A wonderful first concert in the Bishop Selwyn Chapel

Saturday 15 October saw the inaugural concerts in the Bishop Selwyn Chapel at Holy Trinity Cathedral.  James Tibbles brought in his beautiful decorated harpsichord and played a sumptuous programme of Baroque music with Sally Tibbles on the flute.

All present agreed the acoustics of the new Chapel were outstanding.

The Selwyn’s Vision team congratulates James on his 40 years of professional music making and thanks the Tibbles’s as all proceeds from these concerts going to the provision of a chamber organ for the Chapel.

James and Sally Tibbles


Inaugural Concert in the Bishop Selwyn Chapel

Radio NZ Concert interview with James Tibbles

On Saturday, 15 October, at both 2pm and 6pm, James and Sally Tibbles will perform the first concert in the Bishop Selwyn Chapel.

Entitled ‘Backwards and Forwards’, this baroque concert is a celebration of 40 years of professional music making for James. This year marks 40 years since he was appointed Organ Scholar at Holy Trinity Cathedral, and 30 years since he was appointed Director of Music.

Both concerts will be followed by refreshments. Tickets for 2pm are $40 and $30 (seniors), including afternoon tea, and for 6pm $50 and $40 (seniors), including wine and nibbles.  Tickets are limited and available from the Cathedral Office on 09 303 9500 or at the door.

All proceeds go towards a Chamber organ for the Bishop Selwyn Chapel.

This week James was interviewed by Eva Radich on Upbeat. Listen to the interview on Radio NZ Concert here.

Inaugural Concerts in Bishop Selwyn Chapel


Holy Trinity Cathedral is delighted to invite you to “Forwards and Backwards”, the Inaugural Concerts in the Bishop Selwyn Chapel  a milestone along the Selwyn’s Vision journey to complete and consecrate Auckland’s Anglican Cathedral.  After two years of construction, you will not want to miss the first public performances in our new Fearon Hay-designed Chapel!!

“Forwards and Backwards” is a concert of Baroque music performed on harpsichord and flute by James and Sally Tibbles, and celebrates James’ professional music-making career.  This year marks 40 years since James became Organ Scholar at Holy Trinity Cathedral and 30 years since he was made Director of Music at Holy Trinity – also milestones worthy of celebration!

When:        Saturday, 15 October 2016

Time:         2 pm – $40 adult, $30 seniors Includes afternoon tea
                   6 pm – $50 adult, $40 seniors Includes wine and nibbles

Where:       Bishop Selwyn Chapel Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell Road, Parnell

Tickets are available from the Cathedral Office, ph 09 303 9500.

All proceeds from these concerts will go towards the provision of a chamber organ for the Bishop Selwyn Chapel.



Cathedral Organ Stage 1 completed

After 19 continuous weeks of on-site installation, Stage 1 – the Solo, Swell and Pedal organs – of the Holy Trinity Cathedral organ is complete. And it looks and sounds magnificent! As a foretaste of what is to come, we eagerly await completion next year!

The teams from Nicholson & Co have all returned to the UK where they are hard at work building the remainder of the organ – the Great and Choir organs – in time to ship it to NZ for installation commencing in January 2017.

Organ voicers, Guy Russell (R) and James Atherton, in front of the completed south organ

Pipes on the move!

After a wait of 107 years, the façade pipes of the Croft organ in St Mary’s-in-Holy Trinity are having a makeover!

In 1909 George Croft, the designer and builder of the organ, offered the Cathedral the option of stencilling the front pipes, for a grand total of 15 pounds, but unfortunately funds were not forthcoming. Under the Selwyn’s Vision project we are delighted to be able to finally realise this original intention.

St Mary’s organ pipes in situ (before cleaning and decoration)


Art conservator, Carolina Izzo, is undertaking the design and decoration of the pipes at her Parnell studio.  The first job, however, was to clean more than 50 years of dirt from inside and outside of each pipe.

Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir member, Michael Dawson, at work in the Cathedral carpark cleaning the organ pipes
The clean pipes laid out on the right – note the change in colour after 50 years of dirt removed!



After every pipe had been washed, the team from Studio Carolina Izzo arrived to apply the primer coat.

Carolina Izzo (R) with Conservation Assistant, Adele McNutt, assessing the painted pipes


The pipes were then carried carefully down Parnell Road to their studio in Scarborough Lane.

Pipes on the move down Parnell Road!


The decorated pipes will be returned to Holy Trinity Cathedral and installed back into the organ façade of St Mary’s before Christmas 2016.





Organ scaffolding comes down, Voicers arrive, and the Pedal Organ casework is revealed

After 9 weeks under wraps behind an enormous height of scaffolding, today the casework covering the Pedal Organ was revealed. This casework, which was designed to complement the rather austere architecture of the Chancel, is absolutely beautiful!

The scaffold comes down


The Pedal Organ casework revealed


Guy Russell and James Atherton arrived on site at Holy Trinity Cathedral this morning to begin the tonal finishing of the new organ.

Guy Russell (R) and James Atherton in front of the organ console

It will take around 5 weeks to complete the Swell, Solo, and Pedal divisions which comprises around 3,000 pipes, including 4 stops of 32′ pitch.

Organs in August

A busy month for the pipe organs at Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Simon Pierce and team were back in the first two weeks of August to continue the restoration work on the St Mary’s organ. While here they fitted sliders seals and repainted the building frame and swell boxes in the original Croft colours.

2016-08-12 Organ builders (3) Nicholson's and St Mary's
The Pierce Pipe Organs team – (L-R) Michael Dawson, Julie Pierce, Simon Pierce, Jamie Hutchinson – with Philip Smith (Cathedral Organist), Michael Stoddart (Director of Music) and the Nicholson team


Their visit coincided with the farewell to the second team of Nicholson & Co organ builders installing the Cathedral organ. This second team worked primarily on the installation of the pedal organ with its four 32 ft stops.

2016-08-12 Organ builders (4)
Nicholson team in the pedal organ: (L-R) Gavin Davidge, Paul Daly, Tim Bennett (Site Foreman), Darren Bingham

The third Nicholson team arrived in NZ last week, in time to unload the fifth container of organ components, including the mobile organ console and the pedal organ casework. They have commenced installing the solo and swell organs. The solo organ includes the first complete string chorus from 16 ft to III Cornet de Violes to be built in the UK since World War II, and another first for New Zealand.

From L-R: Kevin Davies (Site Foreman), Darren Bingham, David Roskelly, Rick Kearsey


The pedal organ casework


Unloading the mobile console


Cathedral Organist, Philip Smith, unveils the mobile console inside Holy Trinity Cathedral