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Organist’s space: events, organ travels and player stories

Organ Hire for Bury St Edmunds Organ Day

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

As ever, we do enjoy a challenge and generally it comes in the direction of SOS organ hires. We received a call from James Thomas the Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. He was up against it and at very short notice needed to hire an organ for an event in the choir school which was happening within 3 days (on Saturday…his call came in on the Wednesday before).

Teaching session

Dr Gordon Stewart in a teaching session with our organ in place

It seems that confirmation of arrangements made with another company had got overlooked and the organ that was thought to be hired was no longer available. We were pleased to be able to help on this occasion and ensure that the choir school went ahead as planned. James was relieved and the attendees were none the wiser.

Organ hire seems to be a growing part of our activity and we currently have seven instruments out for the most part covering pipe organ rebuilds. These recently include:-

  • Manchester Cathedral
  • St Mary’s Ware
  • St Brides Fleet Street
  • Llandaff Cathedral
  • St Mary’s Findon
  • Dean Close School
  • St Peter – ad -Vincula Coggeshall
  • St Paul’s Brighton
  • St Leonard’s Hastings
  • Holy Saviour Church Tynemouth
  • St Mary’s Reigate

We also provide instruments for weddings funerals and concerts where pipe organs are not available or just not up to the particular service repertoire that has been requested.

This emergency request was one we just had to fulfil. We are desperately short of organists in the UK and any opportunity to encourage more musicians onto the bench needs support. This course was being given by the well known organist Dr Gordon Stewart who you see in the picture above.

So by Friday lunchtime we had our 2 manual Envoy 35-F installed in the choir school and the event could proceed. As you see it was a wonderful sunny afternoon. The sun shines on the righteous who in this case were also church musicians!

The sun shines in

The sun shines in

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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.

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