May 2014

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

A hot and sunny day saw a group of organists from ESOA joined by a couple of membes from Crawley and Horsham District Organists' Association visit Bury St Edmunds.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral
St Edmundsbury Cathedral

On arrival at St Edmundsbury Cathedral we were met by Director of Music James Thomas 
and his Assitant Daniel Soper. James told us about the building 

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

The organ, which is by Harrison and Harrison, was installed in 2010. It replaced a 1970 Nicholson organ which had been built from parts of previous instruments including those by Norman & Beard in 1914 and Walker 1864. It has some 3,500 pipes over four manuals and pedals.
which became a cathedral in 1914. Later additions were made over the years most recently in 2009 with some decorations around the inside of the tower.

The new organ has two fine painted cases which reflect the decoration of the 1960s East end of the cathedral, and is high above the Quire on the north side of the church. It speaks into both Quire and North Tansept.

It does incorporate some stops from the older organ, but everything else about the organ - building frame, console, soundboards etc - was newly built for the Instrument.

James guided us through the organ with a great demonstration through the sounds of each division and choruses, after which members we're invited to play. Daniel was very helpful on the loft registering and suggesting stops for pieces as well as page turning!

Members treated us to many pieces covering many periods of music history from 17th to 20th centuries, showing many colours of a super instrument. It was a pleasure to play and we were fortunate to have such generous hosts allowing us plenty of time to try different pieces and stop combinations.
St Edmundsbury Cathedral
All in all a very rewarding instrument, and a pleasure to play.