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Baring Square Methodist Church’s new organ sings a celestial song of beauty.

That is according to those who have heard its tones resonate throughout the historic church.

The new organ will be dedicated at a concert on Sunday.

Parish steward Alister Smyth said he was looking forward to the concert, as it would celebrate the organ as the final finishing touch to the church’s post-earthquake renovations.

‘‘It’s been a long process getting the church going,’’ he said.

As part of the renovations, which were mostly completed last year, the church had decided to replace the previous organ, which dated back to 1953.

‘‘Instead of putting the other organ back that was there, it was decided to incorporate digital for a whole new system. We haven’t just replaced with an ordinary organ, it’s something a bit special. It’s completed the building,’’ Alister said.

‘‘The thing about an organ, it has a different sound to a piano. The sound goes longer, it resonates.’’

‘‘SOMETHING SPECIAL’’: Baring Square Methodist Church parish steward Alister Smyth is looking forward to the church’s new organ being unveiled this weekend.

He had particularly enjoyed listening to that resonating sound when international concert organist Martin Setchell played the new instrument recently in preparation for this weekend’s concert.

‘‘He really made it sing,’’ Alister said.

Alongside the organ itself, the Christchurch-based Setchell will be the main attraction, supported by Mid Canterbury Choir.

The new organ has been connected with wires to the church’s organ pipes, which are more than 70 years old. The pipes are an architectural element in themselves, forming a symmetrical backdrop to the altar space. The digital aspect of the new organ makes it a hybrid, and the only hybrid organ in Ashburton.

Careful attention was paid to regulating the dynamic and tonal properties of the historic pipes and digital sounds to each other and to the room.

The church is seen as an excellent venue in terms of its acoustics, aided by a barrel vault ceiling and newly levelled floor.

After his recent practice session, Setchell himself said the organ was ‘‘the best digital organ I have played’’.

The new hybrid organ at Baring Square Methodist Church will be unveiled at a Grand Reopening Concert on Sunday April 14

Alister said this weekend’s concert would hopefully be one of many to come. The church was perfectly located for such concerts, being in the town centre at Baring Square east, next door the new Te Whare Whakatere.

A plaque on the organ acknowledging late parishioner Neville Forsythe will be unveiled at the concert. Neville worked with Alister on the organ project before his death.

The organ and wiring came at a cost of $200,000, which was funded by an anonymous private donator.

The instrument, with an oak exterior, was made by Makin Organ in England.

  • * Celebration: Grand Reopening Concert on April 14, 2.30pm, at Baring Square Church. International concert organist Martin Setchell will perform, with guests the Mid Canterbury Choir. Cost $20 door sales, includes afternoon tea.