ST JOHN’S ORGAN RENOVATION NEARING COMPLETION
Work to breathe new life into the historic St John’s organ is nearing completion with countless hours of work undertaken over the past 12 months by a group of dedicated volunteers.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the work to renovate the swell of organ - the part of the organ the regulates volume - has been done with the assistance of a $15,022 grant from the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnerships Program.
“Nothing compares to the sound of a fully operational, 1000-pipe church organ, which is why the organ is such a fantastic feature of St Johns Anglican Church,” Mr Anderson said.
“An organ of this size requires a committed group of volunteers to ensure it stays in good working order and St John’s is lucky to have such a group who have dedicated their free time in their retirement to bringing the organ back to life.
“The team are completely self-taught, learning skills like soldering, electronics, music theory and more. Their application to learning these skills means the organ is being renovated for just over $15,000, rather than having to fork out millions to have it done professionally.
“Now is an exciting time for the church as the renovations on the swell – the part of the organ that allows gradual crescendo and decrescendo – nears completion.”
Volunteer John Griffiths said the work on the swell of the organ would help organists play to the instrument’s full potential.
“There’s nothing like a pipe organ in a church. To have an equivalent, you’d have to have a full orchestra. It’s got a unique sound. Guitars and pianos are really dull compared to it,” Mr Griffiths said.
“With pipe organs, there’s only two ways to alter the volume – You can reduce the number of pipes you’re playing, but that sounds more like single instruments rather than a band.
“You want to play all the pipes to give it that rich feeling, but it’s too loud so you put them in a box and close it all up and you’ve got almost no sound. As you open the swell up, the volume increases, hence it’s called the swell because it swells the sound.”