The organ will be unveiled to the public in a series of events 21 — 24 May

21 May Inaugural Recital with David Drinkell

Colchester-born concert organist David Drinkell makes a triumphant return to his home town to give the opening recital on the restored organ.  David is Director of Music at St John’s Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist Newfoundland in Canada.

The event on 21 May  is hosted by the Mayor of Colchester and is by invitation.  The concert will be repeated on Sunday 24 May at 4pm — and the recital is free!

David Drinkell was born in Colchester, Essex, England.  Prior to taking his position at the Cathedral, David was Master of the Music at St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Scotland and Organist and Master of the Choristers at St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Among his numerous musical accreditations, David is one of the few recipients of the Archbishop’s Diploma in Church Music (ADCM), which is awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The programme will contain a new work by Colchester-based composer Julia Usher: The ART and INDUSTRY of PIPEWORK with sound diffusion by Duncan Chapman

Friday 22 May Films and events at firstsite 

firstsite will be showing films from the East Anglian Film Archive in their auditorium.  East Anglia has long been a hotbed of activity for fairground organs and some of these unusual projects have been captured on film over the years.  A fantastic opportunity to see some of these extraordinary documentaries.

Saturday 23 May 10.30am and 12.00am Meet the Organ with Borough Organist Ian Ray 

Ian Ray is Colchester Moot Hall’s celebrated Borough organist.  He will be demonstrating the restored organ to friends, families and children.  If you want to get hands-on and have an opportunity to play the organ — what ever your age — come along to one of these hour-long sessions

Pipe Making at firstsite and The Big Pipe Busk

11am, 1pm and 2pm; Pipe Making will begin at firstsite with Jules Bushell — families are encouraged to come and make and decorate a pipe.

Join us for Colchester’s first Big Pipe Busk! Create your own version of an organ pipe during the day with musician Jules Bushnell. Then at 4.30pm to process through the town to the Moot Hall and join in an extra-special performance with Weston Jennings on the refurbished organ where you will create some of the sounds on your own pipes. The most fun you can have with a pipe organ!

Procession to the Moot Hall for the Big Pipe Busk

At 4.30pm there will be procession from firstsite to the Moot Hall for a 5pm performance of The Big Pipe Busk with Jules Bushell.  Weston Jennings, Organ Scholar at the Royal Festival Hall and Chelmsford Cathedral will perform alongside the pipes made arguer in the day.  The most fund you can have with a pipe organ! Free, booking essential, call: 01206 577 067

Sunday 24 May 10.30am: Open Rehearsal with Colchester Institute and Tom Bell (organ)

Open Rehearsal with Colchester Institute Sunday 24 May, 10.30am – 12.30pm Colchester Moot Hall Join students from Colchester Institute as they rehearse and perform pieces specially composed in association with the Moot Hall organ project. Concert organist Tom Bell performs the music with percussionist Michael Allen. The pieces will be recorded during this session. Free

Sunday 24 May 2 – 3pm: The Organ in the Movies with Dr Jeremy Barham 

Dr Jeremy Barham at the firstsite theatre; 4pm repeat recital at the Moot Hall.

Jeremy Barham:

A hilarious look at the long history of the organ on the silver screen.

Creating the soundtrack to literally hundreds of movies and in particular iconic early horror films, the organ has a long history of life on the silver screen. Join Dr Jeremy Barham on a trip through the ages looking at iconic movie clips and how the organ has enjoyed some unlikely appearances.

Please note, this event may not be suitable for some small children under the age of 12 unless accompanied by an adult. Free, booking essential call 01206 577 067

4pm Inaugural Recital with David Drinkell

A repeat of David Drinkell’s recital from Thursday 21st May.  An opportunity, for those who were not able to attend, to hear the restored Moot Hall organ.

The programme will contain a new work by Colchester-based composer Julia Usher: The ART and INDUSTRY of PIPEWORK with sound diffusion by Duncan Chapman