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Everything posted by MikeK

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. I thought Mendelssohn wrote 'War March of the Priests' or have I missed something!
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. I too have a soft spot for St Mary's Southampton, but have not heard or played it for over 45 years! I was a pupil of and assistant to, D. Cecil Williams when the organ was still being 'run-in.' Does anyone know how much of it is playable these days? I do remember the enclosed 32 reed, something it had in common with another organ I consider should be in any top ten,- St Mary Redcliffe. MK
  8. The person you are referring to is David Lang, now retired & living in York. I had the pleasure of being his assistant at the Boltons in the mid-60's. I remember the organ as being most un-Compton like, very in-your-face & taking no prisoners! Just what a young music student used to playing a large Willis III in a very resonant building needed! I believe David was at that time a lecturer at Roehampton Teacher Training College & also a part-time teacher at the RCO. He was also a fine organist.
  9. MikeK


    All Saints, Weston -Super-Mare
  10. MikeK


    The change to conventional drawstops was more likely the result of difficulty in finding suitable replacement bulbs!
  11. Pcnd5584 makes an interesting point about the placement of couplers; I agree with his suggestion that they should be placed with the department which th My preference is for the inter-manual & pedal couplers to be placed on the left jamb, along with the swell & pedal departments., as an earlier contributer pointed out, it is more likely that the left hand can be freed to select stops. If the swell to great, choir to great & solo to great couplers are placed under the great stops it is quite a stretch for the left hand, particularly if like me, you are not blessed with long arms! There is also the question of balance, if a 4 manual console has the couplers placed with the relevant department then it is likely that the great department jamb is going to be much larger than any other department, perhaps not a problem with an 'attached' console but certainly a consideration where console height is concerned. My personal preference is for the swell, pedal & couplers on the left jamb & great, choir & solo on the right,- perhaps this is because my own church console has this arrangement & I have got used to it. As for the placement of general thumb pistons,- before our recent console rebuild the generals were all on the left,- 4 under the solo key slip & 4 under the swell. As we were having new keyboards the opportunity was taken to review the position of these & I decided to have the 4 under the swell slip placed instead under the far right of the solo manual. I now regret that decision as it is a long stretch to No.8, with a 61 note compass! I tend to use only 1 - 4 & then change channels, it's less hassle! Fortunately this console is not fitted with a stepper/sequencer toe piston, however I consider the worst place to fit one is where the great to pedal toe piston is usually found and I speak from experience, unfortunately! Is there some way in which these things can be temporarily disabled? I suppose one solution is not to use any generals & set every one to alternately pull & push the great to pedal!! No mention has been made yet of the order the swell pedals are placed, my own preference is for the swell to be in the middle if there are 3 swell boxes or on the right if there are two, but I have met every permutation possible! What do other members think?
  12. How about this? http://www.youtube.com/user/aocvideo#p/u/0/D5HT70kiduM
  13. Nigel,please do not leave just because certain members consider it important how certain stops are spelt! I am sure most of us have more important things to worry about! One of the things that drew me to the organ many years ago was the fact that no two instruments are alike, and that includes the names given to describe stops. If I play an organ with a stop named Tromba, trombe trombi etc. the only assumption I make is that it is probably not a quiet reed! I don't give a tinker's cuss how it is spelt, my ears will tell me all I need to know. Now, how do I spell Gedackt ;- am I bovvered!!
  14. I was a pupil of Cecil Williams in the early 1960's, later becoming his assistant at St Mary's. I do not remember him as having a Doctorate though, perhaps we was awarded it after my time there. my memories of him have become a bit faded over the years but I remember him as a stern but good teacher. His influence led me to take up music professionally & we remained good friends until his death, indeed he played the organ for my wedding in1966. He did insist on choosing all the music though! I remember the organ in St. Mary's with great affection & Cecil took great pride in demonstrating & talking about it. The specification was almost identical to the then Willis III in All Souls, Langham Place, but Cecil never admitted being influenced by this organ. The tuba was indeed extended down to 32' & housed in the choir box. The swell also had 2 16' reeds but no 16' flue. One death-trap I remember to my cost was a' blind' full-organ toe piston. The consequences of failing to cancel this at a Civic Service still send shivers down my spine some 50 years later! I would not be surprised if his Worship the Mayor suffered permanent deafness, such was the power of the aformentioned tuba! The console was situated some 12ft above the ground, between 2 pillars. It was accessed by a wooden spiral staircase & was affectionately known as 'Cecil's Folly'! I gather the organ is now in a very sorry state, needing much work to the leatherwork etc. Hopefully some way will be found to restore this superb instrument to it's former glory?
  15. Redland Park, Bristol has solo, swell, choir,- left to right.
  16. Having 3 swell 8' reeds, including an oboe, is a bit of a luxury! I suspect the Horn has been re-voiced at some point in the past as it is very similar to the Cornopean, the main difference being that it is a little rounder in tone & louder. It's availability on the solo is very useful, both as a solo reed & coupled down to the pedal in 8' or 4' pitch. The cornopean is likewise available on the choir & is as you describe, more of a trumpet, if a little quieter.
  17. We try and keep the water away from the organ! Apart from perhaps some of the metal pipework, the rest of the instrument would not take kindly to the stuff. Best kept for the occasional whisky! Seriously, for some strange reason the specification did not include a mixture on the Great when it was enlarged to 4 manuals & installed in the church in 1957. This omission was corrected in 1991 when a completely new 3 rank mixture & mdf soundboard etc. was installed whilst the organ was being rebuilt. Since then it has performed flawlessly & always remains remarkably in tune, despite some widely fluctuating temperatures,- the URC's do like it hot!
  18. When a new soundboard was made for the new Great mixture at Redland Park Church, Bristol in 1990 it was constructed of MDF. This has proved to be extremely stable & trouble-free.
  19. A rather sweeping statement, I fear! One of the great attractions of the organ, as far as I am concerned is that no two instruments are alike. What works on one organ may well sound most unmusical on another. I have played instruments where adding the tuba in the right'musical' place has been appropriate & others where adding a so-called chorus reed has had the opposite effect. 'Horses for courses'! The bottom line must surely be,- will it enhance the musical experience? If George did draw the Tuba at the end of the Widor at Saturday's Evensong at Worcester, I for one thought it appropriate, particularly given the occasion! I do have the advantage over some members in that I was there!!
  20. Hi Simon, This sounds a great idea! Please count me + wife in for 25 March Mike
  21. Whilst not directly 'on theme', I remember playing for a funeral at my regular church a few years ago where the family objected to paying my usual fee. They felt it was most unfeeling & wrong for me to charge for my services, so much so that they wrote to the local Bishop! He was highly amused as the church in question is URC! I would also add that the family concerned were unknown to the minister & congregation! I eventually got my fee!
  22. Hi Adrian, Please count me in for 31/01/09, what great idea! I should have some spare seats if anyone wishes to share expenses from Nth. Somerset. Mike
  23. My point was that I have enjoyed following the progress at Worcester, having played both the Bradford & pipe organs on several occasions in the past. Therefore when I look at the postings under Worcester Cathedral, that is what I hope to find! There might be a place for discussions on how many tubas Salchester Abbey has but this topic is surely not the place for them. If contributors have 'run out of useful things to say...' then stop! I attended Evensong last Sunday afternoon & was ortunate enough to hear the new instrument being demonstrated by the Cathedral Assistant. Despite the swell boxes being inoperative & the presence of scaffolding the sound was truly magnificent, I look forward to hearing the finished product in the near future.
  24. Please may we return to the forum topic, I find this thread re. likes & dislikes rather childish in a topic that Adrian has otherwise made so informative. If you must continue, why not start a new topic?
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