The Music & the Organs>
The music for the sung services is of traditional character, and is provided by a small group of singers from the congregation. Apart from the hymns and plainchant, a motet is performed at every sung mass. Singers are always welcome to join us.
A feature of the musical life at S. Silas is the professional performances, several times each year, of masses and motets for voices and instruments.  Although largely drawn from the music of Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, it has recently been extended to include the Magnificat by Pergolesi and the Requiems of Fauré and Saint-Saëns.
The church is fortunate in possessing an excellent acoustic, and a spacious gallery with ample room for singers and instrumentalists to be close to the organ console.
The Organs
When the church was built J C Bishop and Son built an organ on the west wall of the church, with tubular pneumatic action from a console placed on the floor of the gallery beneath and facing east.
By the 1990s this organ had become effectively unplayable, and in view of its limitations it was decided to investigate the possibilities of substantial rebuilding or replacement.  The organ had no stops above 4ft pitch and, although there were some attractive voices, had little balance between departments and individual registers.  
Pipe work and case of Bishop Organ
Pipe work and case of Bishop Organ
After much thought and investigation, it was decided to ask Copeman Hart to provide an instrument, which would be adequate for the occasions when the church is full and at the same time would have the necessary voices to enrich the liturgy and for choral accompaniment.  This was installed in 1994, being built and voiced according to the organist's specification.  It has proved itself well suited to these tasks and copes particularly well with French music, including that of the baroque, and is a good instrument for the music of Bach. The case and pipework of the redundant organ was mounted on the west wall and used to conceal the loud speakers of the Copeman Hart organ.
Specification of the Copeman Hart Organ
Copeman Hart console with view of Church
Copeman Hart console with view of Church
Grand Orgue
Montre   16
Montre   8
Flûte   8
Bourdon     8
Prestant  4
Flûte   4
Fourniture  IV
Cymbale  III
Bombarde  16
Trompette  8
Clairon   4
Positif
Bourdon  8
Gambe   8
Prestant  4
Flûte   4
Nazard   22/3
Quarte      2
Tierce   13/5
Cymbale  IV
Basson   16
Cromorne    8
Tremblant
Récit
Montre   8
Flûte harmonique 8
Cor de nuit  8
Gambe   8
Voix céleste  8
Flûte harmonique 4
Octavin  2
Cornet   V
Trompette  8
Hautbois  8
Voix humaine     8
Clairon   4
Tremblant
Pédale
Soubasse  32
Flûte   16
Soubasse  16
Flûte   8
Violoncelle  8
Flûte   4
Bombarde  32
Bombarde  16
Trompette  8
Clairon   4
Chamber Organ

S. Silas is also fortunate in possessing a Grade II star chamber organ which is a rare example of an instrument by Jonas Ley, which was built in 1772 and is substantially in its original condition.  It stands on the south side of the nave, in its fine mahogany case with gilded front pipes.  It retains the original short octave in the bass and its original winding system although there is also an electric blower. The organ restorers Manders say some of the pipes are even centuries older than that.

The first known owner was organ builder Percy Daniels, from whose home in Somerset it was transferred to All Saints', Notting Hill, in 1940, to be shifted again to S. Silas' when All Saints' was blitzed.

Compiled from 'Ham and High' September 19th 1980

Chamber Organ
Chamber Organ

Stop Diapason Base  (to Middle C)
Stop Diapason Treble  (from middle C#)
Open Diapason  (from tenor G - grooved below to Stop Diapason Base)
Principle
Fifteenth
Sexquartan Base (to Middle C)
Cornet Treble (from middle C#)

Compass: Short Octave GG, AA, C, no C# - e3


Chamber Organ Clavier
Chamber Organ Clavier
Left jamb
Left jamb
Right jamb
Right jamb
Chamber organ pipes
Chamber organ pipes
The Organ at Holy Trinity

Organ console
Organ console
Swell stops
Swell stops
Great stops
Great stops
Decorated pipes
Decorated pipes

Great Organ
Open Diapason I 8
Open Diapason II 8
Clarabella  8
Dulciana  8
Principal  4
Flute   4  to c
Twelfth  22/3
Fifteenth  2
Sesquialtera  III
Cremona  8  to c
Trumpet  8
Swell Organ
Open Diapason 8  stopped bass, from c shared with the Gamba
Salicional  8  stopped bass, from c shared with the Open Diapason
Voix Céleste               8  to c
Principal   4
Fifteenth  2
Hautboy  8
Cornopean  8
Tremulant
Pedal

Open Diapason    16  wood
Bourdon  16

Usual couplers

Compass:  Manuals C - e3:  Pedals C to d1 (with a modern concave and radiating pedal board of full compass, the top three notes acting only on the couplers)
It has no name plate except that of Bishop & Sons who were responsible for the most recent restoration.  In the Illustrated London News of 19 October 1850 it was reported: "The organ, placed on one side of the chancel, is of very sweet and powerful tone.  It was erected by Messrs. Bevington and Sons of Greek-street, Soho." This is a Grade II organ in recognition of it being an interesting instrument containing substantial material by Bevington c 1850.
It seems likely that this is that instrument in virtually its original condition.  It would therefore be one of the first "German compass" instruments in the country.  Although in need of restoration, it is still in regular use and the tone continues to be "very sweet" and adequate for the building if not powerful by present standards.
Redundant Organ at S. Silas
Details taken from:- (Monthly Paper, November 1914, page 8) - Description of the New Organ
Great Organ, Compass CC to a, 58 notes
Open Diapason 8ft 58 pipes
Clarabella 8ft 58 pipes
Dulciana 8ft 58 pipes
Principal 4ft 58 pipes
Wald Flute 4ft 58 pipes
Trompette Harmonique 8ft 58 pipes
Swell Organ, Compass CC to a, 58 notes
Lieblich Bourdon 16ft 58 pipes
Violin Diapason 8ft 58 pipes
Lieblich Gedact 8ft 58 pipes
Vox Angelica 8ft 58 pipes
Voix Celestes 8ft 49 pipes
Geigen Principal 4ft 58 pipes
Oboe 8ft 58 pipes
Pedal Organ, Compass CC to f, 30 notes
Open Diapason 16ft 30 pipes
Sub Bass 16ft 30 pipes
Lieblich Bourbon 16ft 30 pipes
Couplers, etc.
Swell to Great
Swell Octave
Swell Sub Octave
Swell Unison off
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Combination Pistons to Great and Pedal Organs
Combination Pistons to Swell Organ
Great to Pedal on and off by Pedal
Tremulant to Swell
Separate console with stop keys. Electric power blowing.
Organists of S. Silas 1892 - 2010
Miss Vincent 1892 of  5 Sackville Street, W
Mr. Manders 1893 - 1894
Mr. E. A. Payne 1895 - 1896 then became Choirmaster.
Joseph Brereton 1897 - 1898
Thomas Mann 1899
Richard Mann 1900
Mr. Moss 1901 - 1906
Mr. A. W. Gibbs 1909 - 1910
Mr. H. C. Holzapfel Oct 1913 - Dec 1916
Fr. A. J. Clark 1917 Both priest and organist.
Edward James Bennett Nov 1917 - Sept 1918 - then called up.
Formerly Organist of St. Chad's, Haggerston.
Monthly Paper, Nov - Dec 1918, page 12 - List of Church Officials, Servers and others on Service -Organists- H. C. Holzapfel, A. W. Gibbs, E. J. Bennett.
Mr. S. Cockeram Oct 1918 - Dec 1919
Formerly Organist at St. Faith's, Stoke Newington.
Edward James Bennett Jan 1920 - Dec 1923 (Died April 26th 1924, aged 34)
Obituary - Bi-Monthly Paper, July - August 1924, pages 10-11.
(His wife gave the picture of the Madonna and Child which hangs above the gallery steps to the church in his memory).
Mr. Frank W. Harding Dec 1923 - Oct 1926
Music teacher and Organist.
Director of Music at Golders Green Crematorium for about 25 years. Died 1971.
Mr. P. A. Tapp Nov - Dec 1927
Harold Walter James Rabson 1928 - 1969
(He was born near S. Silas in 1900, baptised confirmed and married here. He was a choir boy when the present church was consecrated and in due course became an assistant organist. He was a skilled musician and especially fond of plainchant and liturgical music.  He wrote a number of mass settings, hymns and motets for this and other churches. He also taught composition at Morley College in London. He was also a man of prayer, using the rosary every day of his life. The statue of S. John Vianney is dedicated to his memory.)
Played the parts of a shepherd, Judas, and S. Silas in Benjamin Boulter's Mystery Plays.
He inherited a choir of men and boys from Mr. Bennett but at the onset of the Second World War the children of the Parish were evacuated and the choir lost its boys. After this there were only two or three ladies and men.
David Fysh 1969-
Friend of Fr. Cobb.
25 years - Director of Music, Wycliffe College Junior School, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.
Later became the Revd. David Fysh - 1995 Parish Priest at S. Mary's, West Walton, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
Simon Lawford - 1992

Peter St. John Stokes   Dec 1992 -
Peter St.John Stokes was born in Yorkshire in 1944.  He started playing the organ at school, and from the age of sixteen had lessons with Dr Francis Jackson, organist of York Minster.  He went to Trinity College of Music, London, where he studied organ, singing and orchestral conducting as well as composition with Dr Arnold Cooke.  He also has a degree in French and a MMus in historical musicology from Kings College, London.   As a former pupil of Naji Hakim, organist of La Trinité, Paris, he takes a particular interest in improvisation. 

He taught, first in London, and then for twenty-one years as Director of Music at Loreto College, St Albans.   During this time he continued to play the organ and to be involved in choral conducting, having given many concerts both in this country and abroad.

Previous organist positions include St Giles-the-Fields, London and Dunstable Priory.  Currently working as a freelance musician and teacher, since 1992 he has been organist of St Silas, Kentish Town.

Peter St. John Stokes
Peter St. John Stokes
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