Sample Sets

Salisbury Cathedral

The ‘Father’ Willis organ is one of the Cathedral’s great treasures it is still fulfilling its purpose daily over 140 years after it was installed. Famous for its exceptional sound quality, it is an irreplaceable and important part of the country’s musical heritage. It was built between 1876 and 1877 by ‘Father’ Henry Willis. He was responsible for building some of the very finest pipe organs in the country and across the world.

A comprehensive, fourteen-month long restoration by renowned organ builders and restorers Harrison & Harrison of Durham was completed in 2020. The instrument was completely dismantled and every pipe and component cleaned, repaired and reassembled. Apart from some very minor tonal changes, and some small changes of layout, the organ remains largely unaltered after all these years. As such, the organ sounds very much as it would have done in 1877, and it has not been enlarged or ‘improved’ by subsequent organists and organ builders. It is regarded by many as one of the finest pipe organs in the country. Willis himself later confided in Alcock that he considered the organ at Salisbury his finest.

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A recent restoration

Further modifications were made in 1909 by Henry Willis II, including the addition of 32 ft Bombarde and 16 ft Ophicleide stops to the Pedal organ. By 1933 the organ’s pneumatic actions was wearing out and the instrument was rebuilt in a conservative fashion by Henry Willis III.

A new detached console in the characteristic style of the builder was provided, positioned on the north side of the choir, opposite the case. The few tonal changes at that time included the addition of mutations on the Choir organ, and enclosure of the flutes on the Solo organ.

Organ Salisbury Cathedral (6)


It is recorded that in 1463 John Kegewyn was organist of Salisbury Cathedral. Among the notable organists of more recent times have been a number of composers and well-known performers including Bertram Luard-Selby, Charles Frederick South, Walter Alcock, David Valentine Willcocks, Douglas Albert Guest, Christopher Dearnley, Richard Godfrey Seal and the BBC presenter Simon Lole.

Salisbury Cathedral Choir

Salisbury Cathedral Choir holds annual auditions for boys and girls aged 7–9 years old for scholarships to Salisbury Cathedral School, which housed in the former Bishop's Palace. The boys' choir and the girls' choir (each 16 strong) sing alternate daily Evensong and Sunday Matins and Eucharist services throughout the school year. There are also many additional services during the Christian year particularly during Advent, Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter. The Advent From Darkness to Light services are the best known. Choristers come from across the country and some board. Six lay vicars (adult men) comprise the rest of the choir, singing tenor, alto and bass parts. In 1993, the cathedral was the venue for the first broadcast of Choral Evensong (the long-running BBC Radio 3 programme) to be sung by a girls' cathedral choir.

This sample set is available for all our Hauptwerk organs through the supplier Milan Digital Audio.

Salisbury Cathedral


  • Henry Willis, 1876-77
  • 4 manuals
  • 65 stops


On this page, you see only a selection of sample sets; of course, all sample sets for Hauptwerk and Sweelinq are available for our Cambiare organs. There are now hundreds of organs available, ranging from small Baroque organs to large symphonic instruments. Through various sample set providers, we can offer you the complete library of sample sets in our Cambiare organs. Do you have any questions about a specific sample set?

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