Special recital for renovated organ at Norwich church
A special recital to celebrate the renovated Christ Church organ will be taking place on Saturday September 23 with David Dunnett, Norwich Cathedral organist, at the keys.
The recital is a celebration of the completion of the organ project, the third part of Christ Church's fundraising programme. Other parts included restoring the west window and creating an extended welcome area and social space with improved kitchen facilities within the church.
The pipe organ is over 100 years old. Its inauguration was marked at a service on Wednesday 17 June, 1893. It was built by local organ builders, Norman and Beard and was last overhauled in 1966. In 2016, church members voted overwhelmingly to carry out £75,000 of renovation work which was undertaken by E. Johnson & Son (Cambridge) Ltd. This has now been completed.
Fundraising for the organ has included concerts from groups based locally – the Mozart orchestra – and from further afield - the Russian Hermitage choir, a “Choral Hits” concert by the Christ Church choir itself, an Open Gardens event, Quiz and Chips evenings, a plant sale, to name but a few. Additionally, a “Pipe Up” appeal has been running, whereby people were encouraged to sponsor a pipe or stop and then allowed to sign a pipe and find out more at a special pipe inscription event last November.
Patrick Richmond, vicar of Christ Church, said “I am delighted that the organ renovation has taken place. Not only will the organ's improved capabilities enhance our worship, but also other musical and community-focussed events.”
Matt Wright, organist and choirmaster at Christ Church said "I'm delighted with the newly-restored instrument. William and his team have done an amazing job. A lot of the work has been carried out on the inside of the organ, renewing and updating a lot of the original Victorian mechanisms. The console has been cleaned and new state-of-the-art playing aids have been installed. Stop changes were minimal, mainly filling in gaps and correcting 'improvements' from the 60s. The most thrilling addition is a 16' pedal reed, adding power and gravitas to the full organ sound. It was certainly worth the wait and I'm extremely grateful for the support of the church and to all who contributed, whether by donating money, adopting pipes, or by organising and attending fundraising events."
The renovated organ will be blessed by the Bishop of Norwich at a special service on September 3rd . Tickets for the David Dunnett recital on Sep 23, starting at 7.30pm, which cost £10, are available from St Georges Music Shop, St Georges St. NR3 1AB, Carrie Tel: 01603 455413, Ruth Tel: 01603 504849,Matt firstname.lastname@example.org and online from: www.ticketsource.co.uk/christchurcheaton
Pictured above: Matt Wright, Christ Church organist and choirmaster at the newly restored organ
Below: The pipes, recently gilded.