Canongate Kirk – Pipe Organ – Positioned in the Gallery

Built in 1998 by Th Frobenius & Sonner of Denmark – Op. 1000

The Organ was specially designed for Canongate Kirk as a memorial to the Very Reverend Doctor Ronald Selby Wright, the much loved Minister of Canongate from 1937-1977.  It was built by the Th. Frobenius & Sønner, Orgelbyggeri A/S of Denmark, a firm well known in the organ world for meticulous craftsmanship and lyrical sound.  The Canongate organ is their 1000th instrument, and the first Frobenius in Scotland.  The instrument is a two manual tracker action instrument with 20 stops, 3 couplers and tremulant.  There are no pistons or general registration aids.



Great C-g’’’ Positiv C-g’’’ Pedal C-f’
Principal 8’ Fugara 8’ Subbas 16’
Rohrflute 8’ Gedeckt 8’ Hohlflute 8’
Octave 4’ Celeste 8’ Principal 8’
Gedeckflute 4’ Waldflute 4’ Basun 16’
Quint 2 2/3’ Flute 2’
Octave 2’ Quint 1 1/3’
Mixtur IV Sesquialtera II
Trompet 8’ Obo 8’
Tremulant Variable Speed and Depth
Couplers Gt/Ped Pos/Ped Gt + Pos



Great Organ = 616 pipes = 8 stops

Positiv (Swell) = 505 pipes = 8 stops

Pedal = 120 pipes = 4 stops

Total = 1241 pipes

Pitch = A440 cone tuned at equal temperament.



On the case:     Lauda Dominum                                  Praise the Lord

Deus magnus Dominus                                    God the Lord is great

Lauda Deum                                        Praise God



Mahogany case

Oak console, bench and pedals

Yellow pine trackers

Cedarwood and leather pallets

Padouk wood reed heads

Pipes of Tin, Copper or Mahogany

Brass and aluminium metal work

Naturals of mammoth tusk ivory

Sharps of ebony

Draw stops of mammoth and ebony

Gold leaf inscription lettering

Swell shutters constructed of two mahogany panels with a lead sheet core.



The inaugural concert was given on 16th November 1998 by Dr. John Kitchen, Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Organist, The City of Edinburgh Organist and Director of Music at Old Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church Edinburgh.


The instrument has been recorded several times, most recently by the Edinburgh Society of Organists for their ‘Organs of Edinburgh’ CD/book.

Director of Music

Richard Neville-Towle still remembers the tingling excitement when as a young boy he first heard a Cathedral choir and organ. This has led to a lifetime’s love of music and a great interest in the whole process of presentation and performance. After science A levels at Bradfield College, he graduated in music from Durham University and the Guildhall School of Music, interspersed with brief spells as organ scholar at Ely Cathedral and the Royal School of Church Music.

From a first job as a Studio Manager with the BBC, his career has taken him through property development with Trafalgar House to teaching music at Fettes. Now settled in Edinburgh with a beautiful wife and two challenging children, Richard divides his time between performance, as Director of Music at Canongate Kirk, Ludus Baroque Chamber Orchestra and Choir and the Really Terrible Orchestra, and event organising for Prompt Events, providing the A-Z of entertainment for some of Scotland’s most prestigious companies.


Twice a year some of the UK’s finest baroque musicians and young vocal soloists come together in Canongate Kirk to give sell-out performances of the great works of Bach and Handel. In 2010, in its 14th year, Ludus Baroque made its first commercial recording with Delphian to great critical acclaim. As a result of this success, Alexander’s Feast will be followed in 2011 by recordings of Handel’s Song for St Cecilia’s Day and, in 2012 The Triumph of Time & Truth. Bach’s B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio, cornerstones of the Canongate year, will be recorded in 2012 and 2013.


Organ Scholar / Deputy Organist

Edward Dewhirst became our Organ Scholar in November 2007 and since then has played for many services, weddings and also when the Queen was present in July 2009. He finished his Bachelor of Music Degree (Honours) at the University of Edinburgh last year and began a Masters in Musical Instrument Research last September. He is a pianist, organist and harpsichordist with his main focus being the study of musical instruments and period performance.


Edward has studied music from an early age in his home town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire and started his church music career by deputising at several churches in Harrogate in particular his home church of Bar Methodist Church (now Bilton Area Methodist Church).


In Edinburgh he is currently preparing for the Associateship Examination of the Royal College of Organists, tutored by Brigitte Harris (organist at St. Andrew’s and St. George’s Church, Edinburgh). In the final year of his Bachelor of Music Degree he studied composition, orchestration and researched Italian harpsichord construction for his dissertation which won him the Niecks Memorial Prize. Edward is continuing his research of harpsichords in his Masters. He is also learning to tune harpsichords and would like to pursue a career associated with keyboard instrument maintenance, conservation or building along with period instrument performance. In the Edinburgh Fringe 2010 Edward performed an organ recital at St Andrew’s and St George’s Church receiving great reviews.

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