St Peters
St Peter's Chuch, Nottingham, UK

New Combination Organ of Nine Pipe Stops with a Rodgers custom 3-manual console

St Peter's Church has been a place of worship for over 800 years, and for more than 200 of those years has used a pipe organ to accompany and lead its choir and congregation. The organ had been through many rebuilds and additions, spending much of its life in a chamber to the north of the chancel from which there were only two small arches allowing any music out, making the organ ineffective in much of the building.

In September 2003 the National Conference of Diocesan Organ Advisors was held in Nottingham and it was arranged for St Peter's to be visited.  Delegates were asked to consider options for improving the musical situation of the organ. There was a unanimous view that it was impossible for the organ chamber to contain a pipe-only organ of the scale needed for a church of the size of St Peter's and for it to be properly audible throughout the church. Without having to make major structural changes to the Grade I listed building, there seemed to be no way to provide an instrument capable of keeping pace with the growing musical tradition of the church.

This was where MPOS entered the story.  The Diocesan Organ Adviser for St Peter's, Paul Hale, had recently heard an example of the musical results possible with a combination organ and recommended that Rodgers be approached to explore what might be possible within the difficult space at St Peter's.  MPOS had worked with Rodgers on many combination organ installations around the world, and as their UK pipe partner company we were asked to be involved from the start of the project.

With a careful site survey we realised it would be possible to place 2 small pipe chests along with speakers for the Great and Choir departments in front of the arches that were blocking the old organ.  This would allow the organ to speak freely in to both the nave and the chancel in a way that would not be possible with a pipe-only organ.  The Swell department would be within the old organ chamber, using that space to create the desired enclosed sound.

With the organ having been conceived from the very start as a combination organ we were able to carefully voice both the pipe and electronic stops, forming the final result into a seamless, integrated, musical instrument.  Installation of the organ was completed during December 2010.  As the assistant organist at St Peter's, Michael Leuty, says: "When I choose the stops I am going to use, I don't think about which are pipe and which are not. The organ is one instrument".

  Click here to download a printable version

To read more of the history of the organ and its specification please go to: where you will also be able to listen to Dr Peter Siepmann, Director of Music at St Peter’s, playing the instrument.
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