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Pipe Dreams

The Pipe Dreams campaign is fundraising to repair the school organ and introduce organ scholarships for talented young musicians. 


Salisbury Cathedral School is looking to fundraise £46,000 to fund:

  • Vital renovation and repair work to the school organ - £23,000
  • Safety works to the school chapel gallery to make the organ accessible for unsupervised pupil practise plus improved lighting - £5,000
  • Two new organ scholarships: for one boy and one girl, during school years 7 and 8, including a 20% fee remission, weekly organ lessons and performance opportunities at school and in local churches, organ groups and Salisbury Cathedral - £18,000 


The Peter Collins Pipe Organ, housed in the gallery above the school chapel, started life as an instrument for the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). It was delivered to Addington Palace in Croydon in 1975. The organ came to our school in 2006 from Portsmouth Grammar school where it had been on loan. Prior to the purchase of the organ, services in the school chapel were accompanied by a small home sized electric organ which was unsuitable for teaching.


Salisbury Cathedral School has been educating the choristers of Salisbury Cathedral since its inception in 1091. This strong history shapes our school and is reflected both in the Christian values which underpin our curriculum and voice, and in the musical excellence for which we are rightly renowned. The organ reflects who we are: a musical school with Christian foundations.


The organ is regularly used in school Chapel services and so benefits all pupils. It is also used by the Cathedral’s music department as a rehearsal instrument for concerts, which benefits both the Cathedral choir and the wider community.

Once repaired and refurbished, both the school and the Cathedral will be able to make better use of the organ as both a teaching instrument and an instrument for performance. We plan to promote Salisbury Cathedral School as a leading venue for organ teaching and performance, and thereby contribute to the continued importance of this traditional instrument within our culture.

As a leading musical prep school, we have a duty to improve and increase our organ teaching to help ensure the future of this ‘King of Instruments’ and its central role in cultural and spiritual life. We are ideally placed to introduce scholarships for young organists and then help those pupils find Senior schools which will continue to provide advanced pipe organ practice and performance opportunities. We believe we will be the first prep school to provide pipe organ scholarship places.

There will be two scholarships available, one for a boy and one for a girl, in respect of the school’s ongoing commitment to parity of musical opportunity for boys and girls. It was only 31 years ago, in 1991, that seventeen girls arrived at Salisbury Cathedral School to create something truly unique. They were to be the first girls’ Cathedral choir in the UK operating on parity with the boys, and with an independent foundation for funding support. Today, with our new organ scholarships, we continue this tradition of supporting women in the traditional realm of church music.

The school will also open access to the organ for local teachers to use the instrument for lessons for non-Salisbury Cathedral School pupils to ensure the organ becomes a community asset.


The school has been advised by Cooper & Co Organ Builders, who have looked after the organ since its time at Portsmouth Grammar School, that it requires:

  • Replacement of the pipe ranks, from 4ft up, of the Great Rohr Gedackt and the Swell Flute, with thicker walled pipes fitted with proper stoppers
  • General cleaning and overhaul with careful attention to tonal regulation of pipework
  • Replacement of the two blowers with a single, slightly larger fan to provide wind for the whole instrument. This will help the instrument run more quietly
  • New longer guide pins fitted to the Pedal Bourdon
  • Replacement of the wide-scaled Great Gemshorn 2ft with a smaller-scaled bright-toned


  • Sponsor-A-Pipe - you can support the Pipe Dreams campaign by sponsoring one the 156 pipes due to be replaced during the organ repairs
  • Concert, performed by Catrin Finch and Aoife Ni Bhriain, in the BSR on Friday 24 February 2023 
  • Organ Recital in Salisbury Cathedral, performed by David Halls and John Challenger, on Monday 27 February 2023
  • The WOOFYT - Wooden One-octave Organ For Young Technologists - will visit school on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April 2023

Once the works have been completed everyone who supported the campaign, financially or with their time, will be invited to a celebratory concert in the school’s chapel.

Pipe Dreams