MUSIC lovers got the chance to see a £300,000 organ in action for the first time.

A recital was held to celebrate the inauguration of the new organ in the Phipps Concert Hall at Huddersfield University.

The replica 17th century pipe organ was unveiled late last year.

But it got its first outing this week as part of a series of music events at the university.

It was presented to the university when Castleford businessman and organ enthusiast Michael Phipps, 72, agreed to re-home his beloved historical handcrafted organ at the new concert hall.

Mr Phipps was invited to its first concert, which featured renowned concert organist David Titterington, Professor of Organ at the Royal Academy of Music.

Dr Graham Cummings, organist of the university, said: “This particular organ is a result of Michael taking several trips to Holland and North Germany to look at and play a number of historic instruments.

“When he came back, he contacted the firm of Walkers, one of the biggest organ firms in the country, to build him a historical copy of a late-seventeenth century organ from the regions he had visited.

“He wanted it not just to sound like an historic instrument but to visibly look like one as well.

“He even engaged the wood carver who had worked on the restoration of Windsor Castle to carve pipeshades with floral designs on the instrument. In fact he spared no expense and the organ was finally completed ten years ago.”

Dr Cummings said: “He is extremely passionate about the instrument and we could tell that it was a huge decision for him.

“We were very fortunate and extremely grateful that he finally decided to have the instrument brought to Huddersfield.”

The organ was finished with the help of David Wood of organ builders Wood of Huddersfield.

It took two weeks to take the organ apart and to transport it to Huddersfield.

Meanwhile, to celebrate the purchase of a brand new Steinway D grand piano, the university’s Department of Music has invited the celebrated pianist Martin Roscoe to perform the first recital on the new instrument.

A respected member of the conservatoire teaching establishment, Roscoe has held positions at the Royal Academy of Music and now at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

The concert takes place in the Phipps Hall at the Creative Arts Building on Monday March 16,starting at 7.30pm.

Tickets are limited and are available from Philippa Morgan on 01484 472426 or by emailing

Prices are £6 for adults and £3 for concessions.