It has taken a decade of fundraising and more than 18 months of restorative work, but now the ‘Father’ Willis pipe organ at Stony Stratford’s St Mary & St Giles Church is back in play.
And it’s a stunner – complete with additional pipes and stops and beautiful new solid wood casework.
And now comes the 10-week Restoration Celebration.
We made mention of the inaugural choral concert last week, but there is more musical cheer waiting for you to engage with this weekend – on Saturday the church is hosting its first post-spruce organ concert, with Jonathan Kingston.
He will bring his wealth of experience to the programme of popular organ showpieces, which will show off both the subtlety and power of the Willis.
An arrangement of Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks will will be aired, and includes Marches by Mendelssohn and Verdi, together with Baroque works by Bach and Buxtehude.
Bringing things into more recent times, 20th-century pieces by Eric Coates and Herbert Howells will also figure.
A pre-concert screening of the Willis Organ History and Restoration will air at the Parish hall, adjoining the church, at 6.30pm.
Entry for the 25-minute film is free, but spaces will be limited, so register in advance.
The concert itself begins at 7.30pm and tickets are £10 for adults, with free entry for accompanied children aged 16 years and under.