On one of the hottest days of the year, GOA members gathered to enjoy three Oxford Organs. We met at 11am in the chapel of Worcester College
which was completed in 1791, but its interior was transformed into the riot of colour, humour and detail that it is today by William Burges in 1864. The paintings and woodwork include many jokes, whilst the animals at the ends of the pews are a mixture of the weird and wonderful, including a unicorn and blue whale. Based on the five morning canticles, the decoration presents the wonders of creation within the scheme of salvation. The Organ was built by John Nicholson in 1865 but was altered in 1961 by N.P. Mander. A comprehensive restoration in 2005 by Harrison and Harrison included the reinstatement of all mechanical action for the manuals, and improvements to the Pedal Organ. On the two shutters that enclose the console is an impressive list of organ scholars of the college from 1866. The names include future cathedral organists, professors of music, a music critic for The Times, an editor of Grove’s Dictionary of Music, a Head of Music at the BBC and a Principal of the Royal Academy of Music.