Wrexham church's organ staying in tune after 120 years

Published date: 25 April 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THE sound of an historic organ has reverberated around a Wrexham church for more than a century.

And a series of concerts will be held to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the building of the organ at St Giles Church in Wrexham town centre.

Organ builders Forster and Andrews, of Hull, constructed the piped instrument in 1894 and it has brought joy to the hearts of churchgoers in Wrexham ever since – with only the most minor or tinkering.

Despite its age, current organist Gerry Howe, 59, says the imposing instrument can rival any church organ.

“It is a very fine instrument, it is one of the best,” said Mr Howe, who has been at the church for three years.

“I have played quite a lot of cathedral organs and it is certainly, in terms of quality, in the same league.

“The acoustics of the church are magnificent and it sounds wonderful.

“Some tonal alterations were made in the 1980s to make it sound brighter and more modern, but apart from this it is unchanged.

“The original mechanism is still in place and working well, which is a great tribute to the skill and workmanship of the original builders.”

The organ is serviced and tuned twice a year by Henry Willis and Sons, of Liverpool, to keep it in good working order and defy its advancing age.

To celebrate the great life of the organ, there will be a series of 12 lunchtime concerts on Mondays, beginning on April 28 with an organ concert given by
well-known recitalist William Smallman.

Other recitalists include Andrew Burr, John Hosking, Fay Adamson and Mr Howe.

Lunches will be served at noon prior to the concerts at 12.30pm. Admission to the concerts is free and all are welcome.

On June 7 there will be a special concert given by international concert artist Ian Tracey, organist titulaire at Liverpool Cathedral, starting at 7.30pm.

For details of these and other events email or call into the church, on Church Street, for a leaflet.

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