For young Catholic musicians
By HILARY KNIGHT
FOLLOWING on my column about music three weeks ago, a reader has sent me particulars of a Catholic orchestra, called the Neri.
" We would welcome publicity." my correspondent says, " both from the point of view of the orchestra as a Catholic contribution to the arts, and from the point of view of attracting new members (who must be really competent players, of professional or near-professional standard).
" Most of our concerts are for Catholic schools, but we do not in any way wish to restrict them. Last summer we went to Edinburgh to take part in the Festival Fringe, and may do the same this year."
THE performance by the Neri Orchestra of Searlatti's oratorio San Filippo Neri. at Edinburgh last year got excellent reviews in the press. The leader of the orchestra is Mary Remnant and the conductor Michael Bush.
This is how the orchestra is described in its brochure: "The Neri Orchestra is an orchestra of young Catholic musicians. Origin ally a small group of music students providing incidental music for a play at the London University Catholic Chaplaincy, it is now a well-balanced and well-established string orchestra which has broadcast in the BBC Overseas Service, performed specially for His Eminence Cardinal Godfrey, and given successful concerts in London and the Provinces " Those interested in trying to get into it, and those who might like to book it, should write to: Hon. Secretary. Ncri Orchestra. 72 Oakley Square, London, N.W.I.
HEN I was writing about librarianship as a career, 1 hazarded the opinion that this seemed to me a more rewarding career than, e.g. being a secretary. I have received a letter of protest in reply, and as it is deeply felt I quote it now:
" From personal experience I cannot allow your sweeping generalisation about secretarial work to go unchallenged.
"There are firms, large and not quite so large, where a girl can progress from junior shorthandtypist to secretary to senior management. or become a manager herself, by regarding her present position as training and preparation for better positions.
'APART from shorthand and typing skills (high speeds are often of much less importance in senior positions) such progress demands an interest in the work and the acquisition of some knowledge of the commodities dealt in, the markets in which the firm deals, etc
subjects one is dealing with often turns the dullest sounding work into the most enthralling. Of course there are positions which are dead-end ' jobs in themselves, which one would have to leave in order to progress. Developments in electronics and automation may eliminate, in time, many of the more routine and repetitive jobs. but a position as secretary or personal assistant can certainly be as worthwhile and rewarding as any other career."
THE following passage from a recent number of the American " Catholic Worker " might interest you. It deals with capital punishment, a topic very much to the fore at the moment: " We do not wish to have the sufferings of the servants of God avenged by the infliction of precisely similar injuries in the way of retaliation. Not, of course, that we object to the removal from these wicked men of the liberty to perpetrate further crimes; but our desire is rather that justice be satisfied without the taking of their lives or the maiming of their bodies in any particular; and that, by such coercive measure as may he in accordance with the laws, they be drawn away from their insane frenzy to the quietness of men in their sound judgement, or compelled to give up mischievous violence and betake themselves to some useful labour .
DOES this come out of some contemporary tract for Penal Reform? No, It was written by St. Augustine (345 to 430 A.D.) in letters to his friend, Marcellinus, in which he pleaded for the lives of some Donatists who had confessed to the murder of a number of Christians. His opponents had argued that the times were too turbulent for ssuch a daring experiment.