Whanganui is home to some of New Zealand's most loved pipe organs and they will be visited, celebrated and played next weekend.

Each year, at Queens' Birthday Weekend members of the New Zealand Organ Association (NZOA) meet to catch up on business and share their passion with a local community.

This year, the Friends of the Christ Church Organ have joined forces with the Manawatu Organ Group and the Wellington Organists' Association to host the NZOA Extravaganza which will begin at Christ Church on the evening of Friday, May 31 and conclude on Monday, June 3.

The weekend will begin at Christ Church on Friday evening with registrations followed by wine and cheese before a gala concert at 8pm.


The Organ Plus concert will feature local artists Toi Warbrick (Māori instruments and voice), Ingrid Culliford (flute) and Iain Tetley (tenor) accompanied by local organists.

The weekend will feature two outstanding guest organists - Tom Chatterton of Wellington and Christopher Luke of New Plymouth.

Chatterton will give a recital at Christ Church on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday's City Organ Crawl will take in historic organs at Whanganui Collegiate Chapel, All Saints Whanganui East, Sacred Heart Chapel at Jane Winstone, St Mary's Catholic Church, Trinity Methodist Church and the two pipe organs at Leonard Cave's residence.

Organiser Roy Tankersley said transport for the crawl is fully booked in advance.

"We anticipated 40 bookings and we got 55, however, it is possible for people to join the crawl by using their own vehicles for the public venues, they will only miss out on the organs at private venues.

"They will still need to book for that and for other events during the weekend."

Sunday will begin with a Congress Service at Christ Church followed by visits to organs at Westmere, Waverley and on to Tawhiti Museum on the outskirts of Hawera.


Christopher Luke will give a 4pm recital at Wesley Methodist Church, home of the historic 1916 Alfred Brake organ.

The historic Alfred Brake organ at Wesley Methodist Church in Hawera.
The historic Alfred Brake organ at Wesley Methodist Church in Hawera.

Inventor and organ builder Brake put South Taranaki on the world map with his work and established the first New Zealand dairy factory at in Manutahi in 1882.

Roy Tankersley will give a short Powerpoint presentation on the Alfred Brake organ before the recital.

The extravaganza will conclude on Monday with The Future - a presentation by young musicians who have been working on a project with Tankersley, followed by award presentations and the NZOA annual meeting.

Enrol for the NZOA Extravaganza at nzoa.org or contact Noel Harris at 06 357 6344 for bookings.