‘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.

Tune into ⁦@BBCRadio3⁩ tomorrow evening to hear our accordion tutor ⁦@valerie_barr⁩ playing in the ⁦@BBCPhilharmonic with ⁦@LudovicMorlot⁩, accompanying ⁦@SampsonCarolyn⁩ in a wonderful piece by Dutilleux. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0013jr4

Our Director of the Schools Singing Programme @thomas_leech - together with @StPaulsLondon OBE Organ Outreach Fellow @tom_daggett - spoke at the @_cathedralmusic conference today about access, partnerships and excellence growing from sustained foundations in church music.

Today at Leeds Cathedral
The Baptism of the Lord
𝟵.𝟭𝟱𝗮𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗖𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿)
𝟭𝟭𝗮𝗺 𝗦𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀 / 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝘀)
Dilexisti, Gregorian
Missa Sancti Nicolai, Haydn
Asperges, Gregorian
Quem pastores laudavere, Praetorius
Ave verum corpus, Mozart

Huddersfield Youth Choirs with Bradford Catholic Youth Choir perform the sacred Christmas Carol Guadete, from Piae Cantiones. Arr. Keith Roberts.
A live recording from Huddersfield Town Hall, December 2021 as part of Kirklees Organ Concert Season.

https://youtu.be/WYf4DOXwCww

Thanks for featuring! We've loved hearing the other choirs in your digital Advent Calendar as well...🎶🎵🎵🎶

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The Diocese of Westminster has joined the National Schools Singing Programme, an initiative designed to enhance music programmes for children educated in Catholic state schools.In his message, Cardinal Vincent said,‘I thank the Hamish Ogston Foundation for giving young people in the Diocese of Westminster the opportunity to participate in the National Schools Singing Programme. 'Making music allows us to give joyful praise to God, reminding us that all beauty comes from God and takes us to God. Singing builds team work and makes us attentive to each other. I am sure it will help our young people to know the beauty and joy that music gives to our everyday lives.’Find out more about the NSSP at www.nssp.org.uk/ ... See MoreSee Less
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We are delighted to welcome David Grealy to the department as Assistant Cathedral Organist.After taking a first-class honours degree in music from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, he has held prestigious appointments at Westminster Cathedral, St Bartholomew's (Anglican) Church, Dublin, and St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin. In 2017, he completed a master's in organ performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Cologne, and worked as a church musician in the Catholic Parish of St Peter & Paul, Ratingen.Before joining the Diocese of Leeds Music Department, David was based in Dublin, where he was in regular demand as a performer and accompanist.We look forward to a long and happy association with David! ... See MoreSee Less
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This Sunday at Leeds Cathedral (9th January):The Baptism of the Lord𝟵.𝟭𝟱𝗮𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗖𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿)𝟭𝟭𝗮𝗺 𝗦𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝘀)Dilexisti, GregorianMissa Sancti Nicolai, HaydnAsperges, GregorianQuem pastores laudavere, PraetoriusAve verum corpus, Mozart ... See MoreSee Less
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Cathedral Organist David Pipe plays Messiaen’s wonderful La Nativité du Seigneur this Saturday at 7.15 pm in Leeds Cathedral. Free admission with a retiring collection to support Leeds International Organ Festival 2022! ... See MoreSee Less
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