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).In 2020, when he concluded he was old enough, Keith finally joined the Manchester Association of Organists; he remains one of the youngest members.

Keith is a member of the Global Organ Group Management Team which manages 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. He chairs the commercial committee at Stockport Golf Club.
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 and conducting with Vernon (Tod) Handley. 

On his appointment as Organist of Liverpool Cathedral in 1980, he was the youngest cathedral organist in Britain. He was appointed to the additional role of Master of the Choristers two years later, but after 27 years of service, reverted to his former role, allowing 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; Organist to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Professor, Fellow, and Organist at Liverpool John Moores University. 

In addition to that from his Alma Mater, he holds Fellowships from many prestigious musical institutions, including the Royal College of Organists, Royal School of Church Music, Guild of Church Musicians, Guild of Musicians & Singers and Liverpool John Moores University. 

 In 1994, he was awarded the North West Arts Award for Classical Music and in 2006 The University of Liverpool conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Music, in recognition of his long and distinguished service to music in Liverpool and of his national and international reputation as a musician. 

He is a past President of the Incorporated Association of Organists of Great Britain and in 2015 was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Merseyside.
Matthew Pearson
Dr Matthew Pearson started out as a very reluctant organist having been nominated by his secondary music teacher to play the school organ for morning assembly. But in time he warmed to the task and by the age of 17 was organist at St Peter’s Irthlingborough in Northamptonshire where he played an engaging but somewhat cantankerous Compton.

After a break from playing at church, 6 years ago he took up the post of organist at St Maxentius Bradshaw in Bolton and purchased a Johannus Studio 170 from Church Organ World to help him improve his playing.

Matthew trained as a teacher and after teaching in a sixth form college he took a post as Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Huddersfield and then Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University. He joins Makin from Learning by Questions, a company which specialises in digital classroom assessment based in Blackburn, from which he has a raft of experience in sales and working with customers and developing solutions to meet their exact needs.
Corbie Harrington
Corbie Harrington came to Makin in September 2004 and became Financial Controller in January 2005. She brought with her considerable IT experience from a number of roles with small companies and notable bookkeeping skills with charitable organisations. 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 the choir of St Matthew’s Church, Edgeley.

Since joining the company she has quality controlled the organs after manufacture, delivered and collected hire organs and participated in full installations and has even been known to use the correct colour codes to wire up the organs with multicore cable. Nowadays, as well as her financial responsibilities, she concentrates on the sheet organ music side of the business.

Like most mothers/parents she is very proud of her children Valerie, John and Stephanie who whilst they were growing up have helped out at company events. John is of course now a fully employed member of staff whilst Val and Steph sometimes put in guest appearances which helps to give the company that true family feeling. Corbie is delighted that grandson Stanley, at eighteen months old, will shortly be attending his first event at 'Sounds of the Summer' in 2022.

In her spare time she loves to travel and keeps a good photographic record of the places she has visited.
Julia Oldham
Julia Oldham obtained an HND in Multi Media Art in 1995 and is currently completing a foundation degree in Leadership & Management at Chester University. Since 1995 she has worked for a wide range of companies, voluntary projects within the arts, fundraising for community groups and developed a considerable skill set in areas including marketing and business development.

In 2012 she became PA to Keith Harrington for his final six year stretch as Chair of Governors at Hazel Grove High School where she became his confidant with ears and eyes on site and helped to revolutionise governance at the school and broaden its links to the community with business breakfasts. Married with three children Julia enjoys a busy family life which includes walking, eating out and attending music events and festivals.

Julia joined us a consultant to help develop several areas of our business and provides valuable support to Keith & Corbie.
Steve Bell
Production Manager at Copeman Hart Steve Bell joined them in 1991 as an apprentice organ builder whilst studying a two year course in electronics. Very much the protégé of Ernest Hart, since then he has worked as an electronics technician and a field engineer. 

Steve has also had internal training in woodwork to enable him to build and polish consoles.

Steve is widely travelled and has visited Nigeria, Malta, Norway, Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey on business for site surveys, installations and hires. He has found the job most rewarding. Astronomy is a major hobby.
Chris French
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 joined the 'Southern' team based in Mixbury. Now based on the south coast Chris is responsible for maintenance and servicing in the deep south.

Until recently, Chris was a volunteer Fire Marshall at Silverstone.
John Harrington
Whilst he was a student, John Harrington was involved in many of our installations around the country from which he gained much experience and proved to be much more than a very useful pair of hands. So fresh from college with an HND and other qualifications in electronics John formally joined the team in September 2014 as a Maintenance Engineer. In July 2015 he became a Technician Member of The Institution of Engineering and Technology with the designatory letters TMIET being awarded.

John is an accomplished Euphonium player, but to date has yet to graduate to the organ. In his spare time John is an assistant scout leader having obtained his Queen's Scout Award and Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award whilst he was still a teenager. He is enjoying planning the advanced electronics for the family model railway. His main hobby though is building Brisca F1 stockcars which are raced around short-oval tracks around the country.
Steve Lanyon
Installation Manager, Steve Lanyon joined Makin straight from college 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.
Geoff Ashton
Geoff Ashton has been our Financial and IT Consultant for several years and has significant business experience in a variety of companies from the smallest local business up to multi-national organisations.

His career has encompassed many aspects of sales, training, finance, accounting and general management. Currently he continues with the on-going development and implementation of our Management Accounting and Financial Information systems. As a Management Accountant, he also works with Corbie on the monthly and annual results.

His hobby is Amateur Radio and Geoff is an active member of two long established Clubs in the North West.