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 craftsmen and women 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.
Meet the Wakeley Pipe Organs Team
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.
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.
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.
Kate is an artist and performer who has been involved in Organ Building since 1990. She has worked with organs in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and China, and studied organ performance with Christopher Wrench at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. For 20 years, Kate was an accomplished and sought after choral singer, having sung in some of Australia's leading choral ensembles, 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.
Kate's artistic practice now extends across visual, performance, sound, video and digital art, and she completed her Bachelor of Arts in theatre at La Trobe University in 2012. She is a performer and core company member at Eagle's Nest Theatre in Brunswick, was Chair of the Board of Platform Youth Theatre from 2012-2016, and performs regularly in Theatre-in-Education in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
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 Hopitality, 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, and is developing his passion in tuning, voicing, restoration and electrics/electronics.
Chris is a young emerging artist who joined the team at Wakeley Organs in 2014. Growing up in a musical family, Chris was introduced to a wide range of classical repertoire from a young age and has been studying piano since he was 6 years old. After continuing his piano studies with Christopher Whitehead and piano and organ with Michael Bottomley throughout his early schooling, Chris was introduced to and began exploring a broader range of musical genres such as jazz, rock, funk, blues, and world music upon entering High School. In 2009, a turning point came when he heard the music of Australian band The Cat Empire. Chris specialised in improvised keyboard with his band The Exit Crowd. From 2012-2014, he performed with the Choir of Christ Church, Castlemaine. Since 2016 he has been performing with the choir of The Church of the Resurrection, Macedon and throughout 2017 he held the position of Organ Scholar.
His interest lies in the construction, timber restoration, tonal, and in particular the electronics and electrical aspects of organ building.