Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Little Hampden Organ

One project that will occupy me over the next weeks is the replacement of the organ in Little Hampden Church. We have had an electronic organ vintage 1970s I should think but this has been dying for some time. The engineer has managed to replace the chips as they failed: the last time he succeeded in finding one in the bottom of his bag. But it has given up completely now and gone to the organ loft in the sky. We have been relying on an electronic keyboard for some time – just about adequate but not really in sympathy with the Church.

Our Director of Music found a real pipe organ which was waiting to be restored and suggested that we use this as a replacement. Although larger than the high-tech (mid-tech?) modern organ, it is much more authentic and, I’m sure, will sound much better. I recently attended a service in which the hymns were accompanied by a modern electronic organ which sounded adequate but it lacked something. However, replacing the organ isn’t going to be a simple operation! Not surprisingly, the Church of England is fairly strict about what can be done with the buildings
under its custodianship. And fitting the new organ into the tiny Church is not without its problems. Step one was to get permission to use the keyboard as a temporary replacement for the defunct organ: an Archdeacon’s Licence was issued, granting us this permission. But then the fun started....

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