2021 Online Conference

Past conferences


n place of a full-scale conference this year, OHTA will be hosting an online symposium on Saturday 9 October 2021, via Zoom technology.  The topic will be The Modern Australian Mechanical Action Organ and it will include brief contributions from many Australian states and will last for around two hours.  Apart from presentations, there will be opportunities to ask questions.  In order to participate, it will be necessary to register with the OHTA secretary online – details are given below.

The symposium will start at the following time:  Saturday 9 October 2021 at 1.00 pm EDT (Sydney & Melbourne) / 12.00 pm midday EST (Brisbane) / 12.30 pm CDT (Adelaide) / 11.00 am WST (Perth).

The Symposium will include a national overview, outlining the landscape which saw the introduction of mechanical action instruments across Australia. Several organbuilders will be examined, ranging from Ronald Sharp, one of the Australian pioneers, through to Lynn Kirkham whose output, objectively, is of international significance, not least of all because of his exceptional engineering innovations.

We will hear how the social and economic environment of South Australia saw the delayed growth of opportunity there.  With the arrival of progressive influencers, however, the perceived austerity times with J.E. Dodd & Sons, Gunstar Organ Works were followed by some more notable prosperity with George Stephens Organbuilder. Later achievements shine a light on what could have been in different circumstances.

The role of the organ consultant will be explored through the contribution of prominent Australian organist Robert Boughen, in relation to the large number of new mechanical action instruments for Brisbane during the 1970s and 1980s. These include organs of varying sizes for liturgical, concert and teaching purposes.

Rounding out our discussion will be the role of organ festivals in promoting such instruments in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.

To participate in the symposium,  contact the OHTA Secretary, Dominic Perissinotto, at [email protected] who will email you a web link address with instructions on how easily to access the event.