Prediger without music? Unthinkable!
For as long as anyone can remember, music has played an important role in the Preachers Church in Zurich (Predigerkirche Zürich), and not only in church services.
The church is a regular venue for concerts and musical performances of all types (ranging from Kurt Marti's «Leichenreden» – funeral orations – to choral and orchestral programmes). And the public comes!
It is problematic, though, to perform the extensive Romantic choral repertoire because there is no choir organ. The large organ is around 40m away from the Choir at the back of the church, and accompanying from this distance is a serious challenge. Putting the choir on the rather tight organ gallery is unsatisfactory, not only because the choir is then invisible, but also because the organ was not conceived for performing the Romantic repertoire.
Then a small wonder occurred – a stroke of luck: the Prediger organist came across a suitable, though used, choir organ in original condition from Northern England, a «Conacher Organ» (after the name of its builder).
The first English organ in Switzerland
The instrument needs to be restored – which is considerably cheaper than building a new organ – and will then be transported to Zurich. It will probably be the first English organ of this type in Switzerland.
The budget for the restoration is around CHF 120,000. From private individuals we have already collected over CHF 98,000! Unfortunately, we cannot count on any financial assistance from the Reformed Church of the City of Zurich... So we hope that foundations and crowdfunding (this project) will help us get to our goal. The current level of the fund can be seen at any time on the «Conacher Organ Barometer» in the church.
The project is being run by an association, with the organist and a member of the Church Elders in the committee. And of course the Prediger Church itself stands fully behind the project. If everything goes according to plan, the official inauguration will take place at Whitsun 2015. Until then, there are many activities and events planned around the Conacher Organ.
And YOU? What contribution can YOU make?
And YOU? What contribution can YOU make, so that the Conacher Organ one day will accompany your favourite choir in the Preachers Church? We are grateful for every Swiss Franc that is donated!