Organs of distinction  JohnPage, Organ Builder



Restoration of the Emmett 89-keyless Gavioli

Final testing

While I was carrying out the final tubing of this organ Keith Emmett appeared carrying a chair. He put the chair down at the end of the trailer just by the snare drum and sat on it. He said, "Come on - I want to hear it. Put a book on!". A few minutes later I fitted the last tube and turned on the blower. I put a book of music in the keyframe and shut the lid. I fully expected the organ to emit mostly music, but augmented with ciphers and dumb notes. Instead, it played the tune almost perfectly. The look on Keith's face was priceless - fully justifying my work of the past year.

Of course, there were adjustments needed - and fine-tuning, so over the following few days I played the organ almost constantly, and I'm sure Keith did when I wasn't there. That was in August 2003. It has been tuned twice since then, and it's still playing to this day. The last occasion I was with the organ was at the Stony Stratford festival of "Christmas Lights Turn-on" in November 2012, when it played from 11am to 6pm non-stop, collecting for charity, as it does every year.

Since the restoration this organ has received a face-lift, with the facade and surrounding panels re-painted. You can see how the organ is locally received on the Stony Lights website.

Update: I am writing this paragraph in June 2016, after tuning the piccolos and one trumpet. These were all it needed to have the organ playing as well as ever. It continues to attend the Stony Stratford event mentioned above every year and there's no sign of this changing. Another local event attended since 2014 is the Organ Festival held at Milton Keynes Museum each October.

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