Our three-manual pipe organ takes pride of place in Cranleigh’s beautiful Chapel. The instrument was designed and built by John Mander of London and installed into a purpose-built gallery which has also provided additional seating. The organ has further enhanced the school’s enviable reputation for the strength and importance of its sacred music and congregational singing but has also enabled the development of an organ-teaching curriculum; all under the guidance and tuition of Mr Philip Scriven, Organist in Residence.
The organ has been conceived and voiced to enable students to gain as musical an impression of the wide organ repertoire as possible. To this end, the organ has some unusual features.
The Mounted Cornet is of only four ranks. This allows any of the three 8ft stops to be added to make a full five rank cornet, but each of the stops added lends a different character to the cornet, depending on the repertoire being played. In addition, the lower end of the compass can be changed from tenor G to middle C by the organist at the console.
The organ also has a coupling manual, the lowest of the three keyboards. This manual is permanently coupled to both the Great and Swell Organs.
With appropriate registration, the instrument can be played as if it were a three manual organ. Finally, for playing the early repertoire, the concussions in the soundboards can be turned off, reproducing the wind characteristics of early instruments, enabling students to learn how to cope with such early instrument winding.
As is usual for Mander instruments, the winding employs traditional reservoirs with concussions, which affords the instrument just a little natural life to the winding. The tremulants are of the Dom Bédos design. The key action is mechanical, the draw stop action is electric with 999 levels of memory and a sequencer.
The casework of the organ is intended to complement the interior design of the Chapel, which has itself has been refurbished and returned to its original Gothic splendour.