Marching onwards ~ March, 2013
Town Hall organ's future
In a nutshell, it's all looking good. To recap for those who may have missed it, this is the official word:
At the 22 November 2012 Christchurch City Council Meeting it was resolved unanimously on the motion of Councillor Johanson, seconded by Councillor Corbett, that the Council:
a) Adopt its preferred option for the Town Hall (as agreed to in the draft annual plan) to repair the existing facility to 100 per cent of New Building Standard.
b) Note the overwhelming majority of submitters to the draft annual plan were in favour of this option.
c) Agree with the heritage advice that the sense of place would be compromised if only the auditorium is retained.
d) Agree that there may be opportunities to rework the southern entry to the Town Hall from the Avon River Park which may mean some changes to Boaters, the Limes and Cambridge rooms.
e) Note that any such changes to the southern entrance would be approved by the Council prior to going through any consent processes.
To that end, the organ curator Martin Setchell, the organ builder Wendelin Eberle of Rieger Orgelbau, and the Project Manager for the Major Facilities Rebuild Unit, Patrick Cantillon, are working towards effecting the work required. We will keep you posted when further details come to light. We have been waiting 2 years and 22 days to hear the organ play again, and so continue to wait. And to think that I once used to become impatient watching kettles...
Organ concert and more, this Friday, March 15th
But musical life goes on in Christchurch! Organ curator Martin Setchell
is busier than ever, and this Friday, March 15th he will provide a fun lunch-hour programme as part of the Music Centre's "Musical Mentors
" weekly Friday series in St Augustine's Church, Cracroft Terrace, Cashmere. The concert, which includes works by Ogden, Hollins, Fletcher, Elgar, Grainger, Bridge, and Takle runs from 1.20pm until 2pm; for Martin's full programme, please visit his concert page here
. Don't forget to leave plenty of time to get lost in the sea of road closed signs and road cones on your way there.
And for afters, a cup of tea, munchie biscuit, and the AGM of the Friends of the Christchurch Town Hall Organ Trust
. Seems only a few days ago we had the last one. So come along, enjoy Martin's concert first, and take part in the AGM which will be held at St Augustine's. Martin's CDs, Bonbons for Organ 1
and the last recording of the organ in January 2010 (on the Priory label) Great Australasian Organs VII
, and my book "Organ-isms: Anecdotes from the World of the King of Instruments"
will be on sale there for the special $20 price. The cats, as usual, are contributing nothing but a few loose hairs.
Rebuilding in Christchurch
Although many central city building are yet to be demolished, much of Christchurch is now flattened, cleared and ready to rise again. Many buildings face uncertain futures, and you can view some of these at this photo album here
. The 'cardboard' Anglican cathedral in Latimer Square, is taking shape as the tubes for the roof are put in place, although the cardboard tubes have had to be bolstered by timbers inside the tubes to meet the strict building requirements for the new city. The NZOPT gazetteers for the North and South Islands
have just been updated, so you can track where some of the displaced Canterbury organs have shifted to, as well as get information on organs throughout New Zealand.
RIP Marie-Claire, and hello organs of Paris
One of the organ world's most influential figures this century, Marie-Claire Alain, died on February 26, aged 86. An interview here
with this remarkable woman published in The Organ magazine in 1994 after she released her 3rd recording of the complete organ works of J S Bach, gives a little insight into her thinking. The ubiquitous Pipedreams website has a two-part documentary
which explores many aspects of the talented Alain family lives. While on things French, if you are keen to learn more about the wonderful world of Parisan organs from before the revolution, delve into this website
and lose yourself for several hours...
Bitz n' batz
The organ-themed gift shop, organgifts.com
, surges on, increasing in variety and options daily (to the detriment of housework and kitty-pandering). It's a great place to look if you need a gift, or cards for all occasions. I am also working on a sequel to 'Organ-isms", so if you have any curious tales from the organ loft, please tell me!! Incidentally, one cathedral shop in the UK you can always get hold of a copy of "Organ-isms" is Wells Cathedral shop in the UK. Also selling at Wells Cathedral are souvenirs of Louis, their ginger in-cathedral mouser. Meet him here.
And here's a video for those of you who have trouble remembering your music theory - a cheesy little song
that has them all...
a competition and hopefully more news about our organ... meanwhile, time to iron the cats...