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Mander Organs


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About MikeK

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  • Birthday 09/07/42

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    Sailing,DIY, Skiing.
  1. Coping with mistakes/failures

    After over 60 years of playing the organ I have probably made more than my fair share of c****ps, but two in partcular stand out! I was playing for the annual civic service in a large south coast church with an equally large organ, complete down to 32' reed. The console was equipped with a general crescendo pedal & a 'blind' tuttii piston, both showing only a small light when on, no stop knobs actually moved After finishing my processional voluntary with the gen cresc. fully open, followed by the tutti piston which added tuba, octave couplers & kitchen sink, I closed the gen.cresc. pedal, pressed the gen. cancel piston but forgot to reverse the tuttii piston,- for some strange reason this was not cancelled when the gen. cancel piston was used;- you've guessed it,- playing over the first hymn on full organ was not appreciated by his Worship the Mayor, & the Chief Constable reached for his whistle!! I've only done it the once! The second was really not my fault, your Honour! After a successful rehearsal for evensong in a well known Cathedral in this part of the world, I started to play the choir in for the start of the service when I realised all the piston settings had lost their memory, & any piston seemed to randomly bring out any stop. What was meant to be a quiet ethereal sound, using swell celeste etc. turned out to be a hurricane on full swell! By nature I am a lazy player & rely more than I should on console aids,- playing for a full choral service with only hand registration put me out of my comfort zone! It turned out that the 'memory ' bank was kept live via the aid of a car battery when the organ was 'off' & someone had disconnected the supply to the charger in order to use the socket. (This was in the very early days of memory chips) It was just my luck to be the person playing when the battery gave up it's last volt!
  2. My audiologist has suggested that I share my problem with fellow board members to see if anyone has experienced the problem I am having in coping with a mild hearing loss. I have been supplied with nhs hearing aids which help well with most situations but are unable to deal with music, particularly organ music. I have had the aids 'tweaked' about 5 times so far, with no real success & I am therefore thinking of going down the 'private' route. Before I do, I wondered whether anyone has any recommendations or experience of high-end hearing aids they are willing to pass on. The particular problem I am experiencing is an 'out-of tuneness' best described as making the organ sound like a badly out-of tune fairground instrument. A similar effect can be created by turning the 'chorus' effect up to maximum on an electronic instrument. Listening to recorded music sounds as though it is being shaken around in a tin! Before spending a lot of money I wondered if any fellow organists can offer me some tips? Mike
  3. Lesser-known Town Hall Organs

    As a boy, I remember playing the Walker 3 manual organ in Ryde (IOW) town hall. Does anyone know if it is still playable, or even still there?
  4. Off and On Unison Off

    Lacking a quiet 4' reed on the pedal organ, I find the solo unison off useful in coupling the horn or orch. oboe down, ie solo-ped, solo octave +unison off, horn. My short legs do not allow me to play an octave higher in order to reach the dusty extreme of the pedal top octave with ease! Also the Sw. 16' L. Bourdon + 8' L. gedacht + unison off + octave provide a useful 8 & 4 flute combination, there being no 4' flute on the swell.
  5. Chris Manners RIP

    Members who new him will be saddened by the news that Chris Manners died suddenly, earlier today. Chris was for many years the Managing Director of Percy Daniels and organist of All Saints Church, Weston Super Mare. May he rest in peace.
  6. I cannot shed any light on the tune Wengen but I find that using' Christmas Carol' for a choir only v.3 & 'Forest Green' for the remaining ones works well. Both in the same key of course!
  7. The Funeral of Baroness Thatcher

    Not wanting to upset the person but did I spot a female Vicar Choral amongst the gentlemen yesterday?
  8. Christie Transmission System

    You are indeed correct! Thank you to those members who have responded with help, and as a result I have been able to speak to Vic Hackworthy. The main problem seems to have been the failure of 2 zener diodes but what caused one to fail & then another 2 days later remains a mystery. Further problems have now emerged with the general cancel piston & Gt.& Ped Combs Coupled, but at least the organ is now playable!
  9. Christie Transmission System

    Many thanks for that. I will await the findings of the local tech. expert on the power boards & contact Frank if the problem lies elsewhere
  10. The organ in the church where I am DOM has a Christie Multiplex transmission system which has failed. There are 2 racks of circuit boards, one which transmits the signal to a receiver unit in the organ, & another which takes care of the departmental & general pistons & memory levels. Both are protected by a 5A delay fuse. By a process of elimination it seems that the power supply board in both racks is causing the fuses to blow. My question is, do any members have experience of this system and/ or a circuit diagram? The Christie system was designed by Vic Hackworthy who is now retired, & I have been unable to contact him. Any help with this problem would be greatly appreciated. It seems a replacement system will take at least 3 months to design & fit! The organ in question is a 4 manual with approx 53 speaking stops.
  11. New home needed

    Personal email sent.
  12. New home needed

    May I suggest you contact John Corrie, Co-ordinator, United Reformed Church Musicians' Guild Organ Advisory Service. He can arrange to include the organ in the redundant organs register. MikeK
  13. Playing for your first service

    I thought Mendelssohn wrote 'War March of the Priests' or have I missed something!
  14. Many years ago, probably in the late 50's or early 60's when I lived in Southampton I remember going to a performance of Messiah at the Guildhall when my teacher, Cecil Williams had to use the theatre organ console as there had been a fire in the concert one. The sight of him sat at the monstrous horseshoe console is still etched in my mind some 50+ years later! M
  15. This topic was aired in February 2009. I can report that the MDF soundboard for the new Great mixture at Redland Park URC in 1990 is still in excellent condition. The tuning rarely moves & the whole unit has never needed any attention.