Friday, 19 November 2010

Sheep may safely graze

Ash grey and flame red ... appropriate for crematorium organists

Patrick Comerford

I was recently elected a Fellow of the Society of Crematorium Organists (FSCO). Although this society is based in England and is primarily for organists active in the funeral business – especially those playing at crematoria – the fellows are a worldwide body and they include some eminent cathedral and college organists.

It’s one of the more light-hearted societies to have elected me to membership at this level. The society is purely a social organisation for those actively involved in the musical aspects of the funeral business. They also discuss rates of pay, although the SCO is not a pressure group in any way.

Members regularly share their amusing experiences during funerals and weddings services although they may only appeal to other musicians. For example, this vegetarian was amused by the story from an organist who played at the funeral of a local, well-known butcher, who had requested Bach’s Sheep may safely graze

With this sense of humour among the fellows, is it any wonder that the SCO should bestow honorary fellowships on Bill Bailey, the comedian and musician extraordinaire, and on Dorian Wood, who designed the simply-styled hood for Fellows of the Society of Crematorium Organists – appropriately in ash grey and lined with flame red.