The genealogy of Makin organs can be traced back to the first experiments of synthetic organ tone made by Compton Organs Ltd, the famous pipe and electronic organ builder, whose farsighted founder, John Compton experimented with synthetic generation of organ tone back in the 1920’s. Makin itself was founded in 1970 when it acquired part of Compton Organs Ltd and continued with the innovation started half a century earlier.
Since then Makin has built and maintained an excellent reputation for supplying organs of the highest quality and providing a caring relationship with customers once the organ has been built and installed. Indeed the majority of new installations are as a result of recommendations from satisfied customers. Makin continues to offer a complete service to its customers employing enough staff to cover the whole country. From the initial digital sampling of organ pipes to the final installation and ongoing after sales service work, Makin experts are on hand to ensure that the organ is installed, voiced and cared for thereafter in an efficient and professional manner.
Makin puts great emphasis on utilising the very latest technology. In the 1970’s the Compton electrostatic mechanical generator system was replaced by the revolutionary analogue design which, in time, transformed the role of the pipeless organ from that of a second best alternative to being a first rate choice.
In the 1980’s the ‘Bradford’ digital system came to the fore which by the early 1990’s was replaced by digital sampling. Since then major technological steps have been made with ‘real time’ sampling techniques resulting in the organs we produce today in the Westmorland Custom range. However, the story won’t stop here, since Research & Development continues to be a vital element in the continual success and indeed expansion of the company, with twelve full time staff being involved in that part of the business. Indeed it is only with using the latest digital technology and techniques that Makin stays ahead of the competition and offers customers the benefits of ever improving tonal quality with ever more realistic pipe organ sounds. Our latest ‘MultiSamples’ technology where each individual note has a separate sample exemplifies how our research continues to keep us at the forefront as the market leader.
Makin is a financially stable company which is professionally managed and run by organists for organists, so you can be sure from the first contact with us that our experts will speak and understand your language.
Managing Director, Dr Keith Harrington joined Makin Organs in May 2004, bringing with him many years' experience in the chemical software industry in a wide range of roles encompassing Sales, Marketing, Business Administration and Customer Support. Keith fell in love with the organ at a young age and started his organ study with Reg Holmes at Norbury St Thomas, Hazel Grove where he was in the choir. For fifteen years he was organist and choirmaster of St Matthew’s Parish Church, Edgeley and classes himself as an average parish organist. After an exhaustive search of the all competition, he purchased his first home practice instrument, a 3 manual drawstop organ with a custom specification, from Makin back in 2001. Sometime later after taking over as MD, Keith upgraded to a 4 manual drawstop organ with 75 stops. After seeing and playing so many organs in America whilst on business, he joined the AGO. In his spare time Keith is involved heavily in the local community and is on the Governing body of two local schools, teaches Business Studies classes and thoroughly enjoys making high quality traditional wooden furniture in his own workshop.
Richard Goodall is the Makin Senior Organ Consultant, based at our Mixbury showroom where he is responsible for sales to customers south of Birmingham. After obtaining his MA in Music from Oxford, and his ARCO, he became well-known amongst church musicians as a member of the Publications Department at the RSCM during its time at Addington Palace. Since then, Richard has worked within the musical instruments industry, including time with another digital organ manufacturer, as well as a major multi-national company. Richard’s previous church appointments have included Watford Parish Church, and St Mary's Parish Church, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, as well as nearly five years spent as Director of the University of London Church Choir. Having also served until recently on the RSCM Oxfordshire Area Committee, Richard has been Organist and Choir Director at St Margaret's Church in Oxford since the autumn of 2003.
Mark Johnson joined the Makin staff as an organ consultant in early 2011. He has been involved in church music since the age of 9 and as a Church Organist aged 16 at St Luke's Church in Chadderton. He has been Director of Music at St. James' Church, Thornham, Rochdale since 2002. On leaving school at 16 he went straight into a traditional apprenticeship at an Electrical Contractors in Manchester. In 1981 he joined Electrical Wholesalers J E Wildbore Ltd based in Oldham, first as a counter assistant and then as a company salesman, before finally being made Sales Director in 1991. He finally left the company in 2008 to be a self-employed freelance organist. One of Mark's main interests is local history and since 1986 he has been Chairman of the Chadderton Historical Society. He is also very active with the Oldham, Rochdale & Tameside Organists Association and was President in 2004/05.
Makin Organs Tonal Consultant Professor Ian Tracey has a life-long association with Liverpool Cathedral and its music. Together with his two illustrious predecessors, Henry Goss-Custard and Noel Rawsthorne, he continues the tradition of an almost Apostolic Succession. He initially studied organ with Lewis Rust and then with Noel Rawsthorne. Studies at Trinity College, London, culminated in Fellowship, after which scholarship grants enabled him to study with Andre Isoir and Jean Langlais in Paris.
When Ian was appointed Organist of Liverpool Cathedral in 1980, he was the youngest cathedral organist in Britain. After 27 years of service, the Cathedral's Dean & Chapter created the post of 'Organist Titulaire', which allows him freedom to devote more time to playing, lecturing, recording and writing.
Ian's other posts include: Organist to the City of Liverpool; Organist at St George's Hall; Chorus Master to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society; Guest Director of Music for the BBC's Daily Service; Professor, Fellow, and Organist at Liverpool John Moores University; past President of the Incorporated Association of Organists of Great Britain.
Corbie Harrington came to Makin in September 2004 and became Financial Controller in January 2005. She brings with her considerable IT experience from a number of roles with small companies and notable bookkeeping skills with charitable organisations. Corbie is also responsible for the QA and testing of all instruments prior to installation and occasionally forms part of the installation team. Corbie was a church treasurer for a number of years and well understands the financial challenges that face PCCs and the like. Corbie has a musical background in terms of solo instruments and was a contralto in choir of St Matthew’s Church, Edgeley.
joined Makin straight from school and has steadily moved up in the ranks in the twenty-five years since. In her current role as Pre-Sales Manager, she overseas the installation of loan, demonstration, hire and purchased instruments. Nicky remains a firm favourite with customers who enjoy her pleasant and efficient manner.
Post-Sales and Administration Manager Jo Swain joined Makin in 2005. She has many years experience of administration within a number of different companies and, as you will discover, she is a delight to speak to on the telephone. Once an organ has been installed she is responsible for all customer care. A pianist to a high standard, maybe she will take up the organ as well?
As Maintenance Manager, being with Makin since 1985, it is often said that what David Fetterman doesn’t know about Makin Organs simply doesn’t need to be known. An ever-popular member of the team with customers, David takes the lead on servicing work north of Birmingham and plays a vital role in the training of new staff engineers. He is also responsible for working closely with our partners at Johannus for the development of new components and systems for our organs and for the development of QA and QC procedures.
Chris French joined Makin in September 2003, after a number of years' experience in various electronics industries in a variety of customer-facing roles. On completion of extensive initial product training in Shaw, he is now based on the south coast. Chris is responsible for the maintenance and servicing of organs that are south of Birmingham.
Geoff Ashton is a Member of the Institute of Business Consulting and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. He has been Makin’s Financial and IT Consultant for a number of years and has significant business experience in a variety of companies from the smallest local business up to multi-national companies. His career has encompassed many aspects of sales, training, finance, accounting and general management. Currently he is working on the on-going development and implementation of our Management Accounting, Forecasting and Contact Management systems. His hobbies include Amateur Radio and Hill Walking.
Installation Manager, Steve Lanyon joined Makin straight from college some 30 years ago as an apprentice where he learned significant electronic skills in building the organs of the day. Nowadays Steve spends much time on the road visiting customers and prospective installations since he is now responsible for the organisation and planning of all installations from start to finish. In this role, he liaises closely with other staff to ensure that the installation process is smooth. He always works to ensure that all customer needs, requirements and expectations are met and indeed exceeded.
Graham Slater has been installing Makin organs for the last ten years, and has been involved in literally hundreds of installations from the smallest home instrument through to the largest cathedral organs. His background as a highly skilled cabinet maker has been a significant bonus to the company when on-site modifications to speaker enclosures become necessary. Graham has no fear of heights and is often found at the top of the tallest scaffold tower.