From JS Bach to Andrew Lloyd Webber, musical magnificence was showcased before 200 people at a special gala concert to launch a splendid new organ in The Armidale School’s Memorial Hall on 17 November.
A gift from an anonymous Old Boy, the organ was put through its paces by acclaimed organist Warwick Dunham, who was joined by various choirs and soloists. While the organ did justice to the drama of JS Bach’s Toccato and Fugue in D Minor, so, too, did it enliven a musical selection from Phantom of the Opera, with, literally, bells and whistles.
The $100,000 custom-made organ was manufactured by the Allen Organ Company of Pennsylvania, US, and is the largest concert instrument in Armidale and the only one of its kind in Australia.
The organ has three keyboards and 50 ‘stops’ which provide a broad range of musical tonal colour. The console has been shaped from American walnut finished in oak, with French-style draw knobs fashioned from rosewood stems and maple faces.
TAS Headmaster Murray Guest said the organ was not just a gift to the school which assisted with ceremony, presentations and worship, but also to the city of Armidale.
“It is a grand addition to the Memorial Hall – itself a gift of former students – where assemblies and ceremonies are held every week of the school year. However it will also be a wonderful asset to the cultural life of Armidale, and we are all indebted to the generosity of the donors for enabling that,” he said.
Click on the image below to take you to a gallery of photos from the night.