April 2019 TAO Feature Article

Central United Methodist Church Fayetteville, Arkansas Buzard Pipe Organ Builders Champaign, Illinois by John-Paul Buzard View an enlarged cover View the Stop List   It has been a privilege and honor to have designed and built this new organ for Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Particularly humbling was that music director Frode Gundersen and organist Scott Montgomery selected our firm after lengthy auditioning tours to instruments made by many other fine organbuilders. I believe it was a combination of outstanding constructional quality, tonal sophistication, honorable business practices, and personal “chemistry” that won the day for us. In addition to selecting an organbuilder, Frode and … [Read more...]

March 2019 TAO Feature Article

Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral Raleigh, North Carolina Fisk Opus 147 View an enlarged cover View the Stop List by Gregory Bover In the early spring of 2014, C.B. Fisk received a request for a proposal from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, asking us to imagine an organ for the new Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, then in the middle stages of design. The planned building was enormous: 43,000 square feet of floor space with seating for 2,000 people under a barrel-vault ceiling nearly 80 feet high. Although we have built more organs in North Carolina than in any other state except Massachusetts, this would be our first new instrument in a Catholic church in 50 years. Our enthusiastic response included two … [Read more...]

February 2019 TAO Feature Article

Muller Pipe Organ Company Centennial John W. Muller Mark A. Muller Scott G. Hayes Website First Generation Joseph (1855–1911). Joseph Muller emigrated from Germany as a young man and settled in the Boston area. Details of his life are limited, but we know he was employed as a cabinetmaker by the Emerson Piano Company and then by Ernest Skinner. Second Generation Henry (1890–1960). Henry William Muller was a precocious lad, completing eight years of schooling in just six years. His initiation into a gang of unruly lads (whose goal was to steal the night stick of the local beat cop) proved to be intolerable for his father, so Joseph secured the 15-year-old an apprenticeship with E.M. Skinner. Henry’s first job was sweeping floors, … [Read more...]

January 2019 TAO Cover Feature

The New Dobson Organ at St. Thomas Church In New York City By John Panning and Jonathan Ambrosino View the new case View the 1913 case View the Stop List Lovers of church music have long made St. Thomas Church, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s swank Midtown, a place of pilgrimage. Within its landmark Gothic Revival walls, the parish has forged a unique musical perspective, combining a high Anglican choral tradition with organs of French inspiration, a musical practice that strongly informed the tonal design of our recently completed Opus 93. The two basic requirements demanded by this tradition—color and discretion for choral accompaniment, grandeur and panache for solo performance—are found in few historic styles. On the face of it, … [Read more...]

December 2018 TAO Cover Feature

Two Tales of Two-Manual Organs By Patrick J. Murphy View an enlarged cover Stop List Organbuilders dream about having the opportunity to construct fine large instruments that stunningly display their creative ethos. The realities of today’s market, however, more often challenge builders to create highly flexible instruments in very limited spaces and budgets. Many congregations give in to these limitations easily, threatening the extinction of quality music in their worship life. But there are many parishes, even small ones, that understand the value of quality music in their services and find ways to overcome the perceived limitations. Patrick J. Murphy & Associates recently had the fortunate opportunity to provide modest … [Read more...]

November 2018 TAO Cover Story

St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church South Bend, Indiana Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders Inc. • Bellwood, Illinois View an enlarged cover Stop List By Jonathan Oblander Situated on the corner of Colfax and LaPorte avenues in South Bend, the Gothic St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church was designed by architect S.R. Badgely and dedicated on March 15, 1903. The church and furnishings were generously funded by the Clem Studebaker family, whose wagon and then automobile manufacturing business operated for 115 years. Although Clem Studebaker helped lay the cornerstone of the church in 1901, he unfortunately died before seeing its completion. However, he is memorialized as a member of the crowd listening to the apostle Paul … [Read more...]

October 2018 TAO Cover Story

Multum in Parvo The New Schoenstein at Church of the Redeemer Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts By Jack M. Bethards and Michael S. Murray View an enlarged cover View the Stop List Working within strict space or budget limits is the intriguing challenge of organbuilding. My fascination with it began with this description of the 1899 Willis at St. Bees Priory in James B. Jamison’s marvelous book Organ Design and Appraisal. “The scheme resembles an athlete trained down to hard muscle, without a superfluous ounce of flesh. The specification disdains ornaments and concentrates on essentials. I can also state that its color flexibility is astonishing, largely because of the individual stop beauty (there never were lovelier voices) and the way … [Read more...]

September 2018 TAO Cover Feature

Northrop Auditorium and its Reconditioned Aeolian-Skinner Opus 892 by Mike Foley View an enlarged cover View the Stop List       Completed in 1929, Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium was named after the University of Minnesota’s second president and remains an iconic structure on the university’s Minneapolis campus. The Aeolian-Skinner, Opus 892, was installed in four sections between 1932 and 1935. We were called to survey the organ in 2009. Northrop seated 4,847; it was a distance of 206 feet from the stage to the balcony’s rear seats. From there, one almost needed binoculars to see the console. I was used to seeing a theater’s organ chambers in the side walls aiming the sound squarely at the audience. … [Read more...]

August 2018 TAO Cover Feature

Sewickley Presbyterian Church Sewickley, Pennsylvania Bedient Pipe Organ Company • Lincoln, Nebraska by Ryan Luckey View an enlarged cover View the Stop List The town of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, is located a short distance northwest of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. Although the town was officially incorporated in 1853, Presbyterians had been meeting for worship in the area since the early 1800s. Worship services were held first in a log cabin and then in a brick church until the present stone building was completed in 1861. A chapel was added in 1953. The church remains a vibrant part of life in the community. The small chapel is Gothic in design and seats 80 worshipers. Although the central aisle is carpeted, the high ceiling and … [Read more...]

July 2018 TAO Cover Feature

Christ the King Chapel St. John Vianney Theological Seminary Denver, Colorado Kegg Pipe Organ Builders • Hartville, Ohio By Charles Kegg View the Stop List View the Mixture Compositions Every new pipe organ project, large or small, has a unique sense of importance. Rarely are we afforded the opportunity to build an instrument that will inspire generations of clergy to high ideals. Our new organ at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary is a rare honor for an organbuilder. The goal we shared with associate professor of sacred music Mark Lawlor was to build an instrument suited primarily to the multiple daily Masses of the seminarians. The failing electronic organ from 20 years ago had “replaced” the original 1931 Kilgen pipe … [Read more...]