Updates from the major work to the organ in 2017 appeared here to provide insight for our many donors, supporters and friends.
Ahead of the school's remembrance services, a lot of work has been happening to make the organ look (more than!) presentable as an integral part of the War Memorial - the rolls of honour sit either side. Here are a number of photos from the last couple of days as everything came together. More items from the School's remembrance service, including the poignant reflection used in the service, and photos showing some of the pupils who contributed to the service so wonderfully under the Music Department's careful direction are available on the SHSB Music Facebook Page.
More work has been happening behind the scenes to connect up the various parts of the organ. This week, more focus has been given to preparations to complete the aesthetics of the organ console and pipework ahead of the school's remembrance services next week. See the captions on each photo for more information!
We're very excited to announce that a Trombone rank, previously used in the organ in Pershore Abbey by Nicholson, has been identified, purchased and delivered to our organ builders, and will be restored, revoiced, and integrated into the school's instrument as part of the organ rebuild this year. After multiple years of aspiring to such an addition in order to assist in adding much needed power to the pedal department in the form of a pedal reed, this is a magnificent achievement. The purchase of the pipes was funded by contributions made in memory of Dr Brian Wiggins (Sparta, 1954-1961) by those closest to him at the school. A revised specification including the Trombone and also a 4ft Clarion extension to the Great Trumpet is now uploaded here.
The work to the organ continues well with installation back in the school now advancing rapidly. Key milestones have been reached with the main soundboards now in position, the swell box expansion complete, and the blower reinstalled. Photos of progress and further updates will follow after half term.
The Village Workshop have been continuing in the workshop over the last 6 weeks, and are now in the process of completing installation back in the school, and attending to repairs and renovations that are more efficiently done in situ. Meanwhile, the pupil organ team have been keeping an eye on progress and will be providing photos as the organ returns fully refurbished. They have also been busy preparing and spraying the casework pipes - the a trio of year 11 pupils, pictured below, are tasked with completing the respray and returning the pipes to the case in the coming weeks, ahead of the school's remembrance services. Remember you can sponsor pipes in the organ from just £20, and sponsorship of one of the 35 casework pipes is £100.
Work has been progressing quietly behind the scenes at the Village Workshop, the team also making regular visits to the school. Meanwhile visible progress in the school has been made with the casework pipes - these are being resprayed by the school's organ team. Currently made up of a trio of year 11 pupils, with the assistance of members of staff, the team have been experimenting with options for the respray. Today's trials have been really successful, and the result of just the first coat is looking promising! Remember you can sponsor pipes in the organ from just £20, and sponsorship of one of the 35 casework pipes is £100. Lewis Whybrow stands in the photo below with two pipes: one as removed from the case, and one freshly sprayed brilliant gold! A real transformation!
After a visit to see the work in progress in the workshop, here are some photos showing the brilliant progress in restoring the console, overhauling the pedalboard, and inspecting and preparing the Ware soundboard to hold the expanded Great department.
The pictures taken during the visit to see David Stalley and the team at Village Workshop speak for themselves!
The team of three pupils at the school who have been assisting with organ maintenance have continued to contribute and assist as professional work continues apace. Here, the trio, ably assisted by departing Sixth Form organist James Green, dismantled and packaged the pipes for the Great Trumpet ready for transport to the workshop.
Most of the Trumpet pipes split into two parts: the resonators (which form the majority of the length of the pipes), and the boots (these heavy parts contain a reed which vibrates - like an orchestral clarinet - over a block of metal called a shallot to create the sound).
The team returned today to strip down the existing Great soundboard. This revealed the cause of recent issues with the sliders - as they dismantled the soundboard, it was evident that it had lifted over the last 94 years and developed a small split. This is relatively minor and will be fixed in the workshop - an easy task during a major set of works like this.
Good news followed regarding progress with the items already in the workshop, with the Trumpet pipes examined and deemed ready for restoration, a new set of keyboards identified to enable complete digitisation of the instrument, also providing sufficient space to add the much-needed registration aids.
Work will now continue back in the workshop, with a visit to the workshop by OSOS planned in the next couple of weeks, and then David and Nigel will return to work on removing the Swell.
The first day of work involved the removal of the console, and exposed a number of interesting bits of mechanism - some in good condition, but others showing their age! The spare Great soundboard from the organ in Ware (obtained in 2002) was also taken away to the Village Workshop for examination and preparation to become the new organ's Great soundboard.