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Mander Organs


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Everything posted by carrick

  1. This coming Friday 15th of May at 9pm BST (4pm EDT/1pm PDT/6am Saturday AEST) sees a broadcast of Nicholas Martin at the 3/19 Wurlitzer of Turners Musical Merry Go Round. Make sure to set your reminder to tune in!
  2. Still quite a number of people with cinema organs in their homes. The grand daddy of them all, for me, was Len Rawles Ex Empire Leicester Square Wurlitzer, which at 25 ranks, took up a space half as big as the house again. Lots of people build small extensions onto their detached or semi detached homes to make chamber space for smaller instruments.
  3. On Wednesday at 8pm (GMT+1) there will be a "live" broadcast concert with Simon Gledhill at the Opera House, Blackpool. This was recorded on the 25th of June 2016. Make sure to tune in and see the Worlds newest original Wurlitzer installation in action!https://youtu.be/pTaSBmAEzm0
  4. Something different to keep everyone sane during these times. Nigel Ogden at the new Empress Ballroom Wurlitzer with music from Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack.
  5. carrick

    David Clegg

    The Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer was installed in the Tower Ballroom in 1929 - hence my reference above to James Hodgetts FRCO taking the job there after being at the Empress Ballroom for 4 years. The image shown on Wikipedia is of the new organ and I can assure you that it is a pipe organ, and speaks through the grilles above the stage. The new instrument utilised the disused chambers that were constructed for the original Wurlitzer in 1934. Regardless of all that though, if possible, to find out more of the original Clegg/Cookson organ.
  6. carrick

    David Clegg

    Being involved with the newly installed Empress Ballroom organ in Blackpool, I find it sad there is so little documentation of the original organ installed by Clegg and its subsequent rebuild by Cookson under the direction of G.T Pattman in 1924. All there seems to be is a specification on NPOR, and some information a trusted source managed to dig out of his extensive archive which was all hand written copied information from newspaper accounts of the time. I've pieced together what I've managed to find out below. The first pipe organ in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, was originally a travelling organ built by an unknown Blackburn firm for David Clegg. It was installed in the Winter Garden's Indian Lounge (now gone, the space it was is now known as the Arena) in the first half of 1913, The Blackpool Herald, dated Tuesday 17 June 1913, lists David Clegg and his Military Band Organ in the Indian Lounge twice daily and Sundays at 8pm. It had eight manuals, not all of which were full compass, and they controlled the various divisions and effects of the organ. Over the summer season of 1913 the recitals on the organ grew in popularity and by October/November of that year, the organ was relocated from the Indian Lounge, next door, to the upper east balcony of the Empress Ballroom. David Clegg delivered the opening recital on the 12th of November and continued playing it for recitals, dances, and silent picture/film accompaniment right up till his death on the 31st of October 1923. Newspaper accounts vary the number of manuals during this time, from anything between eight and fourteen. It is possible that it was enlarged over the years and at the point of David Cleggs death, it had fourteen manuals. At the time of David Cleggs passing away the organ still belonged to him. The announcement of the organ being for sale by auction seemed to have triggered a public outcry and the people of Blackpool did not wish it to depart from the town. In May 1924 the Gazette and Herald reported that: "It is suggested that the employment of some progressive firm of organ builders, who would re-build the organ on more-or-less standard lines, whist retaining all the effects and material (which I assume is the rest of the organ), then tune it to concert pitch, is desirable. Two separate consoles should be provided, one in the traditional place and one “in the orchestra”. An expert organist should be called in to advise". The rebuild was completed by E.Cookson, an organ builder from the North East of England. The organist advising on the scheme was G.T Pattman. G.T Pattman left his position at the Empress Ballroom in 1925 and the position of recital organist was taken up by James Hodgetts F.R.C.O. Hodgetts remained at the Empress Ballroom until 1929, when he took up residency at the Tower Ballroom on the new 2/10 Wurlitzer. His position at the Empress Ballroom was taken up by William C. Vann, who later became depute organist to Reginald Dixon. William C. Vann was also organist at the Palladium and several Blackpool Churches. With the installation of the new Wurlitzer organ in the Empress Ballroom during the winter if 1934/35, it appears that the concert organ was, discarded unless someone knows otherwise. Attached is a photo of the ballroom in the late 1920s. The organ case can be seen on the far balcony, which is 15ft deep and spans some 90ft, and the ceiling topping out 45ft above.
  7. What would be wrong with the "theatre organ people" having wind of it? A sale is a sale, you wanted to do it, so you cannot grumble about it, regardless of who is buying it.
  8. I have been using Zoom products for about 10 years now and they seem to produce a good result for the money. The live content I have created for YouTube have all mostly used a Zoom H4N or H2 placed somewhere in the room. The following video has sound recorded from a Zoom H2 placed around 100ft away from the chambers.
  9. Donald Mackenzie, among others, has recorded "Calling All Workers" on the ODEON Leicester Square Compton for his CD, "Donald and the Duchess"
  10. NIGEL OGDEN at the EMPRESS BALLROOM WURLITZER Nigel Ogden of BBC Radio 2 fame will be at the recently installed Wurlitzer of the Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, to perform the first organ concert in the venue in 50 years. For more information click HERE
  11. I'm not sure how many people on this forum will be aware of this, but it's certainly worth drawing attention to even if it is not in the UK. The American Organ Institute at Oklahoma University has been running for around 13 years and has grown considerably since those beginnings and teaches all manner of organ playing, be it classical, theatre or electronic. Alongside studying that, students also learn how to maintain/build those very instruments through the maintenance of some 100 pipe organs in the state of Oklahoma. It is also home to several archive collections which are of international importance. In June 2019, Oklahoma University decided to close the AOI, citing financial reasons for the decision, despite the AOI being self funded. The university also turned down a $5 million donation in order for the programme to continue for several more years. A website has been set up for people to support the AOI and for further information. There is also an ongoing petition. https://www.savetheaoi.org/
  12. carrick


    Horace Finch at the 3 manual, 13 rank Wurlitzer of the Empress Ballroom (A room larger than St Georges Hall in Liverpool) in Blackpool Winter Gardens with a selection of Harry Warrens music from the 1930's, played in Horace's individual style. https://youtu.be/cGBdQT7BlOU
  13. This may be of interest to some folks on here. Over the past couple of years I have been working on transferring my collection of Reg Dixon 78rpm's over to YouTube. I have some 500 in the collection, though some of these are duplicates (which have come in very handy!) , and I don't yet have all of his 78rpm output. As well as that, I'm also uploading what other organ 78rpm's I have, and may collect in the future.
  14. carrick


    Another magnificent Live broadcast thanks to Dickinson Theatre Organ Society!
  15. Copyright is now 70 years, but anything released 50 years before the year that law was passed (2014?) is now in public domain. Tbh, if you haven't made your money out of a recording in that 50 years, it's not going to happen now lol.
  16. Hmmm, a Hammond in a big room can create quite a punch for what it is, it's still an impressive sound, though it might not be to everyone's taste, likewise for pipes too.
  17. "Regulator" is a common word in theatre organ terminology for bellows. Yes, you can just turn off the tremulants (and the Tibias).
  18. You need some rock solid regulators for that. Compton regulators behave themselves and can pull it off well, provided you don't use celestes or any tibias. Wurlitzers need a bit more care, as the regulators usually want bounce. I don't believe for one second that anyone can say they aren't a fan of theatre organs, it just takes for you to find the style of playing that you enjoy. That's the beauty of it!
  19. Both the Empress Ballroom and Opera House are in the Winter Gardens. Wobulation devices are there to be used, though, I will admit it takes a few minutes to get used to them after being used to hearing the straight sound. Concert wise, May might be the only other date at the Opera House this year, getting the dates for concerts can be tricky as it's a very busy venue. Hopefully, there will be more dates later in the year as the theatre and the organ are 80 years old this year. Concerts in the Empress Ballroom aren't happening as yet, but that is on the cards for the future. Tower Ballroom concerts are like hens teeth now, the last one was 3 years ago for Phil Kelsalls 40th anniversary, this year marks 125 years of the Tower Building, and 90 years of Wurlitzer in the Tower Ballroom, so I reckon there might be a possibility of a concert there this year.
  20. There are three Wurlitzers in Blackpool. 1:- Tower Ballroom :- Yes, it is amplified. The organ can be heard perfectly well on the ballroom floor without amplification, however, the spaces along the sides of the ballroom floor where the "audience" sit misses the sound, so it was amplified for their sakes. These days, with how current sound technicians operate, it is often cranked up to silly levels which aren't needed at all. All it needs is a "push" into the sides of the room. 2:- Empress Ballroom - This is a "hybrid" (as it isn't purely Wurlitzer, yet!). It was installed in 2014. The Empress Ballroom is a bit larger than St Georges Hall in Liverpool, almost twice the size of the Tower Ballroom. No amplification needed at all, it's pretty loud on the ballroom floor 3:- Opera House - The last new Wurlitzer to come to the UK from the Wurlitzer factory. It's installed understage and speaks through the orchestra pit. Some of the sound of the organ misses the stalls seating a little. So, for concerts, mild "amplification" is applied to give the sound a little push into the stalls, you'd never notice it was amplified though, as I make sure you can't each morning before the concert.
  21. Adding to the variety... Blackpool Opera House's Mighty Wurlitzer, the last to be shipped to the UK by the Wurlitzer company, is 80 years young this year. The only Wurlitzer to be installed in a true theatre in the UK, it is still used for shows and events, as well as concerts. The next concert will be on the 14th of May at 2 pm (doors 1:30). With tickets just £6.50, it's a cheap and easy way to support an instrument that marks the end of an era. Tickets can be booked online at - Tickets Or you can book from the box office on the day, or by telephone :- 0844 856 1111
  22. No problem at all! 57 ranks at those prices work out between £570,000 to £860,000 from new. Percussions, traps, effects are all available second hand, and you can always have a digitally sampled piano, there are some pretty impressive samples out there for things like Kontact software etc. The possibilities these days in organ building are almost limitless, with the exception of space and budget.
  23. @MusingMuso For your benefit, here's a spec straight from the Civic Hall Compton console, working in sides reading from left to right. Row 1 is the bottom stop rail, Row 3 is the top stop rail. The Krummet was replaced by the Sax. Left Stop Jamb Row 1 - Pedal 32ft Harmonics of 16ft Harmonics of 16ft Bombarde 16ft Posaune 16ft Trumpet 8ft Bombarde 8ft English Horn 4ft Bombarde 16ft Piano Cymbal Tap Triangle Crash Cymbal Bass Drum P Bass Drum F Choir to Pedal Great to Pedal Swell to Pedal Solo to Pedal Solo Octave to Pedal Row 2 - Effects Fire Bell Surf Train Whistle Steam Boat Sleigh Bells Break - Pedal 32ft Sub Bass 16ft Contra Bass 16ft Open Bass 16ft Salicional 16ft Violone 16ft Sub Bass 16ft Bourdon 10 2/3 Quinte 8ft Octave 8ft Salicional 8ft Flute 5 1/3 Twelfth 4ft Fifteenth 4ft Flute IV Fourniture Row 3 - Swell 16ft Violone 8ft Geigen 8ft Viola de Gamba 8ft Viole Celeste 8ft Rohr Flute 4ft Geigen Octave 4ft Viola 2ft Fifteenth IV Mixture 16ft Double Trumpet 8ft Trumpet 8ft Hautboy 4ft Clarion Sub Octave Octave Tremulant Solo to Swell Back rail - Solo 8ft Violone Cello 8ft Viole Celeste 8ft Harmonic Flute 4ft Harmonic Flute 8ft Clarinet 8ft Orchestral Oboe 8ft Kinura 8ft Brass Sax 8ft English Horn 8ft Tuba 8ft Trumpet 4ft Tuba Clarion 8ft Tibia Clausa 4ft Tibia Clausa 12th Tibia Clausa 2ft Tibia Clausa 4ft Glock 4ft Xylo 4ft Vibraphone Chimes 8ft Grand Piano Unison Off Sub Octave Octave Tremulant Great to Solo Sub Great to Solo Unison Great to Solo Octave Great to Solo Quint Great to Solo Tierce Left Stop Jamb Row 1 - Choir 2ft Tibia Clausa 2ft Tibia 12th 2ft Fifteenth 1 3/5 Tierce II Acuta 8ft Horn 8ft Posaune 8ft English Horn 8ft Tuba 8ft Brass Sax 8ft Kinura 4ft Vibraphone Triangle Tap Cymbal Tap Chinese Block Castanets Tambourine 8ft Grand Piano 4ft Grand Piano Octave Great to Choir Swell to Choir Solo to Choir Tremulant Row 2 - Great 4ft Xylo Tremulant Sub Octave Octave Solo to Great Swell to Great Choir to Great 16ft Grand Piano 8ft Grand Piano 4ft Grand Piano Break - Choir 16ft Salicional 16ft Bourdon 8ft Violone Cello 8ft Open Diapason 8ft Gemshorn 8ft Tibia Clausa 8ft Salicional 8ft Vox Angelica 8ft Claribel Flute 8ft Lieblich Gedeckt 4ft Tibia Clausa 4ft Salicet 4ft Flauto Traverso 4ft Lieblich Flote 2 2/3 Nasard Row 3 - Great 16ft Double Open Diapason 8ft Violone Cello 8ft Open Diapason I 8ft Open Diapason II 8ft Open Diapason III 8ft Stopped Diapason 8ft Tibia Clausa 4ft Octave 4ft Principal 4ft Tibia Clausa 2 2/3 Tibia Clausa 2ft Super Octave 12th 2ft Fifteenth IV Fourniture IV Harmonics 16ft Contra Posaune 8ft Tromba 8ft Horn 8ft English Horn 8ft Brass Sax 8ft Kinura 4ft Clarion 4ft Glock As for prices for a new organ - I've always gone along the lines of others, budget for £10-15k per rank and you shouldn't too far off the mark. A new English Horn (theatre organ) will cost about £3500 for the pipework, plus the cost of the chest, winding, labour.
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