A Weekend in Sydney
An Organ Ramble Over The Queen's Birthday Long Weekend
12th to 14th June 2004

by Geoff Lloyd

Acting on an initiative from the Organ Society of Queensland, the
committee of the Organ Music Society of Sydney decided to arrange for
this year's Queen's Birthday Organ Ramble to take place over three days,
Saturday 12th June to Monday 14th June inclusive.

A contigent from the Organ Society of Queensland will be our guest for
the weekend.

Members from the Hunter District Organ Music Society will be, as usual,
also most welcome.

For various reasons, entrance to some venues will be restricted. Please
read these notes carefully so that you will understand what affect this
will have on your planning.

As is our wont, we will need to cover expenses. Admission charges
applicable for each venue will be shown below. However, for those of you
who wish to attend all sessions, there will be a one-off, discounted
fee of $20. This will be reduced to $15 for those unable to join the
party to visit the Opera House. And for Queenslanders, we have a special
deal (!) of $25, which covers a visit, restricted to only members of the
Queensland society, to Sydney Town Hall as well. These fees do not
include any meals.

There will be an opportunity for ramblers to play the organs at each
venue at the conclusion of the recitals/demonstrations. Because of the
constraints of time and in deference to the needs of other aspiring
players, you are asked to prepare only a short piece to play when your
turn comes. It may not be possible to accommodate all aspirants at any
or all of the venues. Also, we may deem it advisable to develop a
players' list to assist with the orderly conduct of these open console
sessions. The Convenor's decision will prevail in such matters.

Details of organs and players given in this article are, of necessity,
brief. We expect that a leaflet for each venue will be available to

SATURDAY, 12th June

4.00 pm The ramble will start on the north side of the harbour, with
registration and a meet and greet over a cuppa at St Aloysius' College,
Upper Pitt Street, Milsons Point.

Fee $2

The college may be reached by exiting east from Milsons Point Railway
Station and walking south (towards the harbour). Turn left at Pitt
Street and on into Lower Pitt Street. The college will be found on the
right hand side of the road. Car parking is very limited.

After refreshment we shall assemble in the school's chapel to hear a
demonstration of the Orgues Letourneau Ltee's Op 22 organ of 1989. We
expect that Peter Kneeshaw, Principal Organist of St Mary's Cathedral
and a former President of OMSS, will assist with this part of the

St Aloysius' Letourneau was acquired from St Joseph's Catholic Basilica,
Edmonton, Canada, and installed at St Aloysius' College in 2002 by
Pitchford and Garside Pty Ltd. The organ has two manuals and 20 speaking
stops with mechanical key action, electric stop action and a solid
state programmable piston combination action.Articles in The Sydney
Organ Journals of Spring 2002 and Autumn 2003 gave accounts of this

Ramblers will be invited to the console after the demonstration.

We are gauging the possibility of enjoying a meal on the premises in
comfortable surroundings at the conclusion of the open console session.
This would be at extra cost. Thinking is biased towards engaging a
caterer and, although at the time of going to press we do not have
details of costs, if you are interested then we ask that you advise us
accordingly as soon as possible (costs should be available by then).
Sydney folk are asked to contact Geoff Lloyd, (02) 9476 1530, in this
regard. HDOMS members should contact the same number. OSQ members will
be automatically included if the meal proceeds.


Visit to St Mary's Cathedral at 8.30pm

Contact Geoff Lloyd for more details - 0419 261 218 or (02) 9476 1530.

SATURDAY, 12th June - 11.15 pm to 2.00 am SUNDAY, 13th June - Sydney
Opera House, Circular Quay, Bennelong Point

Fee $5

There are strict limitations on numbers. Priority will be given to
members of OMSS, OSQ and HDOMS. Access will only be available to those
who have pre-booked. You must ring the Lloyd number as above to gain a
place. This must be done by Sunday, 6th June to enable the authorities
to process names and prepare security tags.

There will be no car parking in the Opera House car park. Other parking
stations may be just as difficult over the times involved.

If you are successful in achieving a booking but subsequently find that
you cannot attend then please advise Geoff Lloyd on the number given
above as soon as such circumstances become evident. It may be possible
to draw someone from a waiting list. Your cooperation in this regard
would be appreciated.

Meet at the Stage Door (under the main steps) at 11.15 pm. Security
passes will be issued at this time. Be prompt as any attempt at late
entry will most likely fail. If you find at a late hour that you will
not be able to attend then please call Geoff on 0419 261 218. Calls will
not be taken after 11.15 pm.

Mark Fisher of Pipe Organ Reconstructions will conduct us to the
auditorium and tell us a little about the organ, which was built 1970-79
by Ronald Sharp. The instrument has five manuals on mechanical and
electromagnetic action with 127 speaking stops and five percussion

Sarah Kim will then play us a short demonstration recital.

There will be a limited open console session

SUNDAY, 13th June

1.00 pm to 3.00 pm - St Stephen's Uniting Church, Macquarie St, Sydney

Fee $5

Hill, Norman & Beard 1934 EP 3/44
Daniel Dries will demonstrate the organ with an open console session to follow.

3.15 pm to 5.30 pm - Sydney Town Hall, George Street, Sydney Square

Fee $5

Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, we have been able to secure
access ONLY FOR OSQ members.

OSQ ramblers are to assemble in Kent Street, near Druitt Street at the
appointed time. Entry beyond this time cannot be guaranteed. Any
difficulty in meeting this time should be reported. If any such
difficulty is not already transmitted along the OSQ grapevine, please
ring Geoff Lloyd's mobile number prior to 3.15 pm.

Manuel Costa, the custodian of the organ, will conduct ramblers into the
main hall and introduce the organ.

The 1886-89 Hill & Son organ, with a case in renaissance style by Dr A G
Hill, should need no introduction. Of five manuals and 127 speaking
stops with tubular pneumatic and Barker lever action, it was the largest
organ in the world at the time of building. It remains famous for its
unique pedal stop, a 64' Contra Trombone Wood.

David Drury, Director of Music at St James', King Street, will also talk
about the organ and provide a demonstration of its capabilities.

Then shall the ramblers present enjoy an open console session.

6.30 pm Christ Church St Laurence, George Street, Haymarket

No fee.

We shall gather for Evensong.

Following Evensong, Peter Jewkes, Organist of the church and one of our
Vice Presidents, will give us a brief talk (and demonstration?) before
inviting ramblers to the console.

Details of this organ were given in the Winter 2003 issue of The Sydney
Organ Journal. In brief, the Hill & Son organ of 1892 was installed in
the church in 1906. It was moved in 1912 to its present position on an
elevated, south-side platform. It is understood that the case was
designed by Dr A G Hill. The action is mechanical to the three manuals
and tubular pneumatic to the pedals. There are 26 speaking stops.

8.30 pm We expect to walk over to a Dixon Street restaurant for a meal.
Expressions of interest are requested so that we may gauge numbers and
determine a suitable venue/price. Accordingly, please contact Geoff
Lloyd without delay.

MONDAY 14th June

Fee $10 for the day or $5 per venue

9.00 am to 11.00 am St Patrick's Catholic Church, Grosvenor Street

St Patrick's has the first organ in Australia by Fratelli Ruffatti,
opened in 2004. The organ is of tracker action over two manuals and has
22 speaking stops. The lattermost article on this organ appeared in The
Sydney Organ Journal, Autumn 2004.

There will be an introduction and demonstration, followed by open

11.30 am to 12.30 pm St James' Anglican Church, King Street, Queens

We shall be pleased to hear again from Sarah Kim.

An open console session will follow, to be curtailed by lunch (to own

St James' organ comes from John Gray of 1827, William Davidson of 1901
and Hill, Norman & Beard of 1971. It is of three manuals plus a floating
Positive section and is on electro-pneumatic action. There are 66
speaking stops, appropriate couplers and a comfortable array of

2.00 pm to 4.00 pm St Andrew's Anglican Cathedral, George Street

Please meet promptly at the western door. The cathedral is to be
specially opened to admit us whereupon the doors will be closed.

This will be our feature recital of the weekend. It shall also be an
apropriate occasion upon which to bring the three-day ramble to a

Mark Quarmby, Assistant Organist at the Cathedral and immediate-past
President of OMSS, will present the recital.

The organ is Opus 58 from Orgues Letourneau Ltee of 1998. It has four
manuals and incorporates the William Hill & Son instrument of 1886 and
alterations and additions by William Davidson (1899), John Whiteley
(1929) and Hill, Norman & Beard (1952). Details were given in the Winter
2003 issue of The Sydney Organ Journal, preparatory to the Queen's
Birthday Ramble in that year, and a subsequent article in SOJ Spring

Ray Holland, during the course of the 2003 ramble, kindly indicated that
the specification given in the article did not make it clear that the
Solo division was prepared-for. Thus the Bombarde section only was able
to float over the top manual. I immediately forgot this fact and omitted
to have it included in the subsequent report of that ramble. Sorry, Ray.
It is therefore my pleasure to correct this sin of omission. The organ
currently has 53 speaking stops and 25 couplers

Action to Choir, Great and Swell is mechanical or electric when chosen
by drawstop. To the Bombarde and Pedal is electro-pneumatic. Coupling to
the Great is mechanical and electric to Choir and Swell. However, when
electric coupling is drawn it becomes all electric.

Following Mark's recital we shall enjoy the final open console session
of the weekend and also farewell our guests.

That completes the proposed programme.

Thanks to those people who have agreed to participate in facilitating
access to the various venues and who have so readily agreed to
demonstrate the organs to us.

Before you ring to book for the Opera House or to express interest in
either of the two meals, please have the information to hand from the
following Check List:
Your name
Your telephone number
Alternative telephone number
Are you a member of OMSS, HDOMS or OSQ?
Would you be interested in an evening meal at St Aloysius'?
Do you wish to be included in the visit to the Opera House? (Members
only and limited numbers)
Would you be interested in the meal after visiting Christ Church St

Now ring (02) 9476 1530.

We hope to see you there.