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  • Investigate a selection of Oxford’s beautiful college chapels, with an emphasis on their distinguished organs

  • Experience recitals on a variety of instruments from accomplished organist Nicholas Wearne, including the new Hermann Eule organ at Magdalen College

  • Soak up the special atmosphere of college choral services

“A thoroughly enjoyable tour, uplifting and energising - a highlight of the year!”

“Visited colleges and chapels I’ve not been to before, and the music was sublime”

- ACE customers on previous Oxford College Chapels & Organs tours with Nicholas Wearne

The city of dreaming spires is home to a remarkable number of organs, each defined by the personality that made them, the aesthetics of the time in which they were built, the space within which they resound and the uses to which they are put. These instruments have become part of the very subtle alchemy that makes each college special.
Our tour will explore several of the organs and colleges of Oxford, with private recitals given on each organ. We begin with a visit to Wadham College Chapel, which contains a magnificent 17th century east window by Bernard van Linge and an 1877 ‘Father’ Henry Willis organ, one of the few instruments by the master to have survived without substantial modification of its tonal design. This is followed by a visit to Jesus College, where the chapel is home to an organ installed by William Drake in 1994.


We particularly look forward to two visits to Magdalen College, firstly for Evensong and secondly for a private recital on the brand new Eule organ. A further highlight of our tour will be the opportunity to visit the Oxford Oratory, the city’s Catholic parish church, designed in the Gothic Revival style.


The buildings of Keble College were designed by William Butterfield in the High Victorian Gothic style, and the Side Chapel houses William Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World. New College, meanwhile, contains a Grant, Degens and Bradbeer organ which was installed in 1969, inspired by the radical instruments being built in northwest Europe in the 1960s in the Orgelbewegung (organ reform) movement.
We also hope to include a visit to Oxford’s world-famous Bodleian Library, for a tour of the Divinity School, Convocation House, Chancellor’s Court and Duke Humfrey’s Library. Dating back to 1488, the library is one of the oldest in Europe and is home to an important collection of manuscripts, books and archival items.


The tour will be based at the four-star Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel, occupying a 17th century building in the heart of historical Oxford and conveniently located for our college visits.
This tour will be led by organist Nicholas Wearne, BA, MPhil, an international competition prize-winner who was previously Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford and Organist at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. Nicholas is a former ACE Bursary student and currently holds the position of Senior Tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He will be joined for some of the recitals by guest musician John Bryden, MA, ARCM, ARCO, an international concert pianist and former senior lecturer in Music at Dartington College.

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