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University Concert Hall, University of Limerick

RegionCo. Limerick - County
Uploaded byDavid Forde
Builder(s)
John Compton Organ Company (1932)
Wells-Kennedy Partnership Ltd (c.1993)
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The organ was built by the John Compton Organ Company of North London for the Savoy Cinema, Cork in 1932; its job number being A135. It was one of just four theatre organs installed in the Republic of Ireland during the heyday period of the super cinema and the theatre organ. The other instruments – Savoy Dublin, Theatre Royal Dublin and Savoy Limerick – have since been lost, the Dublin organs broken up in the 1960s and the Limerick organ removed in the 1980s, its present location and condition unknown. When the Savoy Cork closed, the organ was purchased by Mr. Russell Whyn, Kilbrittain Castle, for the sum of £365. Stored in a bungalow for many years, the organ was later sold to UCH Limerick for the same amount of money.

The organ has twelve ranks of pipe-work - that is twelve sets of pipes voiced to give different tonal effects. The ranks of pipes are made available at a wide variety of pitches on each of the three manual-keyboards and the pedalboard, accounting for the hundred-plus stop-keys which are derived by electrical transmission from these basic resources. In addition to the pipe-work, the organ controls a range of melodic percussion instruments (Orchestral Chimes, Xylophone, Glockenspiel and Sleigh Bells – most made by the Premier Percussion company) and non-melodic percussions, or ‘Traps’, including Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Cymbal and the typical ‘Toy Counter’ of sirens, whistles and other silent movie effects. Job A135 is in the earlier Compton cinema organ style - somewhat more orchestral than the later models, and has the very unusual feature of double-touch on all three manuals.

The organ was installed in UCH Limerick when the hall was built, this work undertaken by the Wells-Kennedy Partnership of Lisburn (well respected classical organbuilders), who replaced the Compton electro-mechanical transmission with a solid-state system. Since its installation however, the organ has not had much use for the two reasons of programming and, more significantly, serious technical issues which now make the organ unplayable. There is some renewed interest in reviving this sole survivor of the cinema organ heyday though inevitably funds for its repair are at present unavailable.

Cork Savoy – Job A135 – May 1932 - John Compton Organ Company, London

Pedal
Lower Rail
Tibia Bass 16
Fagotto 16
Tibia 8
Trumpet 8
Fagotto 8
Clarinet 8
Tibia 4
Accompaniment to Pedal 8
Great to Pedal 8
Solo to Pedal 8

Upper Rail
Acoustic Bass 32
Diaphone 16
Tuba Bass 16
Bourdon 16
Octave 8
Tuba 8
Flute 8
Cello 8
Blank

Pedal 2nd Touch
Bass Drum Tap P
Bass Drum Tap F
Drum Roll
Cymbal
Snare Drum Roll
Triangle
Tolling Bell
Effects to 2nd Touch

Accompaniment
Lower Rail
Trombone (TC) 16
Vox Humana (TC) 16
Contra Viola (TC) 16
Bourdon 16
Tuba 8
Trumpet 8
Diapason 8
Tibia 8
Harmonic Flute 8
Vox Humana 8
Clarinet 8
Cello 8
Violin 8
Violin Celeste 8
Flute 8
Tom-Tom
Sleigh Bells

Upper Rail
Clarion 4
Octave 4
Tibia (Harmonic Flute) 4
Vox Humana 4
Violin 4
Violin Celeste 4
Flute 4
Twelfth 2 2/3
Viole Fifteenth 2
Flautino 2
Vibraphone 4
Solo to Accompaniment 8
Snare Drum
Tambourine
Castanets
Block
Sand Block

Accompaniment 2nd Touch
Tuba 8
Clarinet 8

Solo to Accompaniment 8

Great
Lower Rail
Contra Tuba 16
Trombone (TC) 16
Diapason 16
Contra Tibia 16
Vox Humana (TC) 16
Clarinet (TC) 16
Violin (TC) 16
Contra Viola (TC) 16
Tuba 8
Trumpet 8
Diapason 8
Tibia 8
Harmonic Flute 8
Vox Humana 8
Clarinet 8
Oboe 8
Cello 8
Violin 8
Violin Celeste 8
Flute 8
Blank

Upper Rail
Tuba 4
Clarion 4
Octave 4
Tibia 4
Cello 4
Violin 4
Violin Celeste 4
Flute 4
Tibia Twelfth 2 2/3
Flute Twelfth 2 2/3
Ocarina 2
Flautino 2
Tierce 1 3/5
Chimes
Glockenspiel 4
Xylophone 4
Sleigh Bells 4
Orchestra Bells 4
Blank (now Larigot)
Blank (now Mixture)
Effects to Great

Great 2nd Touch
Tuba 8
Accompaniment to Great 8

Solo to Great 8

Solo
Lower Rail
Contra Tuba 16
Trombone (TC) 16
Fagotto 16
Tuba 8
Trumpet 8
Diapason 8
Tibia 8
Harmonic Flute 8
Vox Humana 8
Clarinet 8
Oboe 8
Cello 8
Violin 8
Violin Celeste 8

Upper Rail
Tuba 4
Clarion 4
Tibia 4
Concert Flute 4
Violin 4
Violin Celeste 4
Piccolo 2
Chimes
Glockenspiel 4
Xylophone 4
Sleigh Bells 4
Orchestra Bells 4
Chrysoglott
Carillon

Solo 2nd Touch
Tuba 8
Clarinet 8

Great to Solo 8

Tremulants
1. Tibia
2. Har Flu/Trumpet
3. Clar/Oboe/Vox
4. Flute/Cello/Viol/Cel
5. Diap/Tuba

Ventils (Switches)
Surf
Aeroplane
1. Diap & Tuba Basses
2. Diap/Tuba
3. Cel/Viol/Cello/Flute
4. Traps/Flute CCC
5. Vox/Clar/Oboe
6. Har Flute/Trumpet
7. Tibia
8. Percussions

Effects (toe pistons)
Bird I
Bird II
Motor Horns
Fire Bell
Door Bell
Triangle
Cymbal Roll
Drum Roll
Snare Drum/Grand Crash
Siren
Engine
Steamboat

Pistons
Accompaniment: 8 double touch
Great: 8 double touch
Solo: 8 double touch
Accomp to Pedal (double touch)
Great to Pedal (double touch)
Solo to Pedal (double touch)
Pedal toe pistons: 3
Added at UCH
8 general pistons
setter piston

Double-touch cancellers throughout

2 balanced swell pedals with indicators
1 balanced crescendo pedal with indicator
Voltmeter