From my New York apartment I can walk to my local liquor store and find one of 170 wines from the Barossa Valley. The verdant region north-east of Adelaide is justly famous for its zigzag quilt of villages and vineyards. It is rather less well known, however, for its extraordinary music history, which includes Australia’s oldest choir and brass band and a surprising wealth of pipe organs.

Julian Day

The most impressive of the organs is the enormous 1877 Hill & Son, formerly of the Adelaide Town Hall, now housed in Tanunda. For years its pipes sat in a miscellany of sheds around the country before the instrument was carefully restored. However the smaller ones tell equally interesting stories. For instance, in a tiny Lutheran churchwithin the yellowed fields of Moculta sits a beautiful organ hand-built by local teacher Daniel Lemke who arrived in the Barossa in 1855 with half-memories of...