Since the church was consecrated, in 1851, up to 1975 there have been three pipe organ installations. The first was installed in 1853 and the second in 1878.
A Worcester Chronicle report of the consecration, in 1851, says that "Mr Haynes, the organist, presided at the seraphine, which had been placed here until an organ shall be obtained". From Berrow's Worcester Journal of 12 May 1853 we learn that an organ is about to be erected in Trinity Church "by Mr. Nicholson, of Worcester, whose name is sufficient guarantee for the excellence of the instrument, which is to cost 150 guineas, and will be the gift of C. Morris Esq., and Miss Morris"
In 1873 with the new addition of the North isle to the church it was felt that the current organ was not large enough for the new size of the church. So a subscription was raised to buy a new organ. By 1877, £700 had been raised towards the £1000 required so a new organ, again built by Mr. Nicholson of Worcester, was installed and formally opened in January 1878. On the 19th January 1878 the first service with the new organ was reported in Berrows Worcester Journal - Mr W Higley was named as the organist of Holy Trinity Church.
William Higley was born in Barnards Green in 1847, the son of John Higley, a carpenter and Martha Banford. He spent all his working life as a bank clerk in Malvern. In 1871 he married a German lady called Auguste Caroline Bennett and they had one son, William John Louis Higley, born the following year.
William senior was already organist at Holy Trinity in 1870, when he was only 23 years old and he continues as organist for many years. His name regularly appeared in news items about events at Holy Trinity until 1894 and his son was also mentioned in several items when they would both play at a service. William junior was, according to reports a very accomplished musician:-
Berrows Journal, September 1891
William Senior was almost certainly still organist in 1895 when Edward Elgar wrote his Organ Sonata. At the talk about Elgar in July 2014 we heard that Holy Trinity and the name Higley were mentioned in Elgar's diary and that Elgar himself may have played the organ. Gill Bradshaw has since been able to find that Elgar did indeed play the organ when practising his sonata.
The last of these was badly damaged by water coming through the roof and to avoid the large expense of either a new organ or a considerable restoration, the decision was made to install an electronic instrument. This was done in December 1975 when Makin Organs supplied their 'Westmorland' model and the inauguaral recital on the new organ was given on 12th June, 1976.
The 'Westmorland', Makin's first attempt to produce an electonic organ consisted of many rotating and moving parts; this was not entirely satisfactory and over the next twelve years it became very noisy and difficult to maintain. Considerable progress in electronic organ building over this period prompted Makin Organs to recommend a solid-state (no moving parts) update which was installed in December 1988 and with a few later modifications became the next organ.
Installed in December 1988 by Makin Organs, the organ had two manuals - 'Great' and 'Swell' - each with 5 octaves and a 30 note pedal board. A seperate 'Choir' selection of stops could be made to be played on the 'Great' manual in the absence of a third 'Choir' manual. The specification had 40 speaking stops. All the electionics were behind the manuals and the sound emerged from three banks of loudspeakers suitably designed to cover the required wide frequency range. The playing facilities included thumb pistons to select combinations of stops on the 'Great' and 'Swell' manuals together with toe pistons for 'Swell' and 'Pedals'.
The Organ Today
In late 2017, as the Makin Organ was approaching 30 years old and was becoming more unreliable, it was decided it needed to be replaced. After research and listening to many organ installations it was decided that the best organ for Holy Trinity would be a three manual Viscount digital organ. It took a year of fundraising and, in December 2018 the new Viscount digital organ was installed just in time for Christmas.
The current organ has three manuals - 'Great', 'Swell' and 'Choir' - just like the last pipe organ and a 32 note pedal board. It has a comprehensive specification with 51 speaking stops spread across the four divisions. With great advancements in the technology used in digital organs the sound is greatly improved from the previous organ; it uses sound sampling technology called Physis. The projection of the sound into the building is also improved thanks to the 13 speakers: the 'Great' speaks into the Nave, the 'Swell' down the North Transept, the 'Choir' into the Chancel and the 'Pedal' into the Nave and North Transept. There are many playing aids on the organ with 7 pistons per division and 10 general pistons, all stored in 16 memory banks. For the full specification of the current organ please click here.