The Contract Has Landed!

South Island Organ Co Limited is excited to announce that on 31 August 2018 we have been commissioned to build a new pipe organ for St John’s Anglican Church, Gordon, N.S.W., Australia.
This is a great mile stone for us as we had been nursing this project for nearly 10 years.

In 2009 we were invited by Dr Brett McKern on behalf of the organ committee to investigate the possibilities for installing a new organ in St John’s to replace the ailing and unsuitable Rendall instrument. We were excited to find a church with the need, the space, the will, the liturgy, the choral tradition, the choirs, a competent organ committee and an expert music director and organ consultant in Brett.

By November 2010 we had formulated the exciting plan, complete with CAD drawings and specifications.

In March 2011 we were invited to quote on the plan in competition with 2 other companies.

In 2013 we requoted and in 2014 the parish accepted our quotation in principle and decided to go forward in two stages with our vision for the organ.

Its essentials are as follows:

Removal of the Rendall organ to storage for restoration to its original concept and development as a west-end gallery division of the new organ.
Installation of a new 4 manual organ based on a redundant romantic – symphonic style 1934 Hill, Norman & Beard instrument owned by SIOC.
Redevelopment of the unused organ chamber over the vestry to give the organ an elevated chancel position to fill the church without sounding oppressive and free up the overcrowded sanctuary floor.
Expansion of the resource organ with an expressive division of matching Hill, Norman & Beard pipes, a new façade, blower and digital transmission to give it the musical versatility to accompany the full choral and organ repertoire and facilitate a revitalisation of parish music.
Stage 2 of the project is to install the west-end antiphonal division of the new organ based on the restored Rendall organ.

SIOC has supported the organ committee‘s work by providing full specifications and technical design drawings ahead of the signed contract to facilitate their research into the civic, legal, structural, contractual, aesthetic and functional requirements for the successful realisation of this project.

St Johns willingness to engage with our imaginatively designed proposal to craft such an instrument from new and pre-loved materials, fills us with great enthusiasm to make this organ special. We believe that it will prove a wise investment facilitating a mission opportunity that is special to this parish, one that is urgently awaiting this nourishment.

Now we are full steam ahead building the perfect new instrument at half the cost of an all new equivalent organ. Completion of stage 1 (Chancel organ) is expected by the end of 2019.

Photos of St John’s Church by Kelvin Chamberlain Photography.
Rendered images of the new Chancel organ by David Kohlmann.

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More than a Pipe Dream

More Than a Pipe Dream pays homage to the highly skilled individuals in the South Island Organ Company who have dedicated so much of their lives to designing, building and restoring pipe organs, highly complex musical instruments as they are. In these pages you find the story of how this unique company first came to be formed. An impressive amount of detail will be unveiled of its development, achievements and adventures, including secrets of the instruments construction and the art of restoration, all of which is presented in a highly readable manner so that you will never feel overwhelmed by technical jargon.

This book is the work of multi-award-winning writer Jill Worrall.

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