About

Wakeley Pipe Organs was established in 1998 by Ian & Carmelita Wakeley. From small beginnings in our first workshop in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, we have established ourselves as one of Australia’s leading Organ Building firms, offering the highest standard of work, from historically sensitive restorations through to innovative experimental commissions.

We strive for excellence by fostering a good work ethic throughout our team. We are a dedicated group of artisans committed to producing high quality work with the finest attention to detail.

Our sympathetic approach to the conservation and repair of historic organs has played an important part in the preservation of many organs. Some of these instruments include those found in our portfolio.

Our company is committed to the Tuning, Maintenance and Repair of organs at the highest standard.

Wakeley Pipe Organs is a member of The Organ Historical Trust of Australia, The British Institute of Organ Studies and The Organ Historical Society.

Meet the Wakeley Pipe Organs Team

Ian Wakeley

With a reputation for a flexible and innovative approach to organs and organ building, Ian is sought after as the builder of choice for a wide range of projects.

With a background in choral singing, Ian undertook his apprenticeship in Organ Building with Australian Pipe Organs in 1987-1990. After qualifying, he remained on staff at APO, specialising in the areas of pipe making, voicing and tuning. He undertook organ studies with the late Lindsay O'Neill and has sung in many choirs including St Andrew's Brighton and Christ Church Brunswick. In 1998 he established Wakeley Pipe Organs in order to fill a niche in Victoria in the area of restoration. Since establishing Wakeley Pipe Organs, Ian has developed a reputation for a flexible and innovative approach to organs and organ building. He is sought after as the builder of choice for a wide range of projects, from sensitive restorations of important historic instruments, to international projects such as the Gulangyu Organ Museum, to highly experimental projects such as the Morgan Fisher organ.
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Carmelita Wakeley
Jeremy Smith

Trained with Australian Pipe Organs in pipe making, tuning and maintenance, and all aspects of organ building, Jeremy is one of Australia's most experienced and skilled organ builders.

Jeremy Smith was born in Launceston in 1973. At the age of 5 he began learning the piano, his interest in organs developing after he commenced organ lessons with William Pierce at St John's Launceston. In 1992 he arrived in Melbourne to begin an apprenticeship with Australian Pipe Organs, where he trained in pipe making, tuning and maintenance, and all aspects of organ building, and continued his organ studies under Lindsay O'Neill. Jeremy is now one of Australia's most experienced and skilled organ builders. Among the instruments he has worked on have been the organs in St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne and the Melbourne Town Hall. Since 1997 Jeremy has held the position of organist at St James' Church, Dandenong.
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Keith Denmeade

An Electrical Engineer and Choral Musician, who has been with Wakeley Pipe Organs since their inception in 1999. Keith is the brains behind the Solid State Logic™ and electro pneumatic systems for Wakeley Pipe Organs. 

Keith is an Electrical Engineer and Choral Musician, who has been with Wakeley Pipe Organs since their inception in 1999. He has an extensive background in Electronics and Information Systems, holding a Diploma of Electrical Engineering from Swinburne University, where he was also on the staff (1980-1996) as their Computer Systems Officer. Previous to this he was a Technical Officer at the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory (1974-1980). Keith has an extensive background in choral music, stretching back to 1960, where he has been a chorister at Holy Trinity Surrey Hills (1960-1966), Choir Director at St Francis’ Mooroolbark (1980-2003), and is currently back at Holy Trinity Surrey Hills, singing tenor under the directorship of Hugh Fullarton. He has also studied the violin under Darren Hain and Joanne Wallwork, and is the Uncle of Dota Williams, master violin maker. Keith also transposes and produces orchestral scores for the Dandenong Ranges Orchestra. Keith ’s musical experience and expertise and skill in electronics and computer systems has led him into a fundamental area of support in Solid State Logic™ and electro pneumatic systems for Wakeley Pipe Organs. Other areas of support that he provides are in action repairs and restoration, tuning assistance, and general construction on site.
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Philip Henderson

Organist, Percussionist, Trumpeter, Welder, and Hospitality Expert. Philip joined the Wakeley Organs team in 2011, bringing his diverse range of experience and skills to his organ building practice. 

Philip's musical practice and interest lies across an eclectic range, including Classical and Sacred repertoire, Dance Music and Musical Theatre. He is a trumpeter, percussionist and organist, and played trumpet and percussion in both the Ballarat Secondary College Band, and the Ballarat Memorial Concert Band. Since 1996, Philip has held organists' positions at at St John's Bungaree, St John's Ballan, St Brigid's Ballan, and St Peter's Ballarat. He studied organ under Dion Henman, (Organist of St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne). Philip holds a Certificate II in Automotive Studies and Certificates II & IV in Hospitality, and worked for 3 years as a welder. Bringing with him a diverse range of experience and skills, Philip joined the staff at Wakeley Pipe Organs in 2011. His areas of expertise include tuning, regulation, site management, construction, and technical drawing. He is developing his passion and skills in voicing. Philip has played a core role in Wakeley Organs’ major projects, including St Xavier Cathedral Adelaide, St Paul’s Geelong, St Stephen’s, Richmond, Holy Trinity East Melbourne, Queens College, St John’s Southgate, and St John’s Camberwell.
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Chris Teed

Young emerging artist Chris Teed is an organist and jazz keyboardist who joined the team at Wakeley Organs in 2014. His interest lies in the construction, timber restoration, tonal, and in particular the electronics and electrical aspects of organ building.

Chris is a young emerging artist who joined the team at Wakeley Organs in 2014. Having begun his piano studies at age 6, he continued his piano studies with Christopher Whitehead and piano and organ with Michael Bottomley in his youth. Chris has explored a broader range of musical genres such as jazz, rock, funk, blues, classical and world music . He specialised in improvised keyboard with his band The Exit Crowd, largely influence by Australian band The Cat Empire. From 2012-2014, he performed with the Choir of Christ Church, Castlemaine. He performed with the choir of The Church of the Resurrection, Macedon from 2016 - 2020, where he also held the position of Organ Scholar in 2017. Since joining the team at WPO, Chris has developed expertise in leatherwork, woodwork, and the pneumatic aspects of electro-pneumatic action. He holds a particular interest in the electronic and electrical aspects of organ building, and is developing his skills in this area. In 2019 he joined the tuning team. He also forms part of the international team connected to the Gulangyu Organ Museum in China, where he enjoys opportunities for cultural exchange, training, and site management. He has been part of the core team on site on Wakeley Organs’ major projects, including St Xavier Cathedral Adelaide, Gulangyu Organ Museum, St Paul’s Geelong, St Stephen’s, Richmond, Holy Trinity East Melbourne, Queens College, St John’s Southgate, and St John’s Camberwell.
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Our Associated Artisans

Kate Buttery

Ceramicist, theatre artist and retired choral singer, Kate has been an associated artisan with Wakeley Organs since 1999.

Kate is a Ceramicist and Theatre Artist who has been part of the team at Wakeley Organs since 1999. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University in Theatre and Drama, and performs regularly with Eagle’s Nest Theatre’s School in Education program. She has 20 years experience as a Choral Singer and Section Leader, having performed with choirs including Vox Nova and Canticum in Brisbane, The Choir of Christ Church St Laurence in Sydney, and the Choir of Trinity College, Christ Church Sth Yarra, and The Palestrina Project in Melbourne, until retiring from choral music in 2008 to focus on her work in the Theatre. Since 2018, her artistic practice has developed in the field of ceramics, which she makes in her Kensington based studio and sells online and at Melbourne’s arts and crafts markets. Kate’s artistic practices inform her approach to organ building, and since 2017, she has been developing her skills in aspects of restoration, including tracker chest restoration, bellows and trunking restoration, and pneumatics leather restoration. She is a core member of the international team associated with the Gulangyu Organ Museum in Xiamen, China, where her skills and passion in Cultural Exchange have in turn developed her skills in team supervision, site management, training, restoration, and Chinese Language. Kate has also played significant roles in several of Wakeley Organs’ major projects in Australia, including St Stephen’s, Richmond, Queens College, and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wangaratta. She is also the graphic designer, website manager, and content creator for Wakeley Organs’ online presence.
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Tim Gilley
Pipe Maker

After 15 years experience with F J Rogers Ltd in Leeds,Yorkshire (UK), Tim opened Tim Gilley Pipes in Australia in 1996. With extensive overall knowledge of the manufacture of organ pipes, all of his pipes are hand cast, planed, rolled, cut and soldered.

Tim started his apprenticeship as an organ pipe maker in 1979 at the well known firm of F J Rogers Ltd in Leeds,Yorkshire (UK). After completing his 5 year apprenticeship in 1984 he was employed at Rogers for a further 10 years. During that time he produced pipes for most of the leading organ building firms of the UK, Europe, USA and Japan. He emigrated to Australia in 1992 and commenced his own business a few years later manufacturing organ pipes. Tim has an extensive overall knowledge of the manufacture of organ pipes and in matching alloys and adding impurities such as copper, antimony and other trace elements. All of his pipes are hand cast, planed, rolled, cut and soldered. With over 30 years experience you can be assured of a quality product.
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Mark Nobel

Harpsichordist and Organist, Mark has been building musical instruments since 1972. Instrument design, paint and wood finishes, fine art, organ pipe diapering, gilding, and organ restoration are just some of the skills he brings to Wakeley Organs.

Mark plays the organ and harpsichord and first started making musical instruments in 1972. He began an organ building apprenticeship and then set up his own workshop in the late 70’s to specialise in making harpsichords and related keyboard instruments. His interest in the early and historical organ developed further in later years and has been commissioned to build several small instruments. Instrument design, paint and wood finishes, fine art, organ pipe diapering, gilding, and organ restoration complete the skills that he brings to the Wakeley team.
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