‘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.

Our choirs feature in Sunday's @BBCSoP! Tune in this Sunday at 11.30am...meanwhile enjoy this clip of our Cathedral Junior Girls' Choir rehearsing with @revkatebottley @StGtG_CAT @theBWCAT

Please consider helping us to take over thirty young singers on a residential trip to sing with the Gabrieli Consort. The project includes a week-long residential at Oundle School, culminating in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Ely Cathedral. https://dolmusic.uk/support-gabrieli-roar

!!Leeds Youth Music Festival Week 4!!
What an exciting week! Organs and choirs, CLYM groups and secondary school ensembles, LSMA instrumental day and, if that isn’t enough, there is a world premiere of an opera as well.

Good luck to all involved next week!
#leedsyouthmusicfest

We are delighted that composer Roxanna Panufnik is visiting us on Tuesday as part of @LeedsIOF + a concert from our wonderful Cathedral Choir! And it's FREE! @LeedsMusicEd @StGtG_CAT @theBWCAT @notredamecoll

A great concert from our Huddersfield choirs and guest schools from the @BPS_Trust at @ASCHC_COLLEGE - well done to all the young singers and our conductors and pianist @WilJonesMD, Roly Mander and Anthony Beckwith 🎶🎵🎵🎶

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Bradford Catholic Junior Choir sang superbly for Mass at First Martyrs' Church this morning. Bravo to our singers, particularly our Year 6s who led the responsorial psalm for the first time! ... See MoreSee Less
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We welcome students from the Keyboard Studies Programme to give a concert in Leeds Cathedral tomorrow at 3 pm, including works by Bach, Mathias and Seiber. Free admission with a retiring collection. ... See MoreSee Less
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Tune in to BBC Songs of Praise this Sunday at the earlier time of 11.30am and afterwards on iPlayer. Hymns from our Cathedral Choir and lovely interviews with our Cathedral Junior Girls' Choir! We loved recording this - hope you can tune in! ... See MoreSee Less
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We are delighted that composer Roxanna Panufnik is visiting us on Tuesday as part of Leeds International Organ Festival. She'll be 'in conversation' with Philip Moore (composer and former Director of Music at York Minster), talking about her life and inspiration as a composer - it promises to be fascinating!Before the talk there is a rare opportunity to hear Leeds Cathedral Choir (Girls and Scholars) in concert. Tuesday 5th July - Leeds Cathedral - Admission FreeConcert 6.30pm (Cathedral)Talk c7pm (Wheeler Hall) ... See MoreSee Less
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