University puts on choral concert to launch newly-restored Gosport organ

PLEASED The Rev Andy Davis
PLEASED The Rev Andy Davis

Pupils in Fareham and Gosport to create posters to promote improving air quality

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THE restoration of a 300-year-old pipe organ bought by the people of Gosport will be celebrated with a concert organised by the University of Portsmouth.

The university’s Chamber Singers and a Dutch Baroque orchestra will perform music originally written for the instrument at Holy Trinity Church in Gosport at 3.30pm on May 6.

Sadly the original organ will not be restored in time due to two setbacks – instead, a chamber organ will be wheeled in for performances of music by Handel and Pepusch. But audience members will be able to take a close look at the historic instrument’s new keyboard and pedals.

The Rev Andy Davis said: ‘The concert is going to be wonderful. While it’s a shame the original organ won’t be played, people will be able to see more of it than they normally would.’

The vicar says the restoration project which started in January would be completed within two months. It was delayed last year due to engineers being diverted to Westminster Cathedral to clear asbestos. More recently, when the organ was dismantled, cracks in the ceiling above it were discovered that needed to be repaired.

Next month’s concert will open with a talk from Handel expert Professor Graydon Beeks.

The organ was made for the Duke of Chandos in 1720 for his mansion Canons. He commissioned works by Handel and Pepusch for his private chapel.

But he fell on hard times and when he died Canons was sold. The organ was bought by parishioners of Holy Trinity Church for £117.

To buy £10 tickets which include a glass of wine call (023) 9284 3023 or email music@port.ac.uk.