Cathedral Organ nearly complete

The final team of organ builders from Nicholson’s have completed their installation work of the new Cathedral organ. As a result the last vestiges of scaffolding and fencing have been removed from the Chancel crossing, and for the first time in nearly three years the Cathedral no longer resembles a building site.  Nicholson’s foreman, Tim Bennett, together with his team of Darren, Gavin and Paul, were with us for 6 weeks over March/April, and it was with some sadness that we farewelled them as they have, over the course of the total installation, become very much a part of the Cathedral team.

But all is not quite finished. A team of two voicers from Nicholsons will be joining us in mid-May for the final voicing and tuning of the organ, and our UK-based organ consultant, Mr Paul Hale, will travel to Auckland at the end of May to assist in the final handover process from Nicholson’s to Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Another milestone event for the Selwyn’s Vision project will be the first public playing of the new organ at the Trinity Sunday Service of Choral Eucharist at 10am on 11 June 2017.

The time gap between our first public use of the new Cathedral organ in June, and the Opening Recital on 16 September, is very deliberate. Such a large and new instrument will require a considerable “settling in” period to ensure its five thousand pipes, hundreds of metres of cabling, over 100 circuit boards, plus its complex web of blowers and soundboards, all operate as designed, and in tune.  And then there’s the not insignificant challenge for Philip Smith, Cathedral Organist, and Michael Stoddart, Director of Music, to become totally familiar with the playing of this magnificent instrument.

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The Nicholson team on their last day at the Cathedral. From L – Darren, Gavin, Tim, James and Paul

Opening Recital of St Mary’s Restored Historic Pipe Organ

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Simon Pierce and his team from Pierce Pipe Organs, Brisbane, are nearing the end of their complete restoration of the beautiful George Croft organ in St Mary’s-in-Holy Trinity.

Finishing work continues apace this week ahead of the Opening Recital on Saturday evening, 7.30pm, 25 March 2017, 108 years to the day since the first opening recital.

The last few stops are being installed, and tonal finishing is almost complete.

Simon has had a team of three working with him for the last six weeks, with Derek, Kyle, Lochlan, Jamie and Julie traversing the Tasman at regular intervals.

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Simon hosted the organ equivalent of a “roof shout” last week, an opportunity to celebrate the near-completion of the restoration, where everyone was unanimous in their praise for the sound and appearance of the instrument.

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Simon and his wife Julie will be special guests at the Recital on Saturday.  Cathedral Organist, Philip Smith, and Director of Music, Michael Stoddart, will be pulling out all the stops for the recital!

The Opening Recital on Saturday 25 March is the first of a series of four recitals.  Tickets are available from iTicket or at the door on the night.

Please visit www.holy-trinity.org.nz for more details.

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Cathedral Organ – Console lifted; Main and West Cases installed

A very busy six weeks for the Nicholson & Co team. Two 40ft containers have arrived and been unpacked; the Main and West cases and façade pipes have been installed; and the building frames, soundboards and wind system are all in place.

But the most exciting part of this phase was the lifting of the fixed console. This console weighs over 400kg and was lifted to its permanent home above the Marsden Chapel using a hoist system between two scaffold towers.

Team One have returned to the UK and we look forward to welcoming Team Two tomorrow for the completion of the installation.

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Cathedral Organ Installation

A busy start to 2017 at Holy Trinity Cathedral.

The first weeks of January saw the installation of two massive scaffolding towers, and preparatory works of steel and painting undertaken, ready for the organ builders’ arrival on 23 January.

The first of two containers arrived from the Nicholson & Co factory, Malvern, UK, on 24 January and the install of the North organ has commenced.

The North organ will be a mirror image of the South organ, although the internal components will be different. It is programmed for completion by Easter 2017, after which the voicing of the entire organ will commence.

Welcome back to the first of the Nicholson & Co organ building teams for the North organ install.

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St Mary’s Organ Pipes

Only 107 years after it was designed, the George Croft pipe organ in St Mary’s-in-Holy Trinity has finally received the pipe decoration that was always intended!

George Croft left no indication of design for the pipe decoration so, in consultation with the Selwyn’s Vision Project committee, Studio Carolina Izzo was engaged to design and decorate the pipes. Carolina’s description of the design process is as follows:

“The design began with the classical elements from the Renaissance with the style of the scrolls and the floral patterns. St Mary is acknowledged in a classical scroll of the two letters “A M” for Ave Maria. This “signature” is placed at the top of the largest pipe as a beacon for the Church, saluting Mary, and the many women who have, and who continue to, work and worship within the Anglican faith.

The pipes on either side of the central pipe bear the Fleur de lis – a symbol of Mary. Therefore the three uppermost symbols on the central pipes acknowledge Mary. The banner underneath is a perpetual wave symbolising baptism and faith and also alluding to the natural world of the Pacific and its peoples.

The large design surrounding the languid of the three central pipes, is a bouquet of classical motifs mixed with koru-like scrolls.  The koru is a vital part of Maori design, signifying the unfolding fern frond of our forest floors and also awakening, as the frond threatens to unfurl.  The central part of this design is drawn in to the triquetra or trinity knot, symbolising the holy trinity. The choice of this symbol was inspired by the presence of this motif in the new Bishop Selwyn Chapel.  Above this is the scallop shell, which is a symbol of baptism and also pilgrimage.  The symbol of baptism echoes the place of birth in God’s family and in the society and community of St Mary’s Church.

On the groups of pipes to the left and right of the central pipes the symbol that features most is the star.  This four-pointed golden star (a symbol usually styled to resemble a cross) serves two symbolic purposes – the star represents the birth of Jesus and the purpose for which He was born – to die on the cross.

The colours chosen are a reflection of the interior decorations inside the church.  Blue is very important of course, considering the symbolic association with Mary.  The gold leaf elements for the pipes illuminate well-known religious meaning; spiritually speaking that God is divine, and practically speaking that the material is malleable, long-lasting and beautiful.”

Thank you to Carolina and team for a beautiful and meaningful design. The finished result is truly spectacular!

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St Mary’s Organ Restoration

Simon Pierce and his team from Brisbane are back in NZ for four weeks to install the restored components of St Mary’s pipe organ.

A 20 ft container arrived on St Mary’s Court early yesterday morning and the team spent a rainy day unloading all the parts that have been carefully restored.

They will return after Christmas to finish the installation and ‘voice’ the organ, which will be ready to play before Easter 2017.

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The team from Pierce Pipe Organs (from L): Simon Pierce, Richard, Phillip, Michael (HTC), Derek, Kyle, Thomas

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