MORE major work is to be carried out during the summer on the University of Huddersfield's concert organ in St Paul's. And thanks to two major awards - from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts and from the Lottery - other work in the building can be carried out at the same time.
It is understood that the sum of the two grants is well over £100,000, a large proportion of which is for the organ. The first phase of refurbishment was undertaken last summer when the organ's console chassis and its keyboards, pedalboard and stopknobs were renewed, along with the key actions to the Swell Organ and the repalleting of the Swell soundboard.
The work about to be done involves similar renewal of the rest of the mechanisms along with some tonal alternations.
Perhaps most important - and expensive - of these is the replacement of the Pedal tower pipes with new ones made from tin, to match the rest of the facade pipework. The organ pedal pipes are constructed from zinc.
Said our member Keith Jarvis, who is, of course, University Organist, "I am most impressed with the searching study which the Lottery people have made both of the organ and of the hall."
In his report, Ian Bell, assessor for the Arts Council said, "The organ is unique in the area and as such is much prized and in demand." It is certainly one of the most used organs in the country and the constant use has resulted in the need for major refurbishment. To this end, Mr Bell went on, "It was noted that extra heavy use of the organ, by students and external users, had contributed to the deterioration of the actions."
The programme of refurbishment was fully supported and Mr Jarvis commented that Huddersfield was very fortunate to have two organs of major national importance - those at the Town Hall and at St Paul's.
"This complements the high level of teaching at the University," he said. "And without these instruments it would be difficult to achieve the high standards required."
"In addition," he continued, "Wood of Huddersfield, builders of the University instrument and who now maintain the Town Hall organ, are rated as organ builders of major national significance."
The organ is likely to be out of action from August 1 until early November.