MNL music week logo (c) Annabel Ostell
MNL music week logo (c) Annabel Ostell

The pressure is on for organ players. With fewer people learning how to play the organ, those who do are under pressure to keep the instrument alive.

Unfortunately, there is a high chance of organ playing dying out. Rachael Belderbos, 50, is the only organ player in her church on the Wirral.

She started playing the piano when she was younger. Rachael then joined the choir at Our Lady and St John Church in Heswall and after the organist wasn’t available one week she realised this was something she could begin to learn.

After a few lessons she began to play every other week and now plays every Sunday along with some weddings and funerals that take place in the church.

Rachael playing organ (c) Harriet Belderbos
Rachael playing organ (c) Harriet Belderbos

Rachael agrees that organ playing is becoming a dying industry.

She said: “I’ve got a couple of people who at church who will stand in occasionally but otherwise there is nobody new coming up that can play.”

Although playing the organ is a challenging instrument to play, Rachael says; “If you play something really loud like ‘Jerusalem’ and everybody sings, it gives you quite a bit of a buzz and its quite fulfilling to fill the whole church with a piece of instrument that you are playing.”

Take a look at Rachael playing the organ here:

Featured image (c) Harriet Belderbos





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