio 3. In his entry in Who’s Who in Music, Hurford listed travel and silence as his recreations. Although not a prolific composer of organ music, his Suite – Laudate Dominum (OUP 1961) deserves special mention. His short anthem Litany to the Holy Spirit enjoys a continuing popularity on music lists. He was elected President of the Royal College of Organists 1980–82.
Trevor Jarvis

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