30th September - 5th October, 2006

Download Conference Brochure by clicking here


Holy Sepulchre Anglican Church, Auckland:
three manual Brindley & Foster 1896 / Norman & Beard

Plans for the 29th annual conference, titled Indigenous and Exotic : Organs of the Upper North Island of New Zealand have now been finalised and a bookings brochure will shortly appear on the OHTA website.

We will have the welcome opportunity to see and hear a number of historic instruments, particularly those by the significant local firm of George Croft together with Lawton & Osborne, an offshoot of a prominent Scottish firm. Additionally, there will be visits to instruments by notable overseas builders, particularly John Avery, Brindley & Foster, Harrison & Harrison and Henry Jones. A number of these organs are located in splendid wooden churches with notable fittings.

Knox Presbyterian Church, Parnell, Auckland - two manual Croft 1911

The provisional outline of the proposed programme is as follows:

Saturday 30 September: Registration at Auckland Town Hall from 9.00 am. Papers and visits to organs in central Auckland including the rebuilt instruments at the Town Hall (Norman & Beard / Croft) and St Matthews-in-the-City (Willis / Croft) and an evening concert on the restored 1779 John Avery organ at Ponsonby Baptist Church.

Sunday 1 October: Visits to organs in Parnell including the old cathedral (St Mary's) and its Croft organ and the new cathedral with its Harrison organ and concluding with the conference dinner in the Selwyn Library.

Monday 2 October: Further organs in Auckland and suburbs

Tuesday 3 October: Boat trip to Devonport

Wednesday 4 October: Bus trip to Rotorua via Hamilton and Cambridge

Thursday 5 October: Return to Auckland following sight seeing in Rotorua via Te Aroha and Thames. Evening silent movie with Wurlitzer accompaniment. Conference concludes at 9.30 pm.

St Alban's Anglican Church, Balmoral, Auckland -
two manual Henry Jones 1884

A special focus will be the organs of the noted New Zealand builder George Croft, which will be discussed by Dr Ron Newton, and then visited over the ensuing days. We will also have time to see the wonderful harbourside setting of Auckland, the expansive countryside to the south, the historic town of Rotorua, with its geo-thermal areas, and Thames, at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula.

There will be a number of informative talks on organs and buildings by authorities such as Dr Ron Newton, John Hargraves, Bruce Petry, Alan Buchan and John Maidment, together with a prominent United States speaker. There will also be several recitals by prominent local musicians including John Wells, James Tibbles, Eugene Lavery, Stephen Beech, Rachel Griffiths and Ron Clarke.

St Matthew's-in-the-City Anglican Church, Auckland - three manual
Henry Willis 1862 / Lawton & Osborne 1939 / George Croft 1972

The programme will include a mix of organ visits, recitals, lectures and visits to historic and scenic places. The organs to be visited will include the work of builders who are not represented in Australia.

St Mark's Anglican Church, Te Aroha - remnants of 17th century
English organ rebuilt Croft 1985

Accommodation has been block booked at a central location in Auckland, and in Rotorua. In order to take advantage of the preferential rates, applications should be made shortly as instructed on the downloadable form which will shortly appear on the website.

Restored 1779 John Avery organ at Ponsonby Baptist Church.

Download Conference Brochure by clicking here


Copies of the 148-page conference book are available at a cost of $17.50 (inclusive of postage and packing within Australia) from OHTA, GPO Box 676, Sydney, NSW 2001; cheques payable to Organ Historical Trust of Australia. The book includes historical and technical details of the organs visited, many accompanied by line drawings from Graeme Rushworth, together with the programmes of the various recitals and events. A mine of information on NSW organs.

Pictures and specifications of selected organs visited on the 2003 Riverina conference