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During the recent end-of-term School events, OJ Sunday and Speech Day, Headmaster Martin Collier announced to the St John’s community exciting plans for the replacement of the current school organ with a new organ designed and hand-built especially by one of the world’s best organ designers and builders, Kenneth Tickell.
The Headmaster explained that the Chapel sits at the heart of the School, with the organ in particular being of central importance. He went on to say that the organ is used extensively for the whole School who sing collectively in the Chapel three or four times a week. Unlike many schools, St John’s also has a number of pupils taking organ lessons under the direction of Simon Bland, Assistant Director of Music, who is one of the country’s finest young organists. He ended by saying that ‘the life expectancy of our current organ is very short but Chapel and school life without an organ – and by that I mean a proper organ – is unimaginable’.
The cost of the new organ is just over £500,000 and, because the organ is of such importance to the Chapel and the School, St John’s has ring-fenced up to £250,000 to contribute to the project. This means another £250,000 must be raised so the project can proceed. The School is delighted to announce that already nearly half of this target has been received from a very generous donation. Also, the School is extremely grateful for support now being received from parents, Old Johnians (OJs), friends and all the St John’s wider community.
The School will endeavour to raise the remaining amount through specific events, 2014 Telethon and project mailings. Further information about the Organ Fundraising project and opportunities to take part can be found here.
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