St Aloysius’ Church Glasgow Installs New Organ

In partnership with St Aloysius College, the parish of St Aloysius in Garnet Hill is about to take delivery of a new organ.  The organ, a “Cavillé-Coll”, built by Van den Heuvel of Amsterdam was built for the Duke’s Hall of the Royal Academy of Music in London. It has since been returned to Amsterdam where it has been completely refurbished.

The current organ in the church was acquired in 1910 from a Presbyterian church that was scheduled for closure. It is believed that the parish paid the princely sum of £5.00 on that occasion. The new organ is rather more expensive.

The parish undertook to raise £100,000 towards the cost of the new organ, with the college and some benefactors paying the balance. The parish fundraising involved selling grand draw raffle tickets, a Karaoke, a bible quiz, coffee mornings and soliciting donations from parishioners and former parishioners. For example, we wrote to all of the couples who had been married in the church over the past 10 years to see if they would like to contribute to the organ fund. The money was raised within the target period of 18 months.

A team from the parish and college went to Amsterdam to put the organ through its paces. They were delighted by the instrument which has a particularly fine tone. So that the organ will be heard at its best, it was decided to place it in the upper gallery at the back of the church.  This needed to be extended and that work is now complete.

We are eagerly awaiting the delivery of the new organ on Monday 17th August. It come “flat packed” in three containers. Mr Van den Heuvel estimates that it will take a week to assemble the organ then a further two weeks to tune it. The workmen will need a further three weeks to install the balustrade, lay carpets and put other finishing touches. The organ will be ready for use by the end of September.

The college and parish are planning a dedication service for the new organ which will probably be on Saturday 21st November, the feast of Christ the King. More details of that event will follow.

St Aloysius has long been sought after by musicians as it has a very fine acoustic. The organ will be a great asset to the church for many years to come. The parish and college together will set up a foundation to ensure it is cared for and well used.

The parish priest, Fr Tim Curtis, said:  “We are greatly looking forward to the completion of this project. It has only been made possible by the enthusiasm, energy and generosity of so many people.” In thanking the many contributors to the organ fund he was confident that their generosity would be well rewarded.