Specialists in Classical Location Sound Recording

The Organ and Choir at St Mary the Virgin, Buckland


The church is fortunate to possess a magnificent Victorian organ, originally with two manuals, it was built by G M Holdich in 1890. Six years later, Charles Martin, an organ builder who was very active around Oxford at the time, rebuilt the organ adding a Choir division. Today the configuration is the same, with three manuals, and thirty stops. In 1999, following a 3 year fund-raising exercise within the community, Wood of Huddersfield completely rebuilt the organ, totally dismantling the instrument and cleaning all the pipework. The troublesome tubular pneumatics have been removed and replaced by electro-pneumatic actions. The console has been relocated under the tower crossing, and now includes a micro-processor based combination system, and the Choir division has been relocated on top of the Swell. The organ now serves our worship needs much more effectively and anyone wishing to practise the instrument should contact the organist or churchwardens in the first instance. You may view the stoplist below at the NPOR (go to keyword and type in Buckland).

Bernard Martin is currently organist of the Gainfield Benefice. He began his musical career in 1962 when he won a choral scholarship to Magdalen College Choir, Oxford under Dr Bernard Rose, where he also took up playing the organ and oboe. For 17 years he was Organist and latterly Choirmaster at St Denys' Church, Stanford in the Vale responsible for approximately 20 adults and children. In 1999 he moved to Gainfield where after several years of fund-raising within the community, he project-managed rebuilding their large 3-manual Holdich/Martin organ. Having taken early retirement from a demandfing career in IT, he is now available to play for weddings and funerals especially during the week. He has directed deanery choirs for special services throughout the Vale of the White Horse and in Christ Church Cathedral and as a competent sight-reader enjoyed singing bass or alto with the St Hugh Singers in cathedral venues all over the country. Bernard owns and runs OxRecs DIGITAL, an independent record label which specialises in location recording of cathedral choirs, organs and chamber groups throughout the UK.

Open Diapason 16
Bourdon 16
Swell Pedal Bass 16 (from Swell)
Violoncello 8
Trombone 16
Pedal Super Octave

Dulciana 8
Viol D’Amour 8
Lieblich Gedacht 8
Gemshorn 4
Concert Flute 4
Flageolet 2
Clarionet 8

Open Diapason I 8
Open Diapason II 8
Hohlflute 8
Gamba 8
Geigen Principal 4
Flute Harmonique 4
Twelfth 2 2/3
Fifteenth 2
Trumpet 8

Double Diapason 16
Open Diapason 8
Lieblich Gedacht 8
Salicional 8
Voix Celestes 8
Gemshorn 4
Fifteenth 2
Cornopean 8
Oboe 8
Swell Octave

Swell to Great, Swell to Choir, Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal, Choir to Great
Great to Pedal


Balanced swell pedal
Two-level capture system (SSL)
6 general pistons
6 combination pistons for each manual
Thumb pistons for couplers


Please remember that if any order of service contains printed hymn text, you should include our certificate no: 61976 (Christian Copyright Licensing International) in the booklet.

If you are arranging a wedding or planning a funeral, then after the church has been booked with the rector you should contact the organist who will be pleased to help you and discuss any music requirements. Below is a selection of pieces couples may wish to consider:

Finale from Fireworks Music (Handel), Intrada (Grayston Ives), Now thank we all our God (Karg-Elert), War March of the Priests (Mendelssohn), Prelude to the Te Deum (Charpentier), Crown Imperial (Walton), Trumpet Tune & Air (Purcell), Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel), Trumpet Voluntary (Stanley), Trumpet Voluntary (Gordon Young).

Please note that should you wish to provide your own choir or organist then an additional fee may have to be paid to St Mary's. You will have to contact the organist to discuss access to the church and organ for available practice times, organ key location, and any prior tuning requests. The church has a modest PA system with two static microphones, a radiomic, and a CD player for any pre-recorded music for services. The churchwardens will also need to know if these extra facilities will be needed.

St Mary's Choir comprises approximately 12 enthusiastic adult singers. We sing at most communion services, enhancing worship for our congregation and have supplemented the massed choirs for Deanery Evensongs in St Mary's Uffington, Dorchester Abbey, and All Saints Church, Faringdon. We perform the occasion anthem and choral evensongs, and have the resouces to sing a full nine lessons and carols service each Christmas. We can also provide an SATB choir or soloists if required and if given sufficient notice for weddings and funerals. The extra singers are normally sourced from out of the Benefice, and are subject to availability. Weekly rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings at 19:30 for approximately one hour, with normally one Sunday service. Enthusiasm and commitment are desirable qualities to join the choir. Please contact the organist for further information.

Sample anthem and canticle settings. Canticles: Purcell in G minor, Stanford in C, Noble in B minor, Stanford in B flat
Anthems: O Saviour of the World (Goss), Rejoice in the Lord alway, Ave Verum Corpus (Elgar), Lord for thy tender mercy's sake (Farrant/Hilton), Ave Maria (Lindley), The Lord bless you and keep you (Rutter), O taste and see (Vaughan Williams). Let thy merciful ears (Mudd), How beautiful upon the mountains (Stainer), O nata lux (Tallis), Locus iste (Bruckner).