Whole School
16th December 2015

Archbishop Unveils Taylor Family Organ in St Aloysius Church

Archbishop Unveils Taylor Family Organ in St Aloysius Church

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The Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia unveiled a new Van den Heuvel organ at a special Mass of Dedication in St Aloysius Church at which the organ was played by a special guest, Martin Baker, Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral.

The organ, a Van den Heuvel ‘Cavaillé-Coll’, built in the 19th century French symphonic tradition, was installed in St Aloysius Church as the result of a joint venture between the St Aloysius’ Parish and St Aloysius’ College.

The purchase of the organ was made possible through donations from parishioners, Old Aloysians, and friends of the College and Parish. A significant gift from OA Maurice Taylor, a renowned restauranteur and hotelier, helped to make the project viable and for this reason the organ has been called The Taylor Family Organ.

Originally built in 1993, the organ was installed in the Duke’s Hall of the Royal Academy of Music in London under the tenure of Sir David Lumsden, a former Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The purchase of the organ was agreed between the Church and College in 2013 and has been installed by many of the same team responsible for its construction. When planning for the organ’s installation, a series of experiments found that having the organ in the top gallery at the back of the church would provide the best possible sound.

As well as being a fitting addition to a building of architectural interest and heritage, the installation of the Taylor Family Organ links to the launch of the St Aloysius Schola Foundation.

Established with Trustees from the Church and College, the Foundation has been formed to promote musical outreach and ensure that the organ is used for the wider community and is maintained for future generations, providing a lasting legacy for the City of Glasgow.

Head Master of the College, Mr Browne, commented: “We are deeply grateful to the Taylor Family for their generous contribution, as we are to all those who have supported the installation of this magnificent instrument – both from the College and the Parish. As we develop links around the city, we also intend to work with organ students from the Royal Conservatoire for teaching recitals and masterclasses, thereby maintaining a living tradition of expert organ playing in Glasgow.”

Fr Tim Curtis, Parish Priest of St Aloysius’ Church, added:  “I am excited by the outreach work of the foundation who will bring the treasure of church music to the wider community.   We are proud to have such a fine instrument in the church.”

Organ Dedication