Simon Arnold's 'Pachelbel's Progress Challenge'

Volunteer Simon Arnold at Buckland Abbey

If you've popped along to a National Trust place in Devon or Cornwall and heard the piano or organ being played, it might well be volunteer Simon Arnold. Simon already plays at places such as Killerton, Buckland Abbey and Cotehele but on Friday 21 September he will start an impressive challenge, ‘Pachelbel’s Progress’. This will see him head off to play at a total of 15 places across Devon, Cornwall and the south west over 11 days, not a small task! 

Money raised from the challenge will be put towards conserving musical instruments of all kinds across the National Trust in the south west, something that is very close to Simon's heart.

Why not pop along to support Simon? He will be playing at the below places this September:

Cotehele (21st am); Coleton Fishacre (21st pm); Castle Drogo (22nd am); Lanhydrock (22nd pm); Stourhead (23rd); Trelissick (24th am); Trerice (24th pm); Bradley Manor (25th am); Greenway (25th pm); Overbeck’s (26th am); Buckland Abbey (26th pm); Killerton (27th am); Arlington Court (27th pm); St Michael’s Mount (30th) and Knightshayes (1st October).

If you'd like to help him reach his target, then please pop your donation in his collection box or donate online at Thank you.

We had a quick chat with Simon ahead of his challenge

Simon Arnold, who volunteers across the South West
Volunteer pianist and organist Simon Arnold
Simon Arnold, who volunteers across the South West

Hi Simon, so what inspired you to do this challenge?

'I’m very passionate about music and want to keep it alive through my playing – this is why I’m doing this challenge. Music has been part of my life since I was a child and is still something that I do every day in my retirement, especially as I already volunteer to play at six National Trust places. I came up with the challenge one day and thought, wouldn’t it be fun to do?'

What are you hoping to do with the money raised?

'From this I am hoping to raise enough money to restore some of the most impressive musical instruments in the National Trust’s collection, including Killerton’s pipe organ which is in need of a new pedal-board to bring it back to full fitness and also a 200 year old Broadwood grand piano.’

You'll be playing Pachelbel's Canon at each place, is there any reason?

‘This challenge, ‘Pachelbel’s Progress’, means an awful lot to me.  Pachelbel’s Canon is my favourite piece of music, it is beautifully memorable.  I hope to raise enough money to conserve some historically significant keyboard instruments. I also want to inspire people of all ages to get involved with music and see what it can bring to their lives.’