Inauguration Van den Heuvel-organ St. Aloysiuschurch, Glasgow


photo: © Gerri Campbell Photography

On Saturday November 21 the Van den Heuvel organ of the St. Aloysius church in Glasgow will be inaugurated. This instrument was built in 1993 by Van den Heuvel for the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2011 a larger organ was built and Van den Heuvel got the organ back.

The St. Aloysius church has a musical co-operation with the St. Aloysius College. John Browne, director of the college, has studied at the Royal Academy of music in London and has regularly played the Van den Heuvel organ in the Dukes Hall.

Van den Heuvel was invited to visit the church and college. The existing organ gallery, on the side of the beautiful church, was found unsuitable. The west-end gallery is visually as well as acoustically a superior location for any organ but this gallery was too small to accommodate the Van den Heuvel organ. Decided was to enlarge the west-end gallery, construction wise and financially a demanding undertaking. In august 2015 all was ready to relocate the organ from the organ builder’s workshops to Glasgow. The organ was installed, followed by voicing and tuning of the organ.

The purchase of the organ made possible by a significant donation by the family of Maurice Taylor, a former student of the St. Aloysius College. The costs of the gallery were financed by gifts received by the church.

The inauguration will take place on November 21, 17:45h with archbishop of Glasgow, the St. Aloysius church choir and the choirs of the College. Organist Martin Baker (Master of Music, Westminster Cathedral, London) presents the organ. The program includes music by Widor (mass with 2 organs and parts from Symphony VI) and new composition by Sir James MacMillan, composted for this special occasion.


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