Royal patron for Norwich cathedral music appeal
It has been announced the HRH The Earl of Wessex has agreed to be the patron of the new music appeal at Norwich Cathedral.
The appeal, which aims to raise £2.5 million, will support a full restoration of the cathedral organ and help with funding to support choristers in both the boys and girls’ choirs in future years.
The last time major work was carried out on the organ was 75 years ago and now, the instrument used today for some 1500 services each year, needs a full restoration to ensure it continues to provide magnificent music for the next 75 years.
The Dean of Norwich, the Very Reverend Jane Hedges said, “We are delighted and very honoured HRH The Earl of Wessex has given his support as patron of this music appeal. We look forward to welcoming him to Norwich Cathedral at some point later this year. The organ and our choristers and choirs are part of our rich musical and choral tradition which has a national and international reputation. As well as our daily services, the music is a vital part of our outreach programmes and also plays a major role in services for both the city and the county.”
The organ has some 6,655 pipes and with 105 speaking stops it makes it the fourth largest organ in the country. Over the decades there have been a few tonal changes made and the reason it has lasted so well is down to the high standard of work carried out all those years ago.
Ashley Grote, master of music at Norwich Cathedral said, “Many people listening to our organ might wonder why we need the work when it sounds so good. The quality produced by our organists is down to their skill in managing the problems and finding ways to avoid things like a stop which sticks, and sometimes playing down an octave to avoid the missing notes. We have waited as long as we could but it is now important to raise the funds to restore the organ and to support our young choristers in the future.”
With generous support from The Friends of Norwich Cathedral and funding from the Dean and Chapter, the appeal is well underway and many members of the congregation have pledged donations over the next three years. The Dean and Chapter have confirmed that while the order for the restoration work has to be given some two years ahead, the work will not be undertaken until the full funding is in place.
If you would like to find out more information about contributing to the music appeal please contact the Chapter Steward by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: the choir singing in the cathedral in front of the organ.