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About the Organ

The current organ was donated to the School by the Old Boys as a memorial to Staff and Old Boys killed in the Great War. It arrived from the UK in 1926. It was a beautiful instrument designed for the long, reverberant Chapel.

Sadly it no longer makes the musical impact it did in the early 1900s. There are two reasons for this: firstly, when the Chapel was extended in 1985 it changed from a long rectangular scheme to a much wider room. Thus the organ speaks into a space for which it was not originally intended. Its systems are in need of modernisation and careful renewal after almost a century of heavy use.


Secondly, in the 1970s an ‘organ reform’ movement swept the world and as a result unsypathetic changes were made to the organ, altering the nature of the original English Romantic sound. Its powers were reduced, and altered its status as one of New Zealand’s most significant heritage musical instruments.

Whilst the organ works well for some occasions, it no longer speaks with the seat-shaking splendour it once did. Today, the demands made upon it as a national recital instrument, heavily utilised teaching resource and heartbeat of the Chapel services are compromised. Therefore the decision has been made to embark on a complete restoration of this well known community resource and to provide a new mechanical-action teaching instrument, the work to be undertaken by the South Island Organ Company, New Zealand, to see it in excellent order for for the next 100 years at least.



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