Updated: Jul 6
Here are the flavours of our latest Newsletter, which has been sent to Members. Join if you wish to receive the full stories.
Spring Hill Revisited
Our first event to open the season and the new year, and to reopen Organ Society events after lockdown!
And what a way to do it. An Organ Ramble to three lesser known but iconic organs in the Spring Hill area of Brisbane - St Pauls Presbyterian, All Saints Anglican, and The Baptist City Tabernacle.
At St Pauls. Dr Steven Nisbet demonstrated the organ with a Parry Prelude, a Davies Solemn Melody, incorporating a beautiful use of the (french) Horn as solo, and rounded out the demonstration with well modulated Hymn Singing of Diademata, Crown Him with many Crowns, including his trademark Prelude, Reharmonisation and Postlude, to set off a rousing start to our ramble.
A short stroll downhill brought us to the historic All Saints Anglican Church on Wickham Terrace. This beautiful sandstone building, a favourite of wedding parties, houses an up to date adaptation of an original TC Lewis organ from 1873, which started life in St Johns Pro-Cathedral in downtown Brisbane, then via the Pancake Manor (true, a converted Anglican church) to All Saints in 1957, by Whitehouse Bros. Then in this century, the masterful hands of Simon Pierce and staff rebuilt and enlarged it in 2007 in its preent position in the rear gallery.
After a short break for lunch we repaired to the Baptist Tabernacle on Wickham Terrace, to see and hear perhaps the largest church non Cathedral organ in the city. It commenced life as long ago as 1915, so the organ has celebrated its centenary in its original location. However it has moved from its Whitehous incarnation of 20 stops 3 manuals to a magnificent 21st century presentation by Ian Brown and Associates of Ballina, sporting now 4 manuals and 43 speaking stops. Denis Wayper demonstrated the organ, and explained his connection to the church from his wedding there 52 years ago, with organist Will Stay at the console, well before Denis even learned to play organ.
The Lunchtime Concert is back at City Hall !
Last month we were treated to a marvellous concert by the English organist Simon Nieminski, who at present is the Assistant Director of Music at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.
His program at City Hall spanned the globe, starting with the Majestic Fanfare, by Charles Williams. Very interesting you say, but you will know this music as the theme from the ABC News bulletins!
Obligatory Bach was the Toccata and Fugue in E, BWV566, for which the organist dubbed his registrations as “Town Hall Romantic Style Bach”!
Altogether a masterful and enjoyable entertainment from Simon Nieminski at the Brisbane City Hall.
40th Anniversary at the Conservatorium
It was the 40th anniversary of the inaugural celebrations of the newly installed pipe organ at the Queensland Conservatorium. Organist Christopher Wrench agreed to perform an all-Bach program. Sunday 21st March was chosen as the obvious date for this concert in that it marked both the 336th birthday of J. S. Bach and also the date on which the week-long inauguration activities concluded 40 years ago.
Our Patron Prof Peter Roennfeldt presented a very interesting PowerPoint presentation that consisted of pictures of the organ’s construction that gave almost a time-lapse picture of it being built.
Building on the success of this concert, we will be looking to see if we can mount one or two a year on a semi-permanent basis in order that this instrument is heard more frequently. Certainly, more than a few have suggested to me that we head in this direction.