Company Profile

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.

Dr Keith Harrington
Managing Director Dr Keith Harrington, CChem MRSC, MInstSMM, FCIM, FISM, FSCO, MIoD, graduated from Leeds University in 1989 with a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry. He 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. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and a Chartered Chemist.

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 American Guild of Organists (AGO).

Keith is a member of the Global Organ Group Management Team which
operates Copeman Hart, Johannus, Makin and Rodgers throughout the world.

In his spare time Keith is involved heavily in the local community being a Member & Director of his old school Trust for fifteen years and Chair for twelve until he resigned in early 2019. In the past he has taught Business Studies classes and thoroughly enjoys making high quality traditional wooden furniture in his own workshop.
Professor Ian Tracey
Our Tonal Director Professor Ian Tracey DL 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.

He was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Merseyside in 2015.