On December 2 the restored Auckland Town Hall organ will be officially handed over to the Auckland City Council. Mayor, the Honourable John Banks QSO, will hold a small function for those closely associated with the project.
But that is not the end of the story. There will be final adjustments to make and a settling in period for the organ before its official inauguration on 21 March 2010.
In the meantime pipe 'voicing' continues with Markus Linden of Orgelbau Klais working around the clock and around events booked in the Town Hall! Every one of the more than five thousand pipes is being finely adjusted to perfectly match its neighbours and the hall.
As the hall is progressively filled with more and more glorious sound, word is that people are being brought to tears. The organ seems well on its way to being a great international concert instrument.
Film crews will have been alongside this project from the start, recording its great story - from the old organ’s last sounds in December 2007 to the restored instrument's first public appearance in March 2010. The documentary on DVD will be available soon afterwards with first orders being taken at the Inauguration.
A special lectern is being made from unused parts of the 1911
organ to display the Donors' Register. As awareness of the project grows so does the list of donors. The register will remain open until every one of the organ's 5,352 pipes is 'adopted'. Suggest to your friends and family that they visit the official website to find out about it: www.aucklandorgan.org.nz
SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Will the organ be available for this year’s Messiah? A. No. The Allen digital instrument will continue to be used until the Inauguration in March.
Q. Will the organ be subject to major changes in the future – like those of 1970?
A. No. The organ, like the Town Hall, has been restored to its Edwardian state. It is now subject to the New Zealand Protected Objects Act (1975) as well as being a Category A Heritage Protected Item. These protections will ensure that any work on the organ in the future will be done in a considered manner.
Q. Klais organs generally have a distinctive tone somewhat different from the usual 'English' sound. What will the Town Hall organ sound like? A. It will be very like a traditional English town hall organ since that was the restoration brief given to Klais. However, it is considerably larger than the original to ensure it has the versatility expected of a 21st century concert instrument of international stature.
THIS MONTH’S PICTURES
Carved Pukaea pipes Oak and glass Koauau pipes Markus Linden voices a trombone pipe Arne Volker films construction in Bonn -October 2008 Bill McCarthy records progress in Auckland - October 2009
FOR YOUR DIARY
Sunday 21 March 2010 - Inauguration. Thursday 25 March 2010 - APO organ concerto concert with Thomas Trotter. Sunday 28 March 2010 - Thomas Trotter celebrity recital.