Pulling out all the stops

Dec. 17, 2018 | Mme Simard gave Form III students a tour of our organ this morning.
Exams are underway for many of our students as we enter the final week before winter break. With the pressure of exams combined with the anticipation of the holidays, Mr. Obermeir took the opportunity to share one of BCS' best-kept musical secrets: the organ hidden behind the front walls of St. Martin's Chapel. Mme Simard shared some of the history of the instrument, which arrived at BCS in 1959, along with an explanation of all the parts that make up the romantic-era organ. Students were surprised to learn that organists are required to read three musical staffs simultaneously when playing. After the musical demonstration, the students had the opportunity to climb the stairs above dining hall into the cramped quarters of the organ chambers. Here they were able to see the pipes ranging in length from two inches to 16 feet. These pipes are organized into sections that use different shapes of resonators to mimic all the sounds of a full orchestra.

After the presentation, Mme Simard said she hopes to share the instrument with more students in the coming months. Even without knowing the full inner workings of the instrument, we'll all continue to enjoy its music three times per week in chapel!

Bishop's College School is an independent English-language boarding and day school for grades 7 to 12 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.