WELCOME to the NETOA

Welcome to the our website.  We hope that the Art Deco styling of the site will set the scene for you to enjoy finding out about one of the ‘centre-pieces’ of the golden age of Britain’s ‘super-cinemas’ (which ran roughly from the mid-1920s to the outbreak of World War 2): the mighty ‘cinema’ or ‘theatre’ organ.

On behalf of the Trustees and Friends of the North East Theatre Organ Association, we hope that you will be encouraged to pay us a visit in person, when this becomes possible once again, to see and hear the only Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in the north east of England – prepare to be surprised and – we hope – delighted!

In early 2020 further maintenance work was carried out on the Wurlitzer organ and we welcomed Robert Balfour-Rowley back once again to continue with tonal regulation to further refine the sound of the organ.  This time Rob concentrated on the Violin and Viol d’Orchestre and their respective celeste ranks, as well as the Krumet, Orchestral Oboe and the Diaphonic Diapason pipework.  (There are some photographs of work in progress on the Gallery page)  

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LATEST  NEWS:

Due to the continuing Covid 19 situation we have suspended our programme of concerts for the remainder of the 2020 season, including the Christmas Concerts with HOWARD BEAUMONT . . . .

However . . . . .      On SUNDAY 20th December you can enjoy some Christmas Cheer when:

HOWARD BEAUMONT will be playing the Wurlitzer at the New Victoria Centre for your enjoyment

in an online concert  –  Just go along to the NETOA Facebook page at 2.30 to see the live concert!

(We are sorry, but there will be no admission to the building on the day)

++  As Always, Please continue to watch the website for the latest updates  ++

 

You will find the latest Government advice and lots of other useful information about Covid-19 Coronavirus here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response. 

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The latest issue of our newsletter ‘Pipetalk’ has much more NETOA news and once again we would like to thank Barry and Rosilyn Raine, David and Suzanne Kirkbride and everyone who has worked extra-hard to get this out under the current difficult circumstances.  If you want to receive your own copy: See ‘How to Keep Up-to-date’ (below) and ‘Become a Friend’ of the NETOA.

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The New Victoria Bradford was 90 Years Old on 22nd September:

You can watch Mark Nicholson’s video from Bradford Live to celebrate the opening of the New Vic here:

The Mighty Wurlitzer 

We are keeping links open for a while so that you can find out more about the NETOA Wurlitzer organ.  Normally we love to welcome visitors as part of  the national Heritage Open Days weekend, but this year the Covid 19 restrictions made this impossible, so we went ‘virtual’ instead!  Click on the coloured links below to see the 3 Open Day videos & get quick access to some other related features on the website:

1:  A Quick Overview of the NETOA & The Mighty Wurlitzer

2: ‘Pipes But No Water!’ – A Tour of the New Victoria Centre Wurlitzer Organ (17 Min)

3:  A Short Sample Track played on the Mighty Wurlitzer

More information is also available on the ORGAN,  HISTORY and REVIEWS pages

Or, you can enjoy the music of our Mighty Wurlitzer organ at home on CDs which are available from our SALES page

We hope you found something of interest and we would love to see you in person as soon as this is possible once again – please keep in touch!

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Our Concert Seasons

Details of the 2021 Concert Season will be on the Events page in the New Year.  As the expected NHS vaccination programme is rolled out we hope that we will be in a position to admit audiences once again in increasing numbers.  Please keep in touch as more details about the situation are announced.

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How to Keep Up-to-date

The best way to keep up to date with what is going on in the NETOA is to Become a ‘Friend’ of the NETOA, or you can keep up with national and international theatre organ news via the Theatre Organ Club and / or the Cinema Organ Society, the two main national bodies concerned with theatre organ history and preservation.

As well as here on the website, you will also find our concerts listed on www.organrecitals.com (which features lots of organ and concert / recital related information both theatre and classical), as well as on www.organfax.co.uk (where you can find information about theatre and electronic organ events all over the UK).  The newly published 2020 Theatre Organ Venue & Events Guide – North of England Edition lists most of the major venues offering theatre organ concerts in the North and copies are widely available (next year it is hoped to make this a national publication).

Do You Want to Help Our Award-Winning Charity?

In June 2016 NETOA was honoured to be awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.  This is the ‘MBE for volunteer groups’ and we believe that it is the first such award given to a group involved in theatre organ preservation.  We would like to dedicate this award to all of the volunteers who have helped, over many years and in so many different ways, to make our project a success!

All of the work involved in running the NETOA is done by a dedicated team of volunteers and you can help in a number of ways: By just buying a ticket & coming along to Concerts and Events!; By ‘lending a hand’ with some of the many tasks that need doing to keep things going; By making a Donation through our ‘Sponsor-a-Pipe’ scheme (see below).

The ‘Sponsor-a-Pipe Appeal’ is a special way that you can contribute to the upkeep of the New Victoria Wurlitzer organ by ‘sponsoring’ one of the 1,375 organ pipes in our ‘mighty’ instrument!   Your name (or that of someone you wish to be remembered) will then be added into one of the decorative ‘organ pipes’ in the New Victoria Centre Tea Room along with all of the other ‘sponsors’ – for more details click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph to go to the sponsor-a-pipe page.

As a Registered Charity, the NETOA can claim ‘Gift Aid’ on certain donations (including membership subscriptions, donations under the Sponsor a Pipe Appeal, etc.), whereby HMRC add 25p extra in every Pound to the amount given to us.  We are most grateful if anyone who is a taxpayer (and has paid sufficient tax) will use the Gift Aid button when joining / renewing as a member of the Friends, or making a Sponsor a Pipe donation.  Thank you!

History of the ‘New Vic’ Wurlitzer Organ

You can find a brief history of the NETOA and our Wurlitzer organ on the History page and also the current Specification of the organ.  A fully detailed history of the organ, together with information on how the specification has been altered over the years is contained in our Souvenir Brochure which can be ordered from our online store.

This Website is the Quick & Convenient Way to:

Just Some of the Things We Do . . .

As well as our regular concert series where you can see and hear one of the largest theatre pipe organs in Europe played by top-ranking professional players, we also participate in the national Heritage Open Days Weekend in September, an informal day when everyone is welcome to come along and look around (both front-of-house and behind-the-scenes) to find out what a ‘Mighty’ Wurlitzer is all about and talk to the people behind the installation and maintenance of the organ!

People of all ages are fascinated by the theatre organ, its history, its music, its technology and the way in which it played a major role in the social history of the mid twentieth century.

Group Visits & Friends of NETOA

We are happy to arrange private visits for local groups, schools and organisations who wish to find out more about the Wurlitzer. Please contact John Heslop for more details: john.heslop@netoa.org.uk

We also have regular private practice sessions, when members of the ‘Friends of the NETOA’ can play the organ themselves.

We particularly encourage young musicians who are interested in learning to play the theatre organ as well as anyone who is interested in finding out about the technical aspects of this most complex of musical instruments.

 

Visit the Mighty Wurlitzer Cinema / Theatre Organ. Organise a Group Visit, Friends of NETOA Practice Sessions. Book Concert Ticket & Sponsor a Pipe. Great Visitor Attraction for Durham, Crook, Bishop Auckland & the North East. NETOA 50th Anniversary. New Victoria 90 Years.  Music for All.