Monday, April 20, 2009

The SILENT Organ

Yes, all is quiet in the organ ‘loft’ in the Auckland Town Hall. The wonderful work done by Klais with assistance from the South Island Organ Company and The Edge lies waiting for the arrival of the great bulk of the 5352 pipes that will be the make up of the new instrument, and the chaps to install, voice and tune these new ranks, included in which will be the two Maori stops, unique to this instrument.

More about this later. In the meantime City Organist John Wells has to make do with the large electronic organ as a poor substitute until the organ is recommissioned at 4.30pm on Sunday the 21st March 2010. What a day that will be!.

Meantime Ian Bell of London, the City Council’s expert advisor is in regular contact with Philipp Klais in Bonn, monitoring the progress of our instrument. I will keep you posted as any significant developments occur. By the way we are still, and will be for a long time to come, seeking folk to become ORGAN DONORS. A brochure can be obtained from outlets in The Edge or me.We have plans for promoting the organ and the possibility of establishing an organ scholarship well beyond the commissioning and into the future.

St Matthews in the City are recommisioning the lovely pipe organ in their church and Ian Bell has also been retained as advisor to them. Much of the organ is now at the Willis Factory in Liverpool and is due for re installation early in 2010. What an exciting time this will be for the church and indeed for the organ lovers of the community.


  1. St Matthew in the city is a new organ incorporating a few very fine Willis ranks but nothing signicant from the present organ Suggest you look at the Willis website.

  2. Hope the town hallorgan does not sound like Birmingham Symphony Hall and Bath Abbey as you will be disapointed.

  3. Auckland City has appointed Mr Ian Bell of the UK as consultant and liaison between the Klais Organ Company and the City/Trust. Mr Bell comes with a background of 35 years as an organ builder in England and is a highly regarded consultant for the past 15 years or so. We are confident that the outcome will be satisfying and will serve the City of Auckland well.

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    My information concerning the St. Matthew’s organ is: The original Willis stops from St Matthew’s were removed to the Willis factory in Liverpool. A ‘mothballed’ Willis organ from a church in Edinburgh was acquired. The stops from Auckland were to be added to this with some additions from the factory and ‘bingo’ a Willis organ for St Mathews. If one calls this a new organ made up largely of ranks from two former organs then who am I to argue. Good luck with it all; we await installation and commissioning with expectancy.

  5. Isn't it wonderful that such a highly respected firm as Klais can work so co-operatively with our own esteemed South Island Organ Company. This is of significance not only to Auckland but also New Zealand. There is no doubt in my mind (and that of the New Zealand Organ Community) that the professionalism exhibited in regard to the Auckland Town Hall project is of the highest order.

  6. Thank you Michael. You have encapsulated the situation perfectly. Indeed, I was at the Town Hall virtually every day and the professionalism and harmony with which the two firms cooperated was a great pleasure to see. If all major undertakings like this were to proceed with such harmony in 'the work place' our lives would be enhanced.