The Willis organ at Blenheim is in regular use, supporting corporate hospitality events, as well as private functions hosted by the 11th Duke of Marlborough and his family. The highlight of the year is the Churchill Memorial Concert, which has taken place every year since Sir Winston Churchill’s death in 1965. Many celebrated organists have performed at these concerts over the years, with a wide variety of organ solos being performed. As part of the tradition, Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D is normally heard at the end of the concert, with the opportunity for the audience to join in. The concert is held in March each year, and heralds in the new season of visitors to the palace.

As one of the premier instruments in the country, the organ is often visited by Organists Associations, and students studying organ repertoire.

Peter Wood and Son have been looking after the organ since 1976, and have undertaken several major projects. In 1989 a major restoration programme was started, with the aim of replacing all deteriorated leatherwork, and other worn-out parts of the instrument. As far as possible, original materials following the original design are used for restoration work. Peter Wood and Son are based in Harrogate, and specialise in maintenance and rebuilding of historic organs.

 

 

 

 

 

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