After what seems like months and not weeks we have brought back our organ installations team to start the backlog that has inevitably built up during lockdown. We have about eight churches ‘in waiting’ and last week saw two digital church organs finally get installed.
First church organ was installed at Moravian Church
We hit the road early on Monday June 29th to the Moravian Church in North London. As luck would have it the church was closed for most of this year for a major refurbishment and the delay with the organ was of no consequence. A failed pipe organ was removed to create much needed office and storage space, leaving in place a rather handsome pipe façade.
As you see below, a loft ladder leads to the old pipe chamber space, which now houses the 4 external speaker cabinets and sub bass through which the Envoy 33 DFV plays. By the time we returned to voice the instrument this space was also shared by a few dozen stackable chairs which I imaging are quite a challenge to move up and down the loft ladder.
As installations go this was a lovely one to open the ‘new account’ with so to speak. Wiring was simple and nobody had to dangle from the end of a ladder while speakers were placed on wall plates or convenient beams. It was as a gentle a start as could be hoped for.
Heading to Birmingham to install another digital church organ
Later in the week we were in Birmingham at St Joseph’s Church in Darlaston, where a Chorum 40 S was installed on 2 external cabinets. Here the wiring challenge was much greater demanding cables be laid around the periphery of the new building at high level.
We had been contacted by Fr. Craig earlier in February. He wanted a small, easy to use instrument with great sound to accompany the mass and congregational hymns.
The church is round and excellent acoustically and so it was decided to install the speakers adjacent to the Chorum organ so the organist can get the balance of organ and congregation. After installation we spent some time balancing each stop to get the most appropriate sound/volume for the building.
It’s interesting to note that our digital organ replaced a Norwich organ installed when the church was built in 1978. So a very early digital organ that had given 42 years uninterrupted service! So much for the oft given advice that a pipe organ is for life while an electronic will need replacing between 10 and 15 years later!
So two digital church organs installed and a very large job lined up for the second week of July, which we will tell you more of later. A final pleasure that I have been denied for almost 3 months was planting the two flags on our Viscount organ installations map that tell you where all our UK and Ireland instruments are to be found.
The phones are still quiet but at least some semblance of normality is back.
Are you researching a new organ for your church at the moment? Then have a look at this article on selecting the best organ for your church.
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.