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MUSIC at Penzance Catholic Church

Choral Tradition & Gaudete | The Organ | Links

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"The true purpose of sacred music … is the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful." ~ (Musicam Sacram, 1967 - Vatican II)


speaker icon Listen to Music for the Triduum, choir and musicians at our church, (page from Covid-19 restrictions on singing)

Choir - Our choir seeks new singers in all voices, especially sopranos, to join their friendly & committed group. They sing at the 11am Solemn Mass on Sundays, on Holy Days and at Choral Evening Prayer on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

Music ranges from Plainsong through Polyphony, to quality contemporary music. They rehearse on Wednesday evenings. Basic sight-reading skills are helpful but not essential. If you are open to developing your musical ability, vocal tuition forms part of rehearsals. You don’t need to be a Catholic, there are already Christians of other denominations who are members. They just ask you take on the ethos of what they do in leading music in worship.

If this interests you or someone you know, please speak to David after the 11am Mass or contact him via the parish office. Without parishioners & friends committing to this valuable tradition it will disappear. Your choir needs YOU!

'Gaudete', The Choir Association, welcomes new members to support the choir and music in the parish.

Monthly Choral Evening Prayer - Usually 3rd Sunday, see newsletter for dates.

"Singing must be regarded as an asset to any celebration." ~ (The Directory on Children’s Masses, 1973)


The Organ was built by Mr. George Tucker of the Octagon Organ Works, Plymouth. The cost was £300 all of which had been fully contributed. The formal opening of the Organ was on Tuesday the 23rd of September, 1884 when the congregation were all admitted by ticket.


SWELL:  Violin Diapason, 8ft; Lieblick Gedact, 8ft; Dulciana, 8ft; Vox Angelica, 8ft; Gemshorn, 4ft; Dulcet Mixture, 2 ranks; Horn, 8ft; Oboe, 8ft.

GREAT:  Principal, 8ft; Salicional, 8ft; Open Diapason, 8ft; Hohl Flute, 4ft; Harmonic Flute, 4ft; Fifthteenth, 2ft; Lieblick Bbonvoon, 16ft; Clarionet, 8ft.

PEDAL:  Bourdon, 16ft; Sub Bass, 16ft;

COUPLERS:  Great to Pedal; Swell to Pedal; Swell to Great Octave; Swell to Great Unison.

COMPOSITION PEDALS:  Two acting on Swell and two acting on the Great.

More History:

From 1884 we had not found any record of whose care the Organ was in or what was done to it until a tuning book dating from 1956, was found. From 1956 to 1974, the Organ was in the care of HELE and Co. Ltd., Plymouth. The Organ was then tuned four times a year. There was an overhaul in about March 1967 and sometime around then, a new pedalboard and balanced Swell Pedal were fitted.

From 1975, the Organ was in the care of Lance Foy, Truro. It was tuned about three times a year until 1980. The Organ was damaged during the Church redecoration in 1982, with pipes full of dirt and plaster. In April and May 1986, the Organ was cleaned and overhauled and made more accessible for tuning and repairs, at a cost of £3000

The Organ underwent a major restoration by David Gridley in 2010. Some photos are on our Gallery pages.

To be continued.

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Music and Arts Festival held every two years

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update March 2022  v 2.10 ~ ê¿ê

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