David Quinton, organ tuner, practicing his trade in the organ loft at Holy Trinity Cathedral by adjusting slides to control the length of the organ's thousands of metal and wooden pipes
Crawling around in a dusty organ chamber with plugs in his ears to reduce the noise, organ tuner David Quinton is getting Holy Trinity Cathedral's instrument in tune.

Quinton, a member of Holy Trinity Vancouver and long active at the diocesan Camp Artaban, learned the trade from his father Ted Quinton. He is one of very few organ tuners in western Canada.

There are thousands of pipes in an organ, and over the course of two or three days, the organ tuner listens to each. After setting an octave of pipes to a tuning fork, he compares these tuned pipes, ultimately, with every other pipe in the organ. Two pipes are played, an octave apart.

Quinton's long time helper Pat Pearson sits at the keyboard and presses two notes, an octave apart. When the two pipes are not quite in tune, a beating or warbling sound is heard; as they come into alignment, the beats disappear.

"I love that the organ is used for worship," he said.

"You know that if it's a well tuned organ, the musicians appreciate it. If they do, you know that's passed on to the congregation."