This is Richard McWeigh, an English cathedral musician who is popularising organ music and a simple spirituality on YouTube. We are blessed by modern technology in giving us the Hauptwerk organ, recordings of each note and each stop of a pipe organ which we can play on a keyboard to get the authentic sound that surpasses the sound of electronic and digital organs. This makes it possible to play the organ at home. My own organ is a pipe organ, but it is very small. Thanks to Hauptwerk, Richard has a full cathedral organ in his house where he lives with his family. Do his neighbours like organ music? That is a good question determined by the soundproofing of his walls and windows!
He heard the complaint some years ago from an English cathedral organist that young people were no longer learning the organ and committing themselves to church music. It was a dying cause. Richard has proven him wrong and there are many young people learning the organ and setting up their own Hauptwerk instruments in their homes, using commercially available keyboards and pedalboards or using an old electronic organ console with the new technology.
Here is a recital of young musicians playing a pipe organ in a church or their Hauptwerk instruments. The youngest in only 12. I am deeply impressed by this love of music as I experienced at their age. Their dexterity and brilliance are impressive. Some will play in churches, and others will go on to be concert musicians. The love of music continues, wherever the wind may blow.
I have taken a certain amount of inspiration from Richard’s concept of “beauty in sound” and turning it to Christian witness. It has certainly given me a new dimension in my priestly ministry.