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It took more than a year to refurbish the 94-year-old Walker pipe organ at St Mary’s Church, which was used for the first time since its overhaul at the morning service on Sunday, May 29.Tony Elliott and Patsy Roynon organised the project, which was funded by donations and without drawing on the finances of the church.The repairs were carried out by JW Walker, a pipe organ builder based in Suffolk that made the organ in 1917.Richard Lloyd, who plays the organ once a month, said: “It is good to have it back in use.“Before we started the restoration work it was becoming very unreliable. It would play notes that were not wanted and then would not play the notes that were required.“This was a lot of money to spend on one project in a church like this but the organ was badly in need of an overhaul and we expect that it will last for a long time, so it is an investment.“We plan to have a celebration concert later in the year and all those who have contributed will be invited to thank them for their support.”Andy Ferguson, lay minister at St Mary’s, said: “To compare the organ to a car, the whole thing has been dismantled and rebuilt. A console, located in the main part of the church, has also been built, so the organist can see the congregation and be part of the mass.“This allows for a modern form of worship. Previously, the organist was stuck away under the organ and was not really part of what was going on.“People who really appreciate organ music will know the difference but this organ also has a heritage — money was raised to build it during the First World War.”In 2008, after it was clear age had taken its toll on the organ, it was decided to buy a £30,000 digital organ to replace it.However, in May 2009 it was decided to repair the Walker organ instead. A digital organ was used as a temporary measure while the work took place. This will now be sold.
?SharePrint EmailTuesday, August 16, 2011, 19:20 , byGeorge Cini150-year-old pipe organ regains its fabulous voice * *A 150-year-old organ housed at the Maria Regina parish church in Marsa has just been restored.The restoration by Brian Bugeja, which took three years to complete is to be inaugurated at the parish church on Thursday at 6 p.m. The inauguration ceremony will include a concelebrated Mass led by Mgr Charles Cordina.The pipe organ will be played by Dr Mro Dion Buhagiar and by Mr Bugeja himself. Also taking part will be the resident choir at St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, the Collegium Musicum.For Mr Bugeja, the past three years were taken up with the restoration of the wind chest, the console – which was practically built from scratch – the pneumatic reservoir (bellows), also built from scratch, the stops and the wooden pipes."The pipe organ at the Maria Regina parish church in Marsa is one of the few that still works with a wind motor. Others have been left to deteriorate and, in some of them, the wind motor was replaced by an electric one", Mr Bugeja said.The original drive which was made of lead has been replaced by another material. The lead drive had a small diameter which meant that it did not supply enough wind and the slightest leakage of air resulted in failure to play the note. This would not happen with the new wider pipes.An accomplished musician and former drydocks engineer, Mr Bugeja had done most of the metal work and woodwork himself. He studied organ building and restoration techniques at the Oberlinger factory in Mainz, Germany and George Sixsmith & Son in Manchester, UK.The organ was originally at the Immaculate Conception church in Burnt Oak, London. It was bought by Fr Valent Calleja in 1982 when he was parish priest in Marsa.Current parish priest Fr Paul Bugeja said the parishioners were looking forward to hear the organ being played during Thursday's inauguration.
Samford University will celebrate the renovation and rededication of the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ in Reid Chapel.Today at 2:30 p.m., four organists will perform on the instrument, which was enhanced and refurbished by the Quimby Pipe Organ Company of Warrensburg, Mo. It was reinstalled last month.The instrument, which was first completed in 1962, is dedicated to the memory of Jane Laroque Slaughter Hardenbergh, the Samford organ professor who chose Aeolian-Skinner to build the instrument in the 1950s Parts of other vintage Aeolian-Skinner instruments, including a triangle flute from the Independent Presbyterian Church, have been rescued and included in the renovation.Organists at today's concert are Samford University organist James Dorroh, music student Joshua Bullock and alumni Sarah Heaslett and Charles Kennedy. Admission is free.
Historic city church completed, with an organ, after 106 yearsSeptember 19, 20110 commentsPress Release – St Matthew in the CityAfter 106 years, St Matthew-in-the-City is finally completed. The loft constructed to hold organ pipes has never been filled until now. Henry Willis & Sons has finished installing a pipe organ that has been in construction in their Liverpool factory since April 2008. While like a new instrument, it is a major enhancement and restoration of the historical Father Willis organ that served the original wooden church that preceded the present stone church.It has been a labour of love by David Wyld, Managing Director of Henry Willis & Sons, who said of it, “It was our intent to build the finest church organ in New Zealand if not the Southern Hemisphere. We think we have succeeded.”Vicar Glynn Cardy said, “After years of dreaming and raising funds for its construction, it is an immense joy to hear its brilliant sound fill the sanctuary. We are eternally grateful to the many who have been involved to make this day happen. We are especially indebted to the ASB Trust, Southern Trust, the Lottery Grants Board and The Lion Foundation for their grants that made this possible.”Michael C.W. Bell, St Matthew’s organist and Director of Music, could hardly contain his excitement, “It feels like the Christmas of all Christmases”While the organ can be used at church services, it will not be ready for a public recital for about six months. Mr Wyld explains, “With an instrument as complex as this, it takes that long for it to settle in and work out the kinks.”While its full potential will not be realised for a while, Mr Cardy announced, “The organ will be dedicated on 25 September, the Feast of St Matthew, at the 10:00am service. At the same time we will dedicate the historic St Thomas Chapel and new kitchen that were part of this overall project.”St Thomas Chapel began as the chapel on a missionary ship that served Melanesia from 1903 to 1932. When the Southern Cross V sank in Waitemata Harbour, the chapel was rescued and became the Lady Chapel at St Thomas’, Freeman Bay. When St Thomas’ was torn down for the motorway leading to the Harbour Bridge, it was stored in the crypt of St Matthew’s where it stayed for the next 45 years. Under the guidance of Salmond Reed Architects it has been carefully reconstructed in the south transept as it was on board the Southern Cross.The new kitchen replaces the one that had to be removed to make room for the 32-foot pipes that are part of the enhancement of the historic organ.The public is invited to attend the dedication. To mark the occasion, Michael Bell has composed “Mass for the Patronal Feast.” It will be sung for the first time at the service by the St Matthew Ensemble, under the direction of Dmitry Rusakov, the Associate Director of Music.
Fundraising drive is music to the ears Friday concert; Dorval parish restores 1958 pipe organ By CHERYL CORNACCHIA, The Gazette September 28, 2011 The Anglican Parish of St. Andrew and St. Mark in Dorval has surprised itself once again - this time raising close to $300,000 to restore its Casavant pipe organ from 1958.After months of painstaking work, including a new facade of gleaming pipes visible just behind the altar, the already impressive 52-year-old Casavant is in better musical shape than ever.The public will now get a chance to hear the recently rebuilt instrument. The city of Dorval is sponsoring an inaugural concert at the church on Lakeshore Drive on Friday evening."We're getting tremendous feedback," said Bruce Wheatcroft, a lay reader at the church and one of the many church members behind the restoration effort.With close to 1,000 pipes, the instrument's already considerable range has been enhanced with 13 stops, the so-called stopperlike apparatus that restricts wind blowing through the pipes, the majority of which are concealed in a chamber behind the organ's facade, in order to create additional sets of sounds."Listen there," Wheatcroft said, as church organist Bill Hutton played a succession of notes on the organ's keyboard. The corresponding pipes resonated with a soft shimmering sound akin to strings."We didn't have that sound before," he said. "We wanted to add a variety of new colours to the organ's musical palette."The more than $300,000 in restoration work was done over the winter by St. Hyacinthe-based Orgues Létourneau Ltée., which like Frères Casavant, the organ's original Quebec builders, are world renowned.Létourneau organs can be found in, among other places, the chapel in the Tower of London, Cambridge University's Selwyn College and Edmonton's Winspear Centre for the Performing Arts.The concert on Friday night marks the first time the organ's full abilities will be showcased, said Wheatcroft.Although the organ was reinstalled in the church back in April and blessed by Montreal's Anglican Bishop Barry Clarke on Easter Sunday, its repertoire has been limited to mostly hymns, up until now."It has wonderful sound, more soft and gentle now," said Barbara Black, another parishioner. "We've surprised ourselves," she added. "I guess success breeds success."A few years ago, Black explained, the congregation voted to install geothermal heat pumps, no small investment, in order to cut its heating costs. This time, she said, the congregation took a risk on the organ."We stretched ourselves," said Wheatcroft. "We're looking ahead. We had the gift of the (first) instrument from 1958 and we want to make sure future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy the organ."Duo Majoya, aka Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger, two renowned Alberta organists, are scheduled to play a wide-ranging program of traditional and original music in an inaugural concert Sept. 30, at 7: 30 p.m., at the Anglican Parish of St. Andrew and St. Mark, 865 Lakeshore Drive. Although free, seating is limited to 300. Contact the church at 514-631-3601 for tickets.Tonight, Andrew Forrest and Sylvain Létourneau from Orgues Létourneau will give a fee bilingual lecture on the recent restoration of the organ at St. Andrew and St. Mark. The lecture takes place at the Dorval Library at 7: 30 p.m. as part of the Montreal Architectural Heritage Campaign.Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Fundraising+drive+music+ears/5467696/story.html#ixzz1ZVFh8kUe
A CELEBRATION of harvest will be staged to mark the unveiling of the newly restored pipe organ at St Paul’s Church in Whiteshill, Stroud.The Rt Rev John Went, Bishop of Tewkesbury, will attend to bless the historic instrument during a special service from 10.30am on Sunday, October 2.This is preceded by an evening of music courtesy of the Gloucestershire Police Male Voice Choir at the church tomorrow, Friday, September 30, at 7.30pm.Both events will also celebrate resident organist Pat Middleton’s 60 years of recitals and those who attend can get their hands on a specially commissioned 56-page booklet detailing the history of St Paul’s and the Church of the Holy Spirit.Entrance to the events and a copy of the booklet is free to parishioners.The Rev Brian Woollaston, vicar of both churches, said it was encouraging to see the Whiteshill and Paganhill communities come together to help renovate the organ, which dates back to 1876.
Visiting bishop blesses restored church organ2:20pm Tuesday 4th October 2011 By Nick Wakefield WORSHIPPERS at St Paul’s Church in Whiteshill, Stroud, welcomed the Rt Rev John Went, Bishop of Tewkesbury, to bless its recently restored historic pipe organ.A special ‘celebration of harvest’ service was held at the church on Sunday, October 2, to mark the blessing and give thanks for the 60 years service of resident organist Pat Middleton.Art displays depicting the festivals of harvest, Easter and Pentecost were created especially by pupils at Whiteshill Primary, Callowell Primary and Archway schools and parishioners were each given free 56-page booklets about the history of St Paul’s Church and the Church of the Holy Spirit.Securing a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and months of tireless fundraising enabled the congregation to ask organ restorer Keith Jones to rebuild the intricate instrument, which dates back to 1876.Rev Brian Woollaston, vicar of St Paul’s Church and the Church of the Holy Spirit, said: "It has been most encouraging to see the part the community has played in helping this project to be achieved."
Historic organ at Denver's St. John's Cathedral to be rededicated after big restorationKyle MacMillanThe Denver PostPosted: 11/04/2011 01:00:00 AM MDTUpdated: 11/04/2011 02:34:23 AM MDTThe pipe organ might seem like a Victrola in an MP3 world, but the venerable instrument is actually enjoying something of a renaissance.International concert halls have competed in the past decade to top one another with multimillion-dollar organs, none a bigger hit than the massive 2004 instrument in Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall.Capitalizing on that popularity, St. John's Episcopal Cathedral raised $1.6 million for a 21/2-year restoration of its 1938 Kimball organ — a process that will culminate with a sold-out rededication and concert at 8 p.m. Saturday.The instrument — with its 5,949 pipes ranging in size from about that of a drinking straw to 32 feet in height, is among about 400 American organs designated as having exceptional historic merit by the Organ Historical Society."Organs like this just aren't built anymore," said Stephen Tappe, St. John's organist and director of music. "To replace it with a new organ of a similar size would have cost more than we spent to restore it."And by restoring it, we preserve a piece of history and a certain type of beauty that just isn't being done anymore, because of the style of organs has changed and the cost of materials has just gone sky-high."The invention of the pipe organ is credited to Ctesibius, an engineer in third-century B.C. Alexandria, and the instruments became widespread in churches beginning in the 10th century.The W.W. Kimball Co. of Chicago started building pipe organs in 1891, and records show that it installed 7,326 such instruments in the United States and abroad before stopping production in the late '30s."In many ways, Kimball wasn't recognized as they should have been in the church-organ scene," said Joseph Rotella , the principal of the Waltham, Mass.,-based Spencer Organ Co., which oversaw the instrument's cleaning and reconditioning."One of the reasons is that they built all kinds of organs, and that kindReinstalling St. John's restored organ in its cramped four-story chamber above the nave was like "putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together inside a box." (Andy Cross | The Denver Post)of put them out of favor with many traditional church organists."Donated in memory of former Denver mayor Platt Rogers by his daughter, St. John's instrument was part of the 1920s and '30s heyday of American symphonic organs. They were designed to emulate the instruments in an orchestra, with this one having stops (essentially sound adjustors) that suggest English horns, French horns and stringed instruments.The organ has the last four-level keyboard Kimball built, and, unlike many instruments of that period, it has not been modified or updated."Part of that is due to the fact that is one of the most crammed-in organs we have ever worked on," Rotella said.Barely visible from the main part of the church, the organ is located in a cramped, three-story chamber along one wall of the nave. The space would normally have housed only 70 ranks of pipes, but Kimball squeezed in 96. Because the pipes were so tightly packed, the reinstallation, which began in January and culminated this week with last-minute adjustments, proved unusually challenging."It's like putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together inside a box," Rotella said.When the restored organ is first heard publicly Saturday evening, it will sound different to longtime cathedral attendees. What they won't hear is much of the noise that resulted from air escaping from old, cracked tubing."What they will hear is something that is fresh," Rotella said. "With the organ sitting here for 70 years, it pretty much became covered in a layer of dust, and that's like throwing a giant sweater on top of it."Kyle MacMillan: 303-954-1675 or firstname.lastname@example.orgSt. John's Episcopal Cathedral Organ Recital SeriesTo celebrate the $1.6 million restoration and reinstallation of the Platt Rogers pipe organ at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral, 1350 Washington St., the church is sponsoring a series of recitals running through June 2012.Paul Jacobs, 8 p.m. Saturday (sold out). Jacobs, chairman of the organ department at the Juilliard School and one of the country's best-known organists, won a Grammy Award this year.Paul Prieto Ramirez, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Ramirez, the first organist-in-residence at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid, Spain, has a series of popular performances on YouTube.Joseph Galema, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20. Galema serves as director and organist at the Air Force Academy and is a member of the faculty at the University of Denver.Lyn Loewi, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27. A freelance Denver musician, she serves as organist for the cathedral's Schola Cantorum.Richard Robertson, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Robertson is the cathedral's assistant organist.Benjamin Sheen, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17. Sheen, senior organ scholar at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, maintains an international solo career.Michael Unger, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 (hosted by Boulder Bach Festival). Unger, winner of two organ competitions, has recordings on the Naxos and Pro Organo labels.Christophe Mantoux, 7:30 p.m. March 2. Mantoux is a winner of the first prize in interpretation at the Chartres International Organ Competition.Alan Dominicci, 7:30 p.m. March 16. Dominicci was a student of famed French organists Andre Marchal and Jean-Jacques Grunenwald.Joyce Shupe Kull, 7:30 p.m. April 27. Kull is director of music and organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Boulder.Christopher Houlihan, 7:30 p.m. June 15 and 16. Houlihan performs the complete organ symphonies of Louis Vierne.All performances are free except for Unger's recital on Feb. 24. It is $30, $10 students and $5 children. 800-838-3006 or boulderbachfestival.orgRecital series information: 303-577-7717 or sjcathedral.org
reviewSoloist Paul Jacobs, Denver church's newly restored pipe organ both wonderfulBy Kyle MacMillanThe Denver PostPosted: 11/06/2011 01:00:00 AM MSTSometimes the best new things are old. That was certainly the case Saturday evening, as St. John's Episcopal Cathedral unveiled and rededicated its newly restored 1938 Kimball pipe organ.The massive 5,949-pipe instrument, designated as having exceptional historic merit by the Organ Historical Society, underwent a 2½-year cleaning and rehabilitation by the Waltham, Mass.-based Spencer Organ Co.To celebrate the completion of that $1.6 million project, a sold-out audience got the first opportunity Saturday to hear the old organ anew during a spellbinding recital by Grammy Award-winning soloist Paul Jacobs.Put simply, the organ sounded wonderful — clear, full-throated and superbly tuned, with a rich, panoramic sound.To show it off, Jacobs presented a program of often little-known works. Inside of the musical fireworks typically expected at the beginning of a concert of this kind, he opened with Edward Elgar's understated Sonata in G major, Op. 28.The organist offered a probing, reflective and moving take on this work, which offered abundant opportunities for nuanced tonal shadings that revealed both Jacobs' artistry and the beauty of this symphonic organ. To liven things up, he closed the first half with a spirited version of Elgar's best-known work, at least in this country: "Pomp and Circumstance."To start the second half, Jacobs again had another surprise in store — the virtually unknown Suite for Organ by African-American composer Florence Beatrice Price.A kind of "Rhapsody in Blue" for the organ, this piece is tinged with sounds of the blues and spirituals, and Jacobs seemed right at home in its idiomatic style.Johann Sebastian Bach is almost a must on an organ concert, and the remaining lineup included Jacobs' first-rate version of the composer's Trio Sonata No. 4 in E minor, with its devilishly difficult, three-line counterpoint.Kyle MacMillan: 303-954-1675 or email@example.com
Published on November 3, 2011 Sally Cole RSS FeedTopics : Summerside Presbyterian Church , Casavant Bros. , Trinity United Church , Victoria Road , Quebec , Charlottetown When members of Summerside Presbyterian Church decided to build a new building on Victoria Road, their biggest concern was the fate of their beloved 1906 Casavant two-keyboard, 18-stop pipe organ.The instrument had been a cherished part of the congregation for over 100 years.But the cost of dismantling it, storing it and then restoring and reinstalling it in the new church building, in addition to fundraising for the building, was overwhelming.“In the budget, that there wasn’t sufficient funds to bring the organ along,” says Leonard Russell, chair of the building committee.So as the date for the demolition of the old building neared this past February, the congregation made the decision to let the organ go.“People left the congregational meeting with heavy hearts and everyone expressing their unhappiness,” he says.But then something extraordinary happened.Just a few days before the building was to be torn down, a group decided they couldn’t see the organ destroyed.“Members of the congregation stepped up to the plate and said the organ must go (to the new building) and they would raise the additional money,” he says.The decision to keep the organ led to changes in the design of the sanctuary.“That’s because at that point we weren’t thinking that we were going to have exposed pipes or a place for the organ itself,” he says.Last winter, Robert Hiller, a craftsman from Casavant Bros. in Quebec, was hired to start the work.“With help from church volunteers we were able to dismantle the organ in four days. “We put the pipes in boxes and moved them into storage,” says Hiller.Then when he came back this past September the same volunteers cleaned the pipes and the mechanisms.“Next we assembled it and then I tuned and painted it. We’re back this week to fix a few odds and ends — especially the last stop that will require a number of adjustments to make it stable,” says Hiller, who was at the church earlier this week.Watching the pieces of the project come together is exciting for Pam Campbell, organist at the church for the past five years.“The organ is a symbol of the positive collective energy of the congregation. When I played it for the first time this past Sunday everyone applauded afterwards,” says Campbell who, with Nancy Beck, has volunteered to establish and program a Sunday afternoon performance series to celebrate the congregation’s new life in the new building.Another person who is thrilled about the new organ is Don Fraser, music director at Trinity United Church in Charlottetown and the Confederation Centre of the Arts, who will be featured in Pulling Out All the Stops, a concert on Nov. 13 at 2:30 p.m.“I’m excited about playing a full concert on an organ with such an incredible history,” says Fraser.That’s because when the organ was built in 1906, the company was in its infancy.“It seems that this one was actually built by the original brothers . . . It’s amazing when you think that their hands were likely on it,” says Fraser, who will play selections from the Bach repertoire at the concert.Back at the church Hiller is putting the finishing touches on the organ.“It looks nice and fits the space really well . . . . I’m pleased,” he says.Hiller also credits the architect for taking his suggestion and adding double layers of drywall to create a superb sound.“Fifty per cent of a pipe organ’s sound depends on acoustics.If you have bad acoustics it doesn’t matter what kind of instrument you have, it’s not going to have any life. As a result, the organ speaks well in this building.“The church has done a great job.” SPC SundaysIf you are goingWhat: SPC Sundays concert series at Summerside Presbyterian Church.Make a Joyful Noise: A hymn sing featuring accompanist Mark Ramsay with guest soloist Anders Balderston is Nov. 6 at 2:30 p.m.Pulling Out All the Stops: An organ concert with Don Fraser is Nov. 13, 2:30 p.m.Peace, Love, and Lots of Harmonies: A concert with Montague Regional High School choirs is Nov. 20, 2:30 p.m.Students in Sing: A concert by the UPEI Music Society is Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m.Admission: $10.