SALISBURY Cathedral School has launched a campaign to raise £41,000 to renovate and repair its pipe organ.

The Pipe Dreams campaign aims to raise enough funds for work to the Peter Collins Pipe Organ as well as create new organ scholarships for pupils in the Upper Prep, school years 7 and 8.

More than 50 guests gathered in the Salisbury Cathedral School Chapel on Thursday, May 19 to celebrate the launch of the fundraising campaign.

Salisbury Cathedral School head master, Clive Marriott said: "It is very important to ensure our new organ scholarship programme offers parity of opportunity for boys and girls in respect of our world famous Cathedral choristers.

"It was only 31 years ago, in 1991, that seventeen girls arrived at Salisbury Cathedral School to create something truly unique. They were to be the first girls’ Cathedral choir in the UK operating on parity with the boys, and with an independent foundation for funding support.

"Today, with our new organ scholarships, we continue this tradition of supporting women in the traditional realm of church music."

During the launch event guests were welcomed into the chapel by the evening’s three hosts - Nick Hawker, Salisbury Cathedral School deputy head; David Halls, Salisbury Cathedral director of music; and John Challenger, Salisbury Cathedral assistant director of music.

A series of short presentations explained the importance of music at Salisbury Cathedral School, the history of the school’s Peter Collins Pipe Organ and the repairs needed.

It is estimated it will take up to two years to raise the £41,000 needed to fund the work to the organ and the proposed scholarships.

Salisbury Cathedral School purchased its Peter Collins Pipe Organ in 2006 from the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).

The instrument was originally commissioned for the RSCM for tuition and master classes taught by outstanding organists including Peter Hurford, Sir David Willcocks, Sir David Lumsden and Dr Edward Higginbottom.

It now needs repair works completed so it can be properly tuned, along with some replacement pipes and a new blower. It also needs a good clean which the school says is an intricate task best completed along with the repair work while the instrument is already dismantled.

Salisbury Cathedral School also says it has "big plans" for the fully repaired instrument to ensure it is regularly used by many young organists including both pupils of the school and other children in the local area.

Plans include launching two scholarships – one for a boy and one for a girl – in school year 7 and on through year 8.

The scholarship will include a fee remission, weekly organ lessons and regular performance opportunities. It is hoped the new organ scholarships will launch in either the 2023/4 academic year or 2024/5.


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