About Highbury Festival
Highbury Festival is an initiative by Christ Church Music Director, Rachel Maby and run by volunteers from Christ Church. The festival was founded with the sole purpose of raising funds for the refurbishment work of the Christ Church piano and organ. All ticket money from the festival will be going towards the refurbishment costs, which currently amount to £255,000.
Highbury Festival features concerts by music groups already rehearsing and performing at Christ Church. These include High Holborn Chamber Choir, which was founded in January of this year and is directed by Christ Church Music Director, Rachel Maby; Christ Church Jazz Choir, who lead the worship in the Christ Church monthly jazz vespers service; and Cello Corner, which is led by Susanne Beer at Christ Church every Friday afternoon. Rachel Maby will be joined by fellow Music Director and Christ Church organist, Hamish Brown for a recital of vocal opera and song for the final concert in the festival.
About the organ
Christ Church organ was built in 1903 by Norman & Beard. It boasts four separate chambers – the Great, Choir, Pedal and Swell – which means there is a great variety of colours of sound and dynamic contrasts.
However, our keyboards need replacing as they are wearing away, our dented pipes need re-shaping, our swell-box needs repairing and we have a leak in our wind trunking which feeds our organ the air it needs to function!
We are hoping to raise £50,000 this year for the first stage of repairs to improve the tonal quality of the organ. The full extent of the work will cost a further £200,000, which we hope to continue to raise over the next ten years. Highbury Festival is just the beginning of our fundraising activities and whilst ticket sales from festival may not cover the costs of this repair work, you could help us achieve our goal by making a donation to Christ Church organ fund.
About the piano
Christ Church own an 1893 Steinway Rosewood grand piano, which is used every Sunday during Christ Church services and for the many concerts held at Christ Church, with notable groups including Bach to Baby, Eclectic Voices, Cello Corner and Highbury Youth Choir. The piano is in need of new Abel hammers, lower strings and weighing out of the piano keys to return it to it’s prime condition.