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St.John the Baptist Parish Church, Xewkija, Gozo

The organ in Xewkija Rotunda was installed in the Autumn of 2016 and blessed on Advent Sunday, 27th November and inaugurated on the 6th of May, 2017. The study and planning works for the new organ started in 2012 when the electronic organ became troublesome, prompting the Church administration to explore possibilities of providing a new pipe organ.  Mr. Noel Gallo, a Maltese internationally-renowned Organ Architect, was entrusted to design and co-ordinate the building of the instrument which was built by Michael Farley, Organ Builders from Budleigh Salterton, Devon. U.K.


A pipe organ in this building had to be custom designed in order to blend in with the architectural appearance whilst also taking into account the musical considerations, with these relating to the design of the internal parts and their location.


In fact, despite the spacious building, finding a position for an organ, which would be suitable both architecturally and tonally, was not easy. Early designs included two suspended organ lofts on either side of the Altar, together with the present central position, which although magnificent in appearance, would have been prohibitive cost wise and would have also posed difficulties for maintenance access.


After much discussion, thought and many drawings, the present site was chosen. Because space was so limited, it was agreed that the room and corridor beneath could be utilised to house ancillary equipment- blowers, bellows, wind trunking, etc. As a result, the glass doors now enable visitors to see this equipment. Allowing access to the underside of the main wind-chests from underneath enabled maximum room for pipework above, but more importantly the height could be reduced and the case was carefully designed around the painting of Christ.


Cherry wood finished with Danish oil has been used for the case and the display pipes of polished and lacquered zinc. Some parts which are normally pre-fabricated were custom-made for this organ, these include the buttons, the accessories control panel which is located in a side drawer of the main console, information display, desk light, etc. The organ has two consoles which are also made of cherry wood with white maple interiors. The smaller secondary console has one manual but no pedals which is equipped with a device for musicians who may be proficient in playing a keyboard but not pedals, which will enable the user to re-create the bass foundation sound of the pedals easily. It has 12 pre-sets of selected stops from the main organ and can be portable when the need arises.


All the sounds are produced from traditional organ pipes made from lead, tin,

zinc and wood – 1204 in all, including 101 display pipes, 50 of which speak. There are also a set of 25 tubular bells.


The instrument contains the latest technology for the player and also a recording device enabling music to be captured and played back via a tablet. This will be especially useful if organists are not available as music can be pre-recorded and used whenever required.

S p e c i f i c a t i o n

MAIN CONSOLE- Three Manual 

Double Diapason 16’     

Open Diapason 8’    

Claribel 8’

Viola 8’    

Principal 4’    

Wald Flute 4’    

Nazard 2 2/3’    

Fifteenth    2’

Tierce t.c. 1  3/5’      

Mixture III    

Trompette 8’    


Great Octave



Salicional 8’        

Voix Celeste t.c. 8’

Gedact 8’  

Rohr Flute 4’

Flautino 2’    

Quartane II    

Contra Oboe 16’    

Oboe 8’

Schalmei 4’


Swell Octave

Swell Sub Octave


Stopped Diapason 8’

Flute 4’

Principal 2’

Larigot 1 1/3’

Cymbal II    

Oboe 8’ (Sw)

Trompette 8’ (Gt)  

Tubular Bells 8’ G 20   -  G 44  

Positive Octave

Positive Sub Octave


Acoustic Bass 32’

Subbass 16’    

Principal 8’    

Open Bass 8’  

Bass Flute 8’  

Quint 5 1/3’     

Fifteenth 4’

Choral Bass 4’

Mixture II    

Trombone 16’

Contra Oboe 16’ (Sw)

Clarion 8’ (Gt)

Harmonics of 32’

Great and Pedal Combs Coupled  

Toe Pistons

8 Pedal Dept. Pistons

8 (Dupl) Swell Dept. Pistons


Gt – Ped

Sw - Ped

32 (Harmonics)    

Stepper Advanced  

Stepper Retard

Thumb Pistons

8 General Pistons

8 Swell Dept. Pistons

8 Great Dept. Pistons

8 Positive Dept. Pistons

Thumb Reversers

Sw – Ped

Gt – Ped

Pos – Ped

Pos – Gt

Sw – Gt

Sw – Pos


Stepper Advance

Stepper Retard


General Cancel


Transposer 8 Semi-Tones Sharper,  8 Semi-Tones Flatter

Melodic Bass (Notes 1 – 24) 

999 Levels 


Crescendo ON/OFF

Generals on Pedal toe pistons 

Generals on Swell toe pistons

5 volume settings for Bells

Tremulant - For Oboe and / or Sw Flues interchangeable for either one or both

Swell to Great

Positive to Great

Swell to Positive

Great to Positive  

Swell to Pedal 4’

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Positive to Pedal


Manuals CC - c 61 notes  Pedals CCC - g 32 notes

Pitch A = 440 @ 21°C

Wind pressure:

Great - 98mm

Swell - 95mm

Positive - 98mm

Pedal - 85mm

Oboe - 115mm

Trompette - 155mm

12 Preset Tutti Pistons 1 pp graduating to 12 ff

Transposer 8 Semi-Tones Sharper, 8 Semi-Tones Flatter

Melodic Bass (Notes 1 – 24)

General Cancel

SECONDARY CONSOLE- One manual (Without Pedalboard) Portable


Operated from an Android tablet via Wi-Fi






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