We were pleased to receive a request from the Purcell School of Music to source a home practice instrument for a young Ukrainian boy who had recently arrived in London with his mother. They are staying with a family of another pupil at the school.
The headmaster, Mr Paul Bamborough, happens to be a proficient organist and also, as luck would have it, a Viscount customer. Paul was asked to help find a practice instrument for the student so he immediately contacted us. Co-incidentally, the day before, we had been approached by the widow of one of our past customers who wanted to find a worthy home for her late husband’s practice organ. We were obviously delighted to be able to link the two requests, offering to do all the logistics free of charge.
Some rebuild work was required to the instrument
A week or so later, the Viscount Cadet 31 organ was delivered to our warehouse and we were a little surprised to find that the previous owner had made a few ‘custom adjustments’ to make the instrument lighter and even more portable.
The internal speakers had been removed, as had a significant part of the console structure below the keyboards. The pedal board steel framework had been removed and lighter aluminium strengthening brackets fitted. Some additional holes were drilled in the key cheeks. We were unable to fathom the purpose of those so before delivery to its new home in Balham there was also quite a bit of unexpected rebuild work required.
A few days later the instrument was ready for delivery and gratefully received by its new custodian who has enrolled for lessons at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Nothing of course can begin to compensate for the upheaval and uncertainty these families leaving Ukraine are facing. But we hope that having an instrument at home will at least give this young musician an opportunity to enjoy music to the full and give him some mental break from the thoughts of what is happing in his homeland.
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.