Pipe Up Organ Day

Sam (12) and Katie (10) are organ enthusiasts. Their Mum has promised they can learn the organ when they reach grade 4 on the piano. Not far off this goal, they enjoyed a Pipe Up Organ Day Experience and tell us about it here.

On a Saturday in February a group of young organists, and organists to be, met at Wimborne Minster, to play the organ. After we had assembled Chris Totney and Richard Godfrey introduced us to the organ and explained how the morning would run. We were fortunate that we had seats where we could easily see the console although those in the Nave had a much better view of the trumpet pipes than we did!

Each person had the chance to play a piece. There was a huge variety of experience within the group of players from piano grade 1 through to organ grade 8. Chris and Richard guided everyone with which stops to use and which manuals to play on. We played a grade 3 and grade 4 piano piece.  Katie’s piece gave the chance for some manual hopping which happened without thinking about it! Sam enjoyed his thoroughly despite thinking one of the stops was very squeaky!

It was interesting to meet other young musicians and to hear them play. We also noted how the sound of the instrument changed throughout the building, especially outside the library (behind the organ) and how the brightness changed in the nave. We quietly walked around the building during one of the performances to listen to all of this. Katie was shocked to discover that one child had never seen an organ close to before, but she had a ‘tour’ around what stops did, and what the difference keyboards were, and was shown the pedals so was no longer worried when it came to her turn to play.

For those of us at the beginning of the organ playing journey it was a good experience to hear more advanced students playing and it was great to hear this organ and have the chance to play it.  It should also be added we enjoyed hearing Chris Totney play, and the final seal of approval came with fantastic cakes on offer!

Katie (age 10) and Sam (age 12)

If you have taken part in an event and would like to share your experience with others, drop The Organ Manual a line, we’d love to hear from you!

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