Residence of Dr Phillip Gearing

Rafting Ground Road, Brookfield

P.D. Collins, St Albans, UK, 1979
Installed 1981 in Department of Music, University of Queensland, St Lucia
Installed in residence of Phillip Gearing, Windemere Terrace, Toowoomba, 1997-98 W.J. Simon Pierce, Brisbane
Installed 2014 in residence of Phillip Gearing, Highland Terrace, St Lucia
Installed 2019 in present location
2 manuals, 9 speaking stops, mechanical action

The P.D. Collins practice organ
formerly in the Department of Music, University of Queensland
[Photograph by Howard Baker (1990s)]

Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2012, 2014, 2019 (last updated December 2019)

This flexibly designed practice organ was built by P.D. Collins, St Albans (UK) in 19791 to a standard design intended for a variety of uses. Each of the three divisions is self-contained and can be separated from the remainder. The entire organ sits on a movable platform.

The upper division (Manual I) is identical with the single-manual organ built by Collins in the previous year for St Mark's Anglican Church, Woody Point. The lower division (Manual II) sits at floor level with its own draw stops, and its keyboard fits immediately below that of the upper division. The pedal division sits to the left of the two manual divisions. There are two blowers which sit behind the fully assembled instrument, housed in separate boxes.

Lower half of the P.D. Collins practice organ
formerly in the Department of Music, University of Queensland
[Photograph by Howard Baker (1990s)]


Whereas the Collins organ for the Queensland Conservatorium of Music used cone tuning throughout, this practice organ used slide tuning. This was on the advise of Robert Boughen, then a staff member of the Music Department, with the intention of experimenting with various temperaments.2

The instrument was purchased by the University of Queensland and installed in the Department of Music in 1981.3 It was moved to Toowoomba in December 1997 and installed in the residence of Phillip Gearing in January 1998 by W.J. Simon Pierce.4 It was moved in October 2014 to the residence of Phillip Gearing in St Lucia, and in April 2019 to the current location.5

Wood Gedact
Rohr Flute

Gedact Flute
Spitz Quint

Gross Gedact




Tracker action
No couplers
Compass: 56/30.6


1 Date from builder's plaque.

2 Personal communication to G. Cox from Peter Brandenburg, January 2012.

3 The Courier Mail (May 20, 1981), p. 2

4 Dates and details supplied by Phillip Gearing, 2000.

5 Personal communications to G. Cox from Phillip Gearing, October 2014 and December 2019.

6 Specification supplied by P.D. Collins, 1981, and Phillip Gearing, 2000. The spelling of the stop names in The Organ Voice, vol. 25, no. 4 (December 1999), p. 4 is not correct.