Music at Central

Music at Central:

Hymns (CCCLi 1097839)

Music has always played a strong and much-valued role in the life of the church. We have a wonderful organ and have had many superb organists who contribute and have contributed to the church’s rich heritage.

Currently we have a team of dedicated organists who accompany our worship and we are excited to see the musical life of our church gaining strength once again.

Following a recent highly successful organ recital to mark 100 years of our quality Binns organ, we are planning some exciting developments for 2022 which will include a concert series and promoting our newly-formed youth choir: 

The Binns Organ at Central

The existing organ which had been built by Mr. Booth of Wakefield in 1863. By 1919 the instrument was in such need of repair that the committee responsible for its maintenance reported that it was not worth repairing. The Trustees of the church decided to order a new Organ and for it also to be a memorial to the men of the church who had given their lives during the 1914-1918 war.

The Late Mr Geoffrey Dunn, who helped with the restoration in his term as Organist, at the keyboard.

Mr James J. Binns of Bramley was commissioned to build a new instrument which was estimated to cost £2480. He was given a free hand in the design and intimated that no expense was to be spared in producing an instrument of exceptional size and quality.

The finished organ had three manuals, 28 speaker stops, 7 pedal stops, 2 tremulants and 13 couplers with 14 combination pistons to the manuals and 7 combination toe pistons.

Over the years the organ has been maintained and received upgrades as needed. By 90 years, age was taking its toll. Behind the scenes the leather on the 5 huge bellows was beginning to split, and the air was escaping endangering the whole action of the organ. Parts of the action needed to be electrified. The “under action”, (tiny leather bellows under each windchest) were renewed and fitted with electromagnets, one for each key. A renovation was carried out, funded by an anonymous bequest. The late Mr Geoffrey Dunn, organist at the time, was instrumental in getting everything in hand.

The work was carried out by our present organ builder Mr. John Jackson of Harrogate.

The organ is played at our weekly service by our small team of organists, Mrs. Julie Tanner, Mr. Keith Webster and Mrs. Lynn Senior.

Young Voices at Central 

We are planning a new choir for children and young people (Junior school age+) This will meet most Thursday evenings in term time between 3.45pm and 4:30pm in the church hall at Central Methodist Church. The choir will sing in the 10.30am morning service at Central at least once a term (and also some additional concerts, etc) .
The choir’s musical director is Julie Tanner M.Mus., BA, FTCL, ARCO. Julie has many years of experience in leading choirs and teaching music to young people. She is a highly qualified musician who has been involved in live BBC and ITV broadcasts accompanying choirs and playing solos on the organ –  nothing pleases her more than to hear young people sing! She has only recently become involved in the musical life of Central, having spent 30 years in the music team at Leeds Cathedral and she is proud to be helping celebrate the wonderful tradition of music here at Central. She is also headteacher at Queenswood School (and has all the appropriate safeguarding training and expertise to keep children safe and well cared for!)

Anyone interested in finding out more is most welcome to come along and give it a try! No auditions needed and we only want lots of effort and willingness to have a go – leave the rest to our musical director! For any further information, please email Julie directly

This material is gratefully received from Mr. Ian Scholes

Calling for Junior Choir members

If you would like to boss musical stuff, join the choir. Julie Tanner – tops in teaching – is looking for voices. Click the button and fill in your details.