Launching a major appeal to repair and restore the Hill organ, particularly at a time of economic hardship, was a daunting challenge. But with the instrument already regularly unreliable and very likely to become unplayable within five years, the Selby Abbey Trust needed to act decisively. The appeal went public in June 2012 with the Archbishop of York as its Patron and the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation as the lead major donor.
The appeal’s aim was to raise £520,000 to carefully conserve the organ and return it to the time that it was at its best and most renowned - the 1960s, when Maestro Fernando Germani’s LP recordings spread its glorious sound around the world.
News of the instrument’s plight spread rapidly with a vigorous press campaign and via social media. A public endorsement from international organists who had played the Selby Hill further highlighted the importance of the restoration project.
Thanks to the hugely generous support from seventeen major donors; eighty seven organ-pipe sponsors as well as the backing of hundreds of organ-music enthusiasts from far and wide and the unstinting help from the Abbey’s local community, we reached our target and the Hill organ restoration project was completed.