Wiltshire Publications

Organ bound for new home in Estonia

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THE organ which currently services Edington Priory Church is destined for an Estonian school. Edington Priory Church is currently having a new purpose-built organ constructed, with fundraising from an  appeal led by the Edington Music Festival.

Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to transport the existing 1905 Henry Jones organ to Tallinn, Estonia, where it will be valued not only by the school, but the whole city. The Gustav Adolf Grammar School, founded in 1631, is the oldest active school in Estonia, and thus also the oldest school in Tallinn, the capital.  It is a very special place, held in great affection by past and current students, who value its “ideal location, wonderful buildings and courtyards, excellent teachers and great students.”  It is a cultural heritage site.Music is an important part of the school’s activities, and there are choirs, bands, ensembles and orchestras as well as the Salme Cultural Centre where there are performances of all kinds.  The school was particularly looking for an English country church organ, and the Edington organ fits the bill perfectly.The organ will be installed in the Meder Hall at the school, and will be used for occasions including school celebrations, concerts for the city, and choral music. It will also be used by organ masters and for lessons.

It will be the first Henry Jones organ in Estonia. The English model has differences to other European models currently found in Estonia, and consequently is expected to attract attention from the musical community.

Hendrik Agur, the school’s headteacher, was in Edington last week during the Edington Music Festival. He explained, “This is not only for the school, but for the city. Estonian organists are very interested and excited and are looking forward to hearing and playing it, as it is different to other organs. They have knowledge about English organs, but don’t have the opportunity to use one. It’s such a big event.”

A festival will celebrate the installation of the organ in the hall next year, which will also co-incide with the school’s anniversary celebrations.

The organ is a gift from Edington PCC to the school, which will cover the costs of transporting it to Tallinn, and will undertake necessary restoration work on it.