About our Organ
The old pipe organ was installed second hand shortly after the Church opened in 1928
and apart from a good clean in 1990; only running repairs were ever undertaken.
Although the organ sounded well, it was built of inferior quality materials,
and in latter years the number of niggling faults coupled with the need for
tuning visits was on the increase.
It's never easy saying goodbye to an organ you've enjoyed listening to or played
for many years, however, the Church, decided that purchasing a digital organ was the way forward,
as we would never raise sufficient funds to replace the pipe organ with another pipe organ.
After investigating the market, it was decided that The Organ Workshop headed by Hugh Banton,
who as well as having a lifelong interest in electronics and music has over 25 years experience
in electronic organ design and voicing, and is also a professional organist and musician, was the way forward.
The Organ Workshop offer a range of services, but it was their ability to custom design and build an organ
for our particular Church that got them the job!
There were no restrictions, other than financial,
in terms of stop list, couplers or voicing style and they had the ability and enthusiasm to produce
a console to fit within the existing pipe organ facade. All the woodwork, including the new console,
has been expertly built into the existing pipe facade by Renatus Ltd., who are now the leading independent
suppliers to the whole pipe & digital organ industry. We can't praise the quality of their workmanship
highly enough, an organ to be seen as well as heard!
For those interested in the technicalities, the organ is based on the Bradford System (BEST) developer
at Bradford University. The system uses additive synthesis to create sound and is able to build up
sounds from sine waves, making it uniquely flexible in allowing the sounds to be changed to suit the
type of building acoustic in which the organ is to be played. The Bradford System is used and understood
by numerous manufacturers and engineers and is the system used by Copeman Hart and Norwich Organs in the UK,
as well as other firms in USA, Germany and Holland. It is probably the only system used by several digital
organ builders as all other manufacturers use systems unique to themselves.
The initial installation took place in December 2007 but as mentioned above, the ability for on-going refinement
of the sound is a feature of the Bradford System. The organ has 3 manuals and 45 speaking stops,
along with the usual couplers and pistons. We aren't making any wild claims about the new organ other
than to say surprisingly, that not one member of the congregation has said they'd prefer the pipe organ back,
which is quite a relief!