A very warm welcome to the first major inaugural event for the new organ of The Guards’ Chavel- one of the finest new organs to have been built in this country in recent times.

Tonight’s programme showcases the new instrument alongside the Band of the Coldstream Guards and the Chapel Choir, including a final item for which we would be delighted fi you could lend your voice.

With a relatively small footprint, the new organ was ingeniously designed by Harrison & Harrison of Durham, both in terms of its visual impact in bridging the two distinct architectural styles of the chapel, and in its ambitious tonal and musical vision. It takes musical inspiration from Harrison & Harrison’s proud history of building, restoring and maintaining a huge number of the great cathedral organs of the UK, but with some inventive and innovative modern touches. Designed to accompany our professional choir, work alongside military bands &ensembles, and to lead congregational singing, the instrument is also hugely colourful and varied in its tonal palette for the solo organ repertoire. Ranging from quiet, atmospheric string sounds to a thrilling ‘full organ’, the instrument works hand-in-hand with the Chapel’s excellent acoustics.

From an initial report on the old, failing organ in 2015 to the new organ’sfirst public appearance on Easter Day 2024, the project has aimed to provide a musical instrument of a quality befitting the spiritual home of the Household Division. The realisation of this aspiration marks a major milestone in the musical life of The Guards’ Chapel, and one for which all the Chapel’s musicians are immensely grateful. Our heartful thanks go to the many generous individual donors for funding this ambitious undertaking, as well as the Army Central Fund, the trustees of the Household Division, and the trustees of the Household Cavalry and Foot Guards regiments.

We would also like to record our thanks to some of the many people involved in the project, including the Guards’ Chapel Committee and Organ Committee, Major William Style (Treasurer), William McVicker (Organ Consultant), Robert Bowles (Structural Engineer) and Jonathan Louth (Architect). Lastly, we are very grateful for the wonderful skill, craftmanship and dedication of the sizeable team at Harrison & Harrison Ltd, with particular mention to Owen Woods (Projects Manager), Michael Clough (Team Leader), Andrew Fiddes (Associate Voicer) and Andrew Scott (Managing Director’).

Maj Gen (Retd) Robert Talbot Rice CBE (Chair, The Guards’ Chapel Committee)
The Reverend Deiniol Morgan CF (Senior Chaplain, London District and Chaplain ot the
Household Division)
Martin Ford (Organist & Director of Music, The Guards’ Chapel)