‘The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, since it is its traditional instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendour to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lift up men’s minds to God and higher things.’

Vatican II – Musicam Sacram

Organs – Care of Church Organs

A pipe organ is usually the single most valuable item in any church building for insurance purposes.  It should therefore be safeguarded. Not only has the organ a significant role in the liturgy, it may also be important in other ways, for example:

(a) An organ may have particular artistic, stylistic or musical significance.
(b) Architecturally, the organ may be of value due to being an integral part of an overall, architectural ensemble, or where part of the organ, case, pipe-work or mechanism is of interest.
(c) Organs built up to First World War should in general be regarded as historic, but there are also organs of a more recent date which have historic and artistic significance. 
(d) It should also be noted that not all historic organs are in historic or listed churches. There are also significant or historic organs in unlisted or recent churches.

This said, no assumption should be made of the worth of an organ without professional advice. This is because it is also the case that not all organs are of good quality and it is important that financial resources are not wasted on poor instruments. No work beyond careful routine maintenance should be undertaken without appropriate professional advice and permissions. An organ also should not be moved or any changes made prior to the obtaining of such advice and permissions.

Note: the above are important protective measures: 
(a) The inappropriate expenditure of even a very small sum of money can result in irreparable damage to an instrument. 
(b) It is also the case that inappropriate changes made to a historic organ may result in the organ becoming ineligible for grant-aid for restoration.


Maintenance

It is important that instruments are properly maintained by parishes to avoid major capital expenditure caused by neglect or inadequate care. Normally an organ should be tuned once each year and sometimes more often if the temperature and humidity of the building experience large changes over the seasons. If in doubt about maintenance advice should be sought.

Given proper care, an organ with a mechanical (tracker) mechanism has an almost indefinite life. Mechanical action organs exist in playing order from as early as the 14th century.

Organs with other playing mechanisms (pneumatic, electro-pneumatic, and electrical) have a shorter working life. The working life of these organs can be extended by renovation or replacement of the worn-out parts and by the organ being cleaned as necessary. This can often mean substantial work and expenditure at 25 or 30 year intervals.

Electronic organs can provide a temporary alternative in certain circumstances, especially if the church building is not to be maintained permanently. As these instruments tend to rely on computer technology, glued wood composites and loudspeakers, their construction materials are not comparable with the longevity of that which can be expected from a pipe organ, and therefore do not always make a good economic investment in the long term.

Advice should be obtained from the Cathedral Music Office with regard to suitable specialists in respect of pipe organs. Any capital expenditure relating to pipe or electronic organs should always be referred to the Diocesan Director of Music before any action is agreed or undertaken.

A recording we made a few weeks back after only returning to physical rehearsals a few weeks before that! All singers masked and distances by atleast 2m….

https://youtu.be/rXxRXenO_W8

An excellent week of rehearsals this week with @DOLMusic Choirs in Huddersfield! No amount of restriction will deter these individuals from producing top class choral music!

5 days left to apply to join The Twelve!

They're looking for Catholic young people in the @DioecesisLoiden ages 11-18 (high school or college age) to join their team!

Application Deadline: Sunday 20th June!

To apply, please email Ryan Wilkinson at: youth@dioceseofleeds.org.uk

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You can catch up with our very own @DCJPipeOrganist's @LeedsTownHall recital here - be sure to check out the @LeedsIOF series too!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOKQSm4YQ4o

🎵🎶Bradford Catholic Youth Choir is recruiting! 🎶🎵
Join our family of fantastic choirs for children in Y3 and above. Come along to a rehearsal at St Walburga's Church (Shipley) after half term and try it out! Get in touch via https://www.dioceseofleedsmusic.org.uk for more details!

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Last Tuesday we were honoured to host a webinar with Judith Weir CBE and Richard Mantle OBE. We were delighted that so many of you were able to join us live but for those of you who missed it, you'll be able to catch up from tomorrow! The webinar recording will be released tomorrow at 7pm on lioflive.org.uk ... See MoreSee Less
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The Director of our Schools Singing Programme, Thomas Leech, is stepping out of his normal choral territory this afternoon to give a live-streamed recital for Leeds International Organ Festival. Featuring Whitlock's beautifully elegaic Fantasie Choral and Duruflé's Suite op. 5, with its brooding Prélude, ethereal Sicilienne and virtuosic Toccata, you can catch it on the LIOF YouTube channel at 1.15pm today!www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvWo-aC6C4k ... See MoreSee Less
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