St. Colman’s Cathedral hosted a musical evening of classics and favourites with the Army Band of 1 Brigade, Cork on Friday, 10th March 2017. The event marked the formal launch of a €1 million fundraising project for the restoration of the Cathedral’s historic Telford organ and the completion of the Cathedral restoration.
The Telford organ, which was originally installed in St. Colman’s Cathedral in 1905, is currently being restored by world renowned Italian organ restoration specialists, Fratelli Ruffatti. The Padua-based firm has completed a similar project at St. Patrick’s National Seminary, Maynooth and also built the new organ in St. Mel’s Cathedral in Longford.
Bishop William Crean of the Diocese of Cloyne, said “We were delighted to welcome parishioners and music fans alike to enjoy a night with the Army Band of 1 Brigade. This is a very important occasion for the Cathedral and our fundraising efforts for the magnificent organ. At the end of this restoration project, St. Colman’s Cathedral will have one of the finest organs in Ireland and will continue to serve as a magnificent house of prayer and praise”.
The restoration work is due for completion by Autumn 2018, in time for centenary celebrations of the Consecration of St. Colman’s Cathedral on the 24th August 2019. Once completed, the world class organ will reside, side by side, with the only carillon in Ireland which, with 49 bells, is the largest in Ireland and the UK. The carillon features Ireland’s largest bell at 3.6 tons.
Adrian Gebruers, Cathedral Carillonneur and Organist at St. Colman’s Cathedral, said “The restoration of our pipe organ is essential for maintaining the high standards in liturgical music for which the Cathedral has long been renowned.”
Tickets for the event were €20 and all proceeds from the evening will go toward the organ restoration fund. For further information, visit Cobhcathedralparish.ie or find us on Facebook at Cobh Cathedral Pipe Organ Restoration Project.
About St. Colman’s Cathedral
Located by the sea overlooking Cork Harbour, St. Colman’s Cathedral is an extraordinary place of worship. The Cathedral, which features a 100m-high spire, is a precious gem in Cork’s architectural and ecclesiastical history. Between 1848 and 1950, over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland, with over 2.5 million departing from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration. Many of these people climbed up the hill to St. Colman’s Cathedral to say one final prayer before moving on to another life, and for some it was to be their last, as many did not reach their destination.
About St. Colman’s Cathedral’s Telford Organ
The Teford organ was built by the world-famous firm of organ builders Telford & Telford, in Dublin. There are many examples of Telford’s work all over Ireland and as far as away as Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Falkland Islands. Sadly, very few are in their original condition and many have been altered almost beyond recognition. The Telford firm ceased trading in 1929.
The organ is located in the west gallery of the Cathedral. The Austrian oak case, modeled in gothic tracery, rises to a height of 45 feet (14 metres) on either side. Filling the openings are 77 highly polished and burnished decorative pipes of pure tin. The actual organ pipes (there are 2,500) are placed behind the casework, together with the bellows and other mechanism. The motor and blower are located in a special room in the Cathedral tower. The action of the organ was originally tubular pneumatic, but this was changed to electro pneumatic in the early 1970’s. The console has three manuals and a pedal-board; there are 46 speaking stops, as well as combination stops and pistons. A second, almost identical, console is located in the south transept.