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Chapel Organ Restoration

Chapel Restoration

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Chapel Organ Restoration

The current organ was donated to the School by the Old Boys as a memorial to Staff and Old Boys killed in the Great War. It arrived from the UK in 1926. It was a beautiful instrument designed for the long, reverberant Chapel.

Sadly, it no longer makes the musical impact it did in the early 1900s. There are two reasons for this: firstly, when the Chapel was extended in 1985 it changed from a long rectangular scheme to a much wider room. Thus, the organ speaks into a space for which it was not originally intended. Its systems are in need of modernisation and careful renewal after almost a century of heavy use.

Secondly, in the 1970s an ‘organ reform’ movement swept the world and as a result, unsympathetic changes were made to the organ altering the nature of the original English Romantic sound. Its powers were reduced and altered its status as one of New Zealand’s most significant heritage musical instruments.

Whilst the organ works well for some occasions, it no longer speaks with the seat-shaking splendour it once did. Today, the demands made upon it as a national recital instrument, heavily utilised teaching resource and heartbeat of the Chapel services are compromised. Therefore, the decision was been made to embark on a complete restoration of this well-known community resource and to provide a new mechanical-action teaching instrument, the work to be undertaken by the South Island Organ Company, New Zealand, to see it in excellent order for the next 100 years at least.

The work to be undertaken

All original 1926 pipe-work will be retained and restored, and items removed in 1977 re-instated.
The mechanisms and electronic workings will be replaced with state-of-the-art technologies or restored.
New hand-crafted casework and pipework will be designed in the workshops of South Island Organ Company.
The restored instrument will be a mark of the highest standards of current workmanship for pipe organs in the world, and will be the foremost educational, recital and teaching instrument of its kind anywhere in New Zealand.

Adopt a pipe from our Chapel Organ

Whilst our Chapel is central to Collegiate life, the Organ is central to the Chapel. Parents, Old Boys, Old Girls, Students and other organisations are invited to adopt a pipe from the organ as a way of raising funds for this exciting renovation project. An ornate book will be placed in the Chapel entrance listing the names of those who have sponsored pipes– and they come in a variety of sizes and costs. You can sponsor a ‘flute chorus’ pipe for as little as $50 with prices increasing based on the size of the pipe. 

Information and Sponsorship Form

Adopt a Facade Pipe