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Guildhall organ to make public debut in June

31 December 2015

Music lovers will have the opportunity to experience a moment of local history with the launch of an exclusive event in the Guildhall as the newly refurbished organ in the Main Hall makes its official public debut.

Some of the finest musicians and choristers will come together to celebrate the unveiling of the Guildhall Organ, the second largest concert organ in N. Ireland, at a special event in June.

The instrument, which dominates the stage of the Main Hall, has been beautifully restored to its former glory as part of a £10m restoration project. The Organ Recital will be held on June 26th in association with the Honourable the Irish Society – original funders of the Guildhall building where the organ was first introduced as a feature of the Main Hall in 1891.

Catherine Ennis, Codetta, and senior choristers from Christ's Hospital and St Mary's College, will all bring their vocal talents to the event which will also feature narrative by Sir Roger Gifford

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said the event would be the perfect showcase for the organ and its place in local history.

“The restoration work has really transformed the organ and it’s fantastic to see the final stage in the renovation of the Guildhall being completed. The Guildhall is such an iconic building and the painstaking work that has been carried out on the organ and the craftsmanship which has gone into perfecting it are extremely impressive.

“I’m delighted that some of the finest choristers and musicians will be joining in this celebration and I would really encourage anyone with a love of classical music to come along to the event and be among the first to hear this beautiful instrument.”

Tickets are now available for the concert which will take place between 3pm – 5pm on Sunday June 26, the perfect gift for anyone with an interest in music or local history.

The original instrument was crafted and paid for by public donations of £2,000 in 1891, but was destroyed by fire in 1908. It was reinstalled but was again damaged by the 1972 bombs before being rebuilt by Hill, Norman and Beard Ltd of London at a cost of £68,000 in 1978.

The recently completed restoration of the Guildhall organ was part of a £10m restoration project funded by the former Derry City Council, Tourism NI, Department of Social Development and Department for Environment under its Built Heritage Programme.

Tickets for the Organ Recital are now available from the Guildhall and Tower Museum and also online at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-organ-event-at-the-guildhall-tickets-19741174384