Diss Organ Festival

On Sunday, 14th May, Diss Town Centre will ring to the joyful sound of over 40 Dutch Street Organs, Fairground Organs, Concert Organs, Busker Organs and Musical Boxes at the inaugural “Diss Organ Festival”.

The event, hosted by the Mechanical Organ Owners Society through Alan Smith of Hoxne and Jonny Ling of Palgrave will bring together some of the world’s best mechanical organs for your enjoyment.

Dating from late Victorian times to the present day these beautiful instruments play remarkable arrangements from all periods of music – Mozart to Bon Jovi.

Spread throughout the town, the organ trail will start by the play equipment on the Park, where the world renowned concert organ “De Grote Gavioli” will be playing. The Organ, presently owned by Nigel Myers and family of Rufforth, York will be making a special trip to Diss. The organ was last enjoyed in East Anglia over 20 years ago.

The Park will be the setting for a Vintage Rallyof tractors, automobiles, steam, military vehicles and country crafts. The famous Dutch Street Organ “De Jonker” will play at the Pavilion. With hand turned Busker street organs along the Mere path to Meres Mouth with Dutch Street Organ “De Vondeling”. There will be music through Mere Street to an Orchestral Concert Organ on the Market Place surrounded by a Street Market.

Cobbs Yard is the venue of an Antiques and Collectables Market with hand turned Busker organs providing cheerful accompaniment.

With Organs along Market Hill, the Corn Hall will host a working display of some of the finest Musical Boxes and Mechanical Music presented by the Musical Box Society GB and to replicate the Cinema experience of the 1920s The Theatre Organ Club will screen a nostalgic Buster Keaton silent comedy movie with dramatic Cinema Organ accompaniment on a three manual, eight rank Compton console by organist David Ivory.

This FREE EVENT of musical fun is for all of the family to enjoy and is kindly supported by both South Norfolk District Council and the Diss Town Council.

The Festival celebrates the Diss Heritage of Mechanical Music. Did you know that the world’s largest organ builders, Hill, Norman and Beard can trace its roots back to Beehive Yard, off Denmark Street? That Diss retrains its own, internationally known Organ Builders, W.A.Boggis, in Louies Lane where Rodney and Sarah Briscoe have restored the C16th Aeolian Water Organ of the Villa dEste, Rome (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) or that the Carillion in St. Marys Church tower plays “The Diss Hymn”. Come along and learn more at the Festival!




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