Newsletter No. 4

NEW CD OF THIMAN’S CHORAL MUSIC NOW AVAILABLE

In April and May the recording sessions for the new CD promoted by the Collection, took place.

Choir Recording

The Tudor Singers, conducted by Guy Turner, with John Wright at the organ, recorded ten anthems and two organ pieces at the Priory Church of Deeping St James, in Lincolnshire.

Morning Hymn – I praised the earth – A Morning Prayer – Who would true valour see – There is a stream – Fight the good fight – Lord, think on me – seek ye the Lord – Let Thy merciful ears, O Lord – Te Deum in D flat – Scherzetto for Flutes – March for a Pageant

Caterham Choir

The Eric Thimans Singers, the Junior Choir of Caterham School in Surrey (Thiman’s own school), conducted by Annie Ingrassia, with Adam Assen at the piano, recorded eight partsongs in the school hall.

The man in the moon – Evening in the birchpath – Away to Rio – The path to the moon – She walks in beauty – The Swans – Madonna and Child – I wandered, lonely as a cloud A way to Rio, incidentally, has the distinction of being Thiman’s only piece ever performed at a Prom.

The recordings went very well and all involved are very pleased with the result. Dorothy Webster Thomas (lead soprano in Thiman’s choir at the City Temple, and close friend of the Thiman’s) writes:

The CD of Eric’s music is beautiful. May I congratulate you and everyone connected with the production of it. The choir sings beautifully, with expressive words….I loved it all….I will write to the children’s choir conductor too. Eric would have loved their singing….I am sure people hearing the CD will love Eric’s music’. The CDs are available now. They cost £12.50 each, plus £1.50 post and packing

You can order a copy of the CD as follows:

Email your order to Guy Turner at guyscottturner@gmail.com and pay by bank transfer to Southwell Minster Choirs Association 60-20-15 68034652

Or post your order, and a cheque made out to ‘Southwell Minster Choirs Association’, with ‘Eric Thiman Collection’ written on the back, to Guy Turner, 11 The Old Silk Mill, Maythorne, Southwell, Notts NG25 0RS

LEAFLETS

The collection has produced a leaflet about Dr Thiman and the work of the Collection. For people receiving the newsletter by email, a pdf is attached. If you get the newsletter in the post, then a leaflet is enclosed. If anyone would like some of the leaflets t distribute or place in a library etc, please let Guy Turner know.

PROGRESS WITH THE COLLECTION

Since the previous newsletter, more progress has been made in building towards a complete collection of Dr Thiman’s work. Music Sales (the company that nowadays includes Novello, Thiman’s main publishers, plus a number of others who handled his work) has now provided a copy of everything they have in print and in their archive. Many thanks to their staff for their hours of delving into their back-catalogue. A first visit has also been made to the British Library, where another thirty or so pieces were scanned. This, together with occasional donation, brings the current total of piece in the collection to 1165. At the end of this Newsletter you will see the list, as we have it, of all the 157 remaining pieces that we believe existed but of which we have no copy. Please have a look at this, and let us know if you have any information about any of the pieces. Comments such as the following would be really useful:

  1. This piece is also known by another title, which may already be in the collection
  2. I think this piece is by (eg) Alec Rowley and not by Thiman
  3. I remember this piece – the words were by….. and it was published by…. in the (eg) 1940s
  4. So-and-so church choir used to have copies of this, and here is a contact…….
  5. I have a copy of this and here it is!

All help with the remaining items gratefully received!

WHEN THE KAISER GETS TO PARIS

The visit to the British Library answered one question: Thiman really did publish his first piece when he was only sixteen! This is a humorous, patriotic song called ‘When the Kaiser Gets to Paris’, published in 1916 in the middle of the war. It is the only known piece published under his original spelling – Thimann. After that he dropped the second n, feeling that a less German-sounding name would be useful (the royal family did something similar!). The words of this song were by W. Allen Barker, who also wrote the words to all of the songs Thiman subsequently published as Eric Harding – songs which he evidently regarded as his ‘parlour songs’. It has to be said that neither the words or the music are their best work!

SOUTHWELL FESTIVAL 2016

At the 2016 Southwell Music Festival, there was (a) an article in the Souvenir Programme about Thiman; (b) a small exhibition about his life and work; and (c) a recital of his songs and piano duets. The latter was given by three Nottinghamshire singers: Harriet Astbury (Soprano), Emma Rae Ward (Mezzo) and Stephen Cooper (Baritone), with brother Edward and Alexander Turner at the piano. The programme, which was well performed and was warmly received by the audience, was as follows:

Sacred Songs – Harriet Astbury: Madonna and Child – Flower of Heaven – The Birds – Jesus the very thought of thee – The Wilderness

Piano Duets: Suite: On Brockham Green

Secular Songs – Emma Rae Ward: Sleeping – Where go the boats? – I love all graceful things – I wandered lonely as a cloud – The Rainbow

Piano Duets: 1. Greenacre, 2. Sligo Reel

Songs composed as Eric Harding: Stephen Cooper Down a quiet little street – Out of the twilight – When I have passed – Ev’ry Sunday morning – Aylesbury Ducks

The list above may well jog some memories of those reading this newsletter.

THIMAN TALKS

Following his talk to the Lincoln Organists’ Association, Guy Turner has given two further talks in Southwell, and has been invited to talk to the Cambridge Organists’ Association (8th April at 2.00 – venue tba in central Cambridge).

DAVID DEWAR’S RESEARCH

David Dewar’s researcher in to Thiman’s work, and place in the musical world continue. He writes:

It’s interesting, and informative, to note during my research some occasional instances in the wider archive which shed light on Dr Thiman’s character. There is a general lack of personal papers of his, and therefore these insights, small in themselves, assume potentially great significance. A few come to mind instantly – for example, his self-deprecating remarks to David Cairns, when the latter was interviewing him at home for an article to be published in Music in Education magazine. This took place in 1955. Cairns asked how EHT had become Professor of Harmony and Counterpoint at the RAM. Thiman’s response is both instructive and illustrative: I got on the staff of the Academy through sheer luck, I wrote an anthem which was chosen to be sung by massed choirs at the Crystal Palace, and I was asked to play for it. At the dinner afterwards I happened to sit next to [Academy Principal] Sir John McEwen. We got talking and he asked me whether I would like to be Professor of Harmony and Composition at the Academy. I said that I would.”

Cairns goes on, in the same article, to say ““… his [shy, self-deprecating] manner was misleading; he was of course genuinely modest about his achievements, and concerned with the present not with the past …; but his diffidence concealed a remarkable confidence, quiet but tenacious, a determination which carried him unswervingly through the early years and is with him still.”

There is naturally, in any such article celebrating the life and achievements of a composer (the article was one of a series of sketches entitled, “They write your music”) an element of hagiography. Nevertheless it is in snippets such as these from which Thiman’s character and motivations can be discerned. I note that, though the manner of the invitation to take up the role discussed was described in a light-hearted manner, and the milieu was social, Thiman’s acceptance was apparently certain and ready; truly quiet but tenacious.

On looking through documents related to Eric Thiman held by the BBC’s Written Archives at Caversham, some elements stand out. One is that Thiman was inclined to be politely but firmly combative whenever he felt that the BBC was not treating him or his submitted works with the response he felt was deserved. One such incident relates to fees paid to experts contracted for particular radio programmes. In this instance, he wrote to suggest that as his fee for such work had not changed for many years, the BBC might like to increase it. They agreed.

Another set of incidents related to the BBC’s having set up a vetting panel, usually of three members, who would opine on the suitability or otherwise of works submitted for broadcast. Thiman often, it seems, sent his compositions, sometimes as a result of recommendations from acquaintances who were themselves connected with the BBC. This panel appears to have come into existence some years after Thiman’s first appearances as performer or composer on the airwaves. Rejections by the panel, with no explanation given to the submitter, were fairly frequent. In one case a rejection was accompanied by the single word ‘No!’, in another with three words, ‘Not good enough’. The submitter was also supposed to be unaware of the names of members of the panel, all correspondence being handled by a BBC functionary. One wonders, however, whether this was as watertight as intended – members tended to be the ‘great and good’ of the British art-music firmament, and were thus Thiman’s colleagues.

MEMORIES OF DR THIMAN

Although there is no room in this Newsletter for further memories of Dr Thiman, we do intend to print more in future – new reminiscences would be most welcome.

Contact details: Guy Turner guyscottturner@gmail.com

11 The Old Silk Mill, Maythorne, Southwell, Notts NG25 0RS

Newsletter No.3

PROGRESS WITH THE COLLECTION

Since the previous newsletter, much progress has been made in building towards a complete collection of Dr Thiman’s work. We have exactly 1100 different pieces in stock (counting some pieces that exist in different arrangements as separate publications – eg: the song ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ which exists in four versions). The other 224 known pieces have been ordered from the original publishers, or their current agents, and we now await delivery of those that are available. In many cases this is no easy job for the publishers, as they have to visit their archives to see if they still have a original from which to print. Many thanks to all the people at the various publishing houses – and especially to Howard Friend at Music Sales (who look after Novello, EHT’s main publisher, and several other publishers of his work), who has been most supportive of the project from the outset.

Once all the orders are in, there will no doubt be a number of pieces still eluding us. At this point we will apply for permission to get copies from the British Library, who, as a copyright library, hold single copies of everything ever published in the UK.

In the case of one U.S. publisher, who no longer had copies of four Thiman pieces they once published, it was most impressive to receive permission to apply to the Library of Congress, who then emailed scans of the pieces – all in one day!

By the time of the next newsletter, the list of missing pieces should be short enough to send to everyone.

 

 SOUTHWELL FESTIVAL 2016

 Thiman will be a small feature of the next Southwell Music Festival (August 25th – 29th). As well as an exhibition about his life and work, and an article in the souvenir programme book, there will be a recital of Thiman’s songs and piano duets on Friday 26th August at 4.00pm.

Full details about the Festival can be found on http://www.southwellmusicfestival.com/events/

 

RECORDINGS

The new recordings mentioned in the last Newsletter, are now both in the shops, or available direct from Priory Records:

Priory Records: Great European Organs No 97

Simon Hogan plays the Quire Organ of Southwell Minster

Meditation on the hymn tune ‘Slane’,  Pavanne and Postlude all Marcia

http://prioryrecords.co.uk/index.php?route=product/search&search=simon%20hogan

 

Priory Records: ‘Take the Psalm’

The Choir of Southwell Minster sings psalm settings by Elgar, Ashfield, Wesley, etc

Includes: Thiman’s O that men would praise the Lord

http://prioryrecords.co.uk/Southwell-Minster-new%20-choir-recording-%20Psalms-Hogan-Hale?search=southwell%20minster

 

In the Spring the Collection will be setting up its own recording of Dr Thiman’s music, which will consist of anthems, partsongs and organ music.

Half of the CD will be dedicated to Thiman’s Church Music, performed by The Tudor Singers, with John Wright, Organ:

The Te Deum in D flat            Fight the good fight   There is a stream,

Let Thy merciful ears             Morning Hymn           O Father who didst all things make

I praised the earth                 Seek ye the Lord         Lord Jesus, think on me

Who would true valour see

plus two organ pieces –         Terzetto for Flutes     March for a Pageant.

 The other half will consist of unison songs and partsongs (exact repertoire yet to be finalised) sung by The Eric Thiman Singers from Caterham School (Thiman’s own school).

It is hoped that this CD will be available by September – details of how to purchase it in the next Newsletter.

 

 LINCOLN TALK

As part of the renewed interest in Thiman’s Music builds, Guy Turner has been invited to give a talk to the Lincolnshire Organists Association. This takes place on January 16th. This talk, illustrated by recordings – including one of Dr Thiman himself playing – can of course be repeated elsewhere if anyone is interested.

 

 DAVID DEWAR’S RESEARCH

You will remember from the last newsletter that David Dewar is engaged in research into Thiman’s music. He writes:

Having formally started my research into Dr Thiman (under the auspices of the Department of Music at the University of Bristol) I have made a second visit to the Collection – and had the pleasure again of meeting Guy, and also of meeting Frances Thimann.  Though that visit was short, it has enabled me to make an encouraging start on the first phase of the project. 

 This is principally looking into Thiman’s compositional output during the interwar years 1919-1939.  (The restriction is purely to make the research manageable in the initial part of the academic process – I expect to be able to expand it to encompass his whole life in due course.  This period covers around 25% of the known compositions at present.)    To consider his compositions in context, it is necessary to look at who might have exerted influence upon him (stylistically and personally).   I have had some interesting contextual information from the Royal Academy of Music in this respect.   Influences and compositions in the period would be somewhat un-anchored without also finding out as much as possible about his early life, the circumstances of his musical education, and his initial composing and performing activities.   (It is interesting, for example, to trace the rise of his fame as performer and as composer alongside the rise in broadcasting during the 1920s and beyond.)

 It is very much a work in progress, as would be expected. My principal research questions at present include:

 His influences (bi-directional – how was he influenced as a composer, and whom did he influence as a teacher?)

 How did societal changes in the period 1919-1939 (and prior to 1919 as a young man) affect his life and his performing and composing?

 What were the principal means of communication of his reputation and fame through this period – i.e. he became sought after in various ways across the English speaking world – how was this mediated?

 And a host of others!

As a result, I would be very interested to hear from anyone with anything of interest to offer on these and any subject connected with Eric Thiman.  In the first instance, please contact me.  

Contact can be by email to david.dewar@bristol.ac.uk and I’m sure that anything sent by post via the Collection at Southwell would make its way to me, too – especially as I’m planning a further visit shortly after Easter, at a time to be arranged.    Please don’t think that any thought, reminiscence, or other evidence is too minor to be of interest, the interrelationship between items of evidence is the stuff of research!

 

Research outputs, the principal ones, are planned to be:

  •  Dissertation dealing with Eric Thiman’s early period of publication (1919-1939)
  •  Thesis (draft title “Eric Harding Thiman – an influential musician?”)
  •  A website forming the kernel of research access to archival material, including an archival database conforming to international research standards

 One final point, though I have had for some time a liking for those pieces of his which I have heard or performed, the more I find out from this research, the more I feel I would have liked and got on with the man himself.

 

 MEMORIES OF DR THIMAN

Thanks to those who have contributed memories of Thiman, and in the first case particularly of his wife Madeline, as remembered by Selwyn Image:

It is very easy to forget the support that can sustain and enrich even outstanding talent such as Eric’s; in his case, the musical ability of Madeleine Thiman, his wife. As a boy, I spent a lot of time with them both, and as an adult, I also sang in the Bach Choir, in which Madeleine sung as a alto for very many years. She was also a member of his choir at Park Chapel and the City Temple.

 One Sunday after lunch, a discussion arose about sight reading skills, and Madeleine said, quite uncharacteristically, that she thought she could sight read any hymn put before her.

 “I bet you can’t” said Eric.

“How much” replied Mrs T.

“£5”, he said; a bet that that time was somewhat heavier than today.

“You’re on!.”

 Eric left the room, went upstairs to the study, and returned with a quiet smile and a very stonker of a tune. Unfortunately, I cannot remember which. What I do remember was that Madeleine played it perfectly, and a perfectly mannered but not totally pleased husband, who preferred not to lose, reached inside his wallet and paid up.

The second contribution is from Dorothy Webster Thomas, who knew the Thimans very well in his years as organist at the City Temple:

 On Easter Day 1957, Eric Thiman became organist of the congregation of the City Temple. The Minister was Dr Leslie Weatherhead, a famous preacher, writer and broadcaster. He was the first doctor of divinity to become a fully qualified psychiatrist. The great man had led his people through the Blitz, then raised money to rebuild the church, the only free Church in the City of London. The New City Temple was opened by the Queen Mother in October 1958. It seats 1200 and in those days there was overflow seating for 500 in the hall, served by closed-circuit television.

 Eric Thiman helped design the Walker organ. The choir had about 30 amateur singers, led by a professional quartet. I was the soprano. Choir rehearsals were on Wednesday evening and half an hour before the 11am and 6.30 services. To work with him, for me, was life enhancing. He was always encouraging and appreciative, though demanding. Rehearsals were enlivened by his humour and his natural musicianship always shone through.

 The theme of the sermon inspired the music for introit, anthem and hymns. Music chosen was of a wide variety, some especially composed by Eric. He also edited the ‘Congregational Praise’ Hymn Book. Eric Thiman’s personal ministry was to help create an atmosphere of spirituality, warmth and love for everyone, believer or not.

 For five minutes before the service, Eric played very quietly, encouraging a prayerful atmosphere. At the entry of the choir and Minister there was a crescendo. The last chord of the music was the first of the introit. Eric’s greatest contribution was to get the congregation to really sing the hymns, He always played the tune fully before the first verse, then interpreting the words with a wide variety of registration. Before the last verse he would repeat the last line, with a huge crescendo. This verse was always sung in unison, Eric re-harmonising the tune, surprising, delighting and strengthening the meaning of the words. At the end of hymns, he would improvise a diminuendo playing of the tune, to cover the noise of people sitting down and getting ready for a reading, prayer or sermon.

 Eric Thiman was self-taught and his greatest accomplishment was to improvise. After the blessing, the choir would process out at the front, the minister to the vestibule at the back. When the church door was closed, the choir members would run down the corridor, and go through the secret door at the back of the choir stalls to listen to the improvisation on the last hymn. Glorious music, which would never be heard again. Dr Weatherhead said he could wait for ten minutes for someone to come and shake his hand.

 In 1963 I married Bill Webster, the principal double bass player of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr Weatherhead came out of retirement to perform the ceremony. Eric played the organ and Madeline sang in the choir. Out three daughters arrived promptly. I sang in the choir whenever possible.

 On Christmas Day 1974 Eric played the service, Madeline said, beautifully. They came to use for lunch. It was a happy time. Eric died of Cancer on February 13th 1975.

 Thank you to the above contributors – more reminiscences would be most welcome.

Contact details:

Guy Turner

guyscottturner@gmail.com

 

Newsletter No 2

PROGRESS WITH THE COLLECTION

Since the launch in October, the work of developing the collection has moved on a pace. What became very evident, as soon as cataloguing of Thiman’s works got under way, was that Thiman was an even more prolific composer than we thought. There are already 1047 published titles in stock in the collection, and we have identified from the composer’s own records, and from library and Performing Right Society catalogues about another 200 pieces we have yet to collect. How many other 20th Century composers had that number of pieces in print? Our main source for all of the material remains Gerald Barnes, who has provided further materials, including some tantalising manuscripts which still have to be investigated and catalogued. However, we were also given a large donation by the Library of the Royal Academy of Music, where Dr Thiman taught for many years. They were able to let us have copies of everything of his of which they possessed more than one copy, and we are most grateful to Kathy Adamson, the RAM Librarian, for all her work in looking out all these pieces. Our next important supporter is John Henderson, the librarian of the Royal School of Church Music, who has kindly agreed to provide copies of pieces we do not yet possess, from the RSCM library and from his own personal collection. Many thanks to him in anticipation. Once we have the pieces from the RSCM, we plan to purchase copies of all remaining missing pieces that are still in print. At that point we will see what is still missing, and the approach the copyright libraries (who should have a copy of everything) to fill the gaps. One interesting aspect of Dr Thiman’s work that has come to light is a small number of early songs, published under the name of Eric Harding (Harding was his middle name). These include parlour ballads in the Ivor Novello style, and some jingoistic songs – one of which (we can see from the British Library catalogue) is called When the Kaiser gets to Paris and was published in 1916 – when Thiman was only 16! It will be interesting to investigate these further. A particular pleasure during the process of collecting together the music has been making contact with some of Dr Thiman’s friends and associates, in particular (in addition to those mentioned in the first newsletter) sisters Jean and Ann Phillips, who both wrote the words for many of Thiman’s songs and partsongs.

 

PERFORMANCES

Numerous performances of Thiman’s Music have happened as a spin-off from the Collection. Nottingham Bach Choir included The Bell Carol in their carol concert. Southwell Orchestral Society performed the Suite Highland Scenes, (in a concert in which the choir of St Peter’s Ravenshead also performed two Thiman anthems). The orchestra enjoyed this so much that they are now planning to perform Thiman’s orchestral march Stirling Castle. In August, the St Michael’s Singers will be including Thiman’s anthem O Father, who didst all things make, in one of the service they are singing at Southwell Minster. In next year’s Southwell Music Festival, it is planned to have a song and piano music recital as part of the Fringe – we also hope to re-mount the 2014 exhibition, and include an article in the Festival Souvenir Programme. There have also been a couple of recent recordings, both with Priory Records, and both coming out shortly. Simon Hogan (on the Minster Quire Organ) recorded Meditation on the Irish Tune Slane, Pavane and Postlude Alla Marcia, and the Southwell Cathedral Choir included O that men would praise the Lord in its CD of psalms setting. It is hoped that we might be able to make a CD of Thiman’s Music with Priory at some point in the future. We would love to hear from anyone involved in any performances of Thiman’s music. We have some choral sets available, if anyone is in need. People are welcome to borrow these (postage only payable). Here are a few of the titles:

 

Choral Works (Christmas)

  • A Christmas Carol Sequence
  • A Christmas Triad
  • The Nativity
  • The Three Ships

Choral Works (non-Christmas)

  • A Spring Garland
  • Ring Out Ye Crystal Spheres
  • The Earth is the Lord’s
  • The High Tide
  • The Last Supper

Anthems

  • Glory to God in the Highest
  • Who would True Valour See

Carols

  • The Bell Carol
  • Madonna and Child (SATB unaccompanied version)
  • Plus several chamber-choir-sized sets of partsongs

 

RESEARCH

David D

David Dewar (above) has been accepted by Bristol University to do research (eventually aiming at a PhD) into Thiman. He has already been to Southwell to visit the Collection. David is a conductor, composer and organist living and working in Wiltshire: he is Director of Music at St Andrew’s Church, Chippenham; of the Musica Vera chamber choir of Cheltenham; and of Schola of Wessex. He is currently seeking funding for this research, and the Collection is supporting him. However he needs further funds, and if anyone feels they would like to donate to funding his research they can either make a donation through the Collection’s funds (cheques payable to Southwell Minster Choirs Association and endorsed on the back with ‘Eric Thiman Collection’) or by going to the crowd-funding site, at https://hubbub.net/p/davidsresearchatbristol/ where you can also find further details of David’s plans. We wish him very good luck with his fund-raising and look forward to supporting him when the research gets under way.

NEXT NEWSLETTER

We plan another edition of this Newsletter towards the end of the year. If anyone wishes to contribute any personal reminiscences of Dr Thiman, it would be nice to include some. Please send via the contact details below.

Contact details: Guy Turner guyscottturner@gmail.com

Newsletter No.1

As part of the work of the Eric Thiman Collection, we will be sending Newsletters to all who have expressed an interest, or have a historical connection with Dr Thiman. This is the first of these, detailing the beginnings of setting up the collection, and the launch day and exhibition at the start of October. We aim to produce a newsletter two or three times a year. If you know anyone else who would like to be included in the circulation of the newsletters, please send their contact details (email for preference, or postal address) to Guy Turner – his contact details are at the end of the Newsletter.

Thank you.

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE COLLECTION IN SOUTHWELL

Dr Thiman’s brother, Cedric, was for many years Head of Languages at Nottingham High School. Cedric’s daughter, Frances (known to some as Celia) still lives in Nottingham, and she and Paul Hale, Rector Chori of Southwell Minster, hatched the idea that we might house a collection of Thiman’s work in the new choir library at the Minster. This remained at the planning stage until this spring, when the refurbishment of the Archbishop’s Palace, next to Southwell Minster, neared completion – the new Paul Hale Choir Library is part of that refurbishment, and space in the library has been made available for the collection. At this point Guy Turner was appointed archivist for the collection. Guy is a Lay Clerk in the Minster Choir and, when he was a student in the early seventies, knew and sung for Dr Thiman in the Elysian Concert Society. The first aim of the collection is to collect a copy of each of the 600+ pieces that Dr Thiman wrote. We are also collecting anything else of historical interest connected with him – recordings, photos, concert programmes, letters, press cuttings etc. We also have a number of sets of choral pieces. Our main source for the collection has been Gerald Barnes, Thiman’s long–time friend and collaborator, and through Gerald we already have copies of about 450 of the pieces. About half of that number has already been catalogued. Following letters and articles in the musical press, many other people have been in touch to express interest, and to donate pieces to the collection. Many thanks to all of them. The aim will be to make the collection available to anyone who wishes to study Thiman’s Music (there is already a PhD proposal). There is a desk with computer next to the room where the collection is being installed. We also hope to promote performances of Thiman’s music, particularly by making the choral sets available to interested groups.

THE LAUNCH

To launch the Collection we held a lunchtime concert at Southwell Minster, which was attended by friends and relatives of Dr Thiman, and several people with an academic or performing interest in his music, as well as the regular Minster audience. The programme was as follows: Four Partsongs There is a Lady – Sigh No More, Ladies – A Song of Parting – My Pretty Maid Two Extracts from The Last Supper A New Commandment – The Way, the Truth and the Life Organ Solo Improvisation on Crimond Songs Evening In Lilac Time – Dainty Fine Bird – Madonna and Child – I wandered lonely as a cloud Organ Solo A Tune for the Tuba Treble Solo The Path to the Moon Ring Out Ye Crystal Spheres Paul Hale played the organ, and performers included Baritone David Kirby-Ashmore, who sang for Dr Thiman at the City Temple, and appears on the 1980 recording of Thiman’s music by the City Temple Choir. Later that day Evensong included the organ music, Meditation on ‘Slane’ and Postlude alla Marcia, played by Simon Hogan, and the introit Exalt ye the Lord and anthem I praised the Earth (No2 of Three Choral Songs of Praise) sung by the Cathedral Choir. THE EXHIBITION Those attending the launch were also able to visit the small exhibition about Dr Thiman’s life and work, which was presented for the first two weeks of October in the State Chamber in the Archbishop’s Palace. This included the sculpture relief of Dr Thiman, kindly lent by Caterham School (Thiman’s own school); Thiman’s own silver napkin ring from the Music Professor’s Dining Room at the Royal Academy of Music (with thanks to the RAM); scores and manuscripts; hymnbooks and academic books by Thiman; photos, LPs cover and concert programmes from the Park Chapel, the City Temple and the Elysian Concert Society; one of Thiman’s own scrapbooks of press cuttings; magazine articles and academic theses about his music; letters – including ‘fan-mail’ from four continents, and interesting letters from both Eric Routley and Arthur Hutchings. It is expected that there will shortly be photographs of the exhibition on the Collection’s page of the Southwell Minster Website: http://www.southwellminster.org/eric-thiman-archive.html

THE FUTURE

Over the next few months, we plan to: Finish cataloguing the music copies we already have, and then publish the list on the internet. List and then attempt to locate all the music we do not yet possess. Locate Thiman’s manuscripts, if they still exist. We have only a handful so far. Continue encouraging performances of Thiman’s music – there will be a carol in the Minster’s carol service for instance, and we hope to include some of his music in the Southwell Music Festival 2015. To make contact with as many of those interested in or connected with Dr Thiman as possible. WHAT YOU MIGHT DO If you would like to contribute to the work of the Collection, please send a cheque (made out to Southwell Minster Choir Association) to Guy Turner at the address below. Please put us in touch with anyone you know who might like to be kept informed of the work of the Collection. If you have any copies of Thiman’s music please let us know in case we do not already have a copy. Thanks to the many people who have already sent music. If you are involved with any concert series, church or choir which might be putting on a performance of Thiman’s music, we can help publicise it – or support any group who is considering a performance and might need copies etc. Many thanks to all who have already shown interest and support to this venture.

Contact details: Guy Turner guyscottturner@gmail.com