Our new instrument was installed over the summer of 2014 and formally launched with a Fridays@6, performed by our very own Simon Bell in November 2014. A series of recitals celebrating the completion of the new Chapel Organ followed by a number of highly renowned organists and generously sponsored by our Organ Builders, Nicholson’s. We welcomed Robert Quinney of New College Oxford, Peter Holder, Sub-Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral and James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey.
Thank you to all our supporters for their generous donations that enable us to have such a magnigficent intrstument in Chapel, to be enjoyed by generations of Decanians.
The bespoke instrument has greatly enhanced the quality and experience of concerts and services at the School. The inspiring instrument has a diverse range of sounds for professionals and students to explore. There are over 2500 pipes in the new instrument, making up 39 stops that produce a range of sounds from the rich tones of the Flute Harmonique through to the deep bass sound of the Open Wood.
SPORTS HALL AND PAVILION
In 2002 we were faced with the daunting task of raising £1.5 million towards what is now our sports hall. Since its opening by Sir Geoff Hurst in 2007, it is hard to imagine Dean Close without this building which has become central to the sporting life of the School and plays a major part in our sporting successes.
The hall has transformed our capability to compete at national level. Whilst DCS hockey has been excellent for over a century, the indoor training facility has enabled us to keep consistency and momentum high. In 2009 our U18 boys became National Champions and qualified for the National finals in the subsequent two years. The boys also made the National Indoor Finals in 2008. The U14 girls’ netball team made it to their first ever National Finals in 2010.
Every child benefits from this facility. Basketball, football, hockey, badminton, tennis, volleyball, netball and cricket can now be played whatever the weather. The Pre-Prep enjoy playing indoor mini-tennis throughout the year whilst the indoor cricket training has created an enthusiastic and strong pool of cricketers throughout the School. The enhanced wet weather programme allows a broader range of coaching techniques and the timetabling of PE has meant that our C and D teams also benefit from top level coaching.
The loss of our cricket pavilion signalled the decision to build a modern, state-of-the-art sports pavilion. We wanted a fitting home for our cricketers as well as a welcoming space for our visitors. We were honoured when Tom Graveney OBE opened the new Kenyon Pavilion in April.
Neither building would have been possible without the extraordinary support from our community; it is a measure of its strength that so many of you supported the fundraising appeals and gave such opportunities to the coming generations. On behalf of Dean Close past, present and future, thank you.
It is most apt that the inscription on the official opening plaque outside of the pavilion reads:
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
1 Corinthians 9:25 (New International Version)