Univ’s new organs
Univ is pleased to announce the refurbishment of its chapel organ, and its purchase of a box organ. The newly restored and reconfigured organ will be rebuilt in the chapel later this year, in time for the beginning of the new academic year in October.
The refurbishment of the chapel organ
The refurbishment of our chapel organ is now underway. Organ builders from the form of Peter Collins Ltd have dismantled the organ, and are restoring it at their premises in Leicestershire. The newly restored and reconfigured organ will be rebuilt in the chapel later this year, in time for the beginning of the new academic year in October.
We are excited that the plans for the organ retain the main components and structure (‘the Great’) of the high-quality, 2 manual Walker instrument that was originally installed in 1866, but add to them a flexible Swell with new high quality pipes. This gives us as much organ as possible in the space available, and will offer an instrument ideally suited for the repertoire the choir sings at Choral Evensong and on other occasions. The integrity of the original sound palette has been maintained, whilst completely modernising the instrument.
It is worth noting that the new configuration will include a redesigned ‘drawstop’ console, which is much more attractive to organists than the old ‘tabstop’ arrangement. We believe that this will make the refurbished organ more user-friendly for our organ scholars, and indeed for other organists, and we hope that our chapel (which is being renovated at the same time as the organ) will become known as a venue for organ recitals and other performances.
The purchase of a box organ
While the organ and chapel are out of use, we will be holding Choral Evensong in the chapel of All Souls College all through Trinity Term. All Souls has no organ, so we are delighted to be able to buy a transposing box organ, also made by Peter Collins Ltd. Once we are back in our own college, this portable organ will then be used in chapel and elsewhere in Univ, allowing us to perform a range of baroque and renaissance repertoire that would not otherwise be possible. It will complement the range of music that the chapel organ permits, and will help to secure Univ’s position within the university as a college that is serious about investing in practical music-making.
More information about both these instruments, and other aspects of chapel music, is available from our Director of Music, Giles Underwood: Giles.Underwood@univ.ox.ac.uk.
Giles will be glad to answer questions about music at Univ, and is particularly keen to hear from prospective organ and choral scholars.
Published: 1 May 2014
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