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 to see and hear the only Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in the north east of England – prepare to be surprised and – we hope – delighted!

COVID-19 (Coronavirus):

At our concert with on 15th March we took various extra precautions to maximise hygiene and protect our audience at the New Victoria Centre against possible infections.  A number of those present expressed particular appreciation for the efforts of Suzanne, who organised a rigorous regime of cleaning and sanitisation both before and during the concert, and all other members of the NETOA team for the work they put in. 

In line with current Government guidelines relating to close personal contact in groups of people and the opening of public buildings we have decided to cancel the concert with KEVIN MORGAN* planned for Sunday 19th April and close the New Victoria Centre for all other purposes until the present restrictions are relaxed.

*If you have tickets for this concert please contact David Kirkbride to arrange to exchange these for tickets for another concert or obtain a refund.

Kevin Morgan is now booked to play for us early in 2021.

We are continuing to keep a close eye on developments and will revue our response to the situation in respect of future events in the light of further developments and official advice in this continually changing situationplease watch the website for updates.

You can 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. 

The Government guidelines regarding how long the closures might last for after the initial three-week period are somewhat open-ended at this stage, so we are hoping that the situation will become clearer in due course as more is known about the developement of the Coronavirus situation in the UK and NO FURTHER CONCERTS HAVE BEEN DEFINITELY CANCELLED at this time.

The next planned concerts are due to be with JEAN MARTYN on Sunday 10th MAY and PHIL KELSALL on 21st JUNE, but please keep checking the website for updates as the situation and is changing constantly.

Our 2020 Concert Season

Please go to the Events page for full details about forthcoming concerts and events and to order Concert Tickets.

In preparation for the concert season, we have been carrying out a more maintenance and tonal regulation work on the Wurlitzer organ following on from the work carried out last year by Abi and Robert from Balfour-Rowley Organ Builders.  Robert has once again been working on the organ’s pipework carrying out tonal regulation to further refine the sound of the organ, paying particular attention to the Violin and Viol d’Orchestre and their respective celeste ranks, as well as the Krumet, Orchestra Oboe and the Diaphonic Diapason pipework.  (There are some photographs of work in progress on the Gallery page)

How to Keep Up-to-date

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).

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.

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.