October 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

St. Mary’s Catholic Church Auburn, New York 1890 Carl Barckhoff Pipe Organ Restored by Parsons Pipe Organ Builders by David Mccleary View an enlarged cover View the Stop List The 1890 Carl Barckhoff organ at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Auburn, New York, is thought to be the builder’s largest extant organ, and unlike most of the organs of its period, survives in relatively unaltered and undamaged condition. These two factors, combined with Barckhoff’s exceptional tonal design and the fact that the organ continues today as the primary instrument of the parish, made it imperative that it receive the restorative attention necessary to continue its mission. When we approach any restoration project, we weigh the value of restoring … [Read more...]

September 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

Mount Olivet United Methodist Church Arlington, Virginia Holtkamp Organ Company • Cleveland, Ohio By F. Christian Holtkamp View an enlarged cover View the Stop List When approaching the Washington, DC, area in the crush of daytime traffic, it is hard to imagine what it was like some 150 years earlier. At that time, Mount Olivet United Methodist Church stood in open farm country on Glebe Road, in the same location as it stands today. When the church was founded in 1854, Glebe Road was unpaved and only wide enough to allow for the passage of horse-drawn buggies. The first church building was used as a hospital and stable during the Civil War. In the winter of 1861, much of the building was dismantled by Union troops stationed nearby in … [Read more...]

August 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

First United Methodist Church Dalton, Georgia Parkey Organbuilders Berkeley Lake, Georgia View an enlarged cover  … [Read more...]

July 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

A Kimball in the Wilderness St. John's Cathedral Denver, Colorado Chancel Organ W.W. Kimball 7231 (1938) Restoration by Spencer Organ Company Inc. (2009–2012) Gallery Organ Spencer Organ Company Inc. and J. Zamberlan & Co. (2016) New Antiphonal Organ with Vintage Pipes View an enlarged cover The chancel organ at St. John’s Cathedral is Colorado’s biggest pipe organ, the last large surviving Kimball, and a memorial to notable Denverites. The gift of Senator Lawrence and Margaret Phipps, the Kimball is placed in memory of Mrs. Phipps’s father, Judge Platt Rogers (1850–1928), mayor of Denver 1891–93. Judge Rogers died on December 25, 1928, leading Mrs. Phipps to envision a new organ in the Episcopal Cathedral in the judge’s … [Read more...]

June 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

Plainfield United Methodist Church Plainfield, Indiana Reynolds Associates, Inc. Marion, Indiana By Thad Reynolds View an enlarged cover How times change! Plainfield United Methodist Church is a healthy and growing congregation west of Indianapolis. Plainfield has a large choir, and while the music there on any given Sunday morning could be anything from a motet to a Broadway tune, the worship program is usually traditional. Michael Pettry, the church’s organist and music director, makes each Sunday service an event. He does this not by showing off his skill, which is formidable, but by using the instrument to craft a musical environment that supports and enhances worship. The church’s first pipe organ was a small two-manual … [Read more...]

May 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

St. Cecilia Catholic Church Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin Johannus Orgelbouw B.V. • Ede, Netherlands By Rick Bocock View an enlarged cover Since 1851, St. Cecilia Catholic Parish has played a pivotal role in the growing community of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. As implied by their chosen namesake, Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, music has always been important in the life of this church. Thus, it was only natural that, when it came time to build a new larger worship space to house their overflowing congregation, it was assumed that a noteworthy organ would eventually become the central instrument supporting the music of worship. Plans for the new building began forming in 1999. But, as with many churches today, the … [Read more...]

April 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

The Reuter Organ Company Centennial This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Reuter Organ Company. Since its founding in 1917, they have successfully designed and built more than 2,240 instruments for churches, concert halls, and residences. View an enlarged cover The Reuter Organ Company officially began operations on April 17, 1917. At that time, Adolph C. Reuter had worked in the organ industry for over 15 years and held supervisory positions at Wicks, Casavant, and Pilcher. He had been meeting with area businessmen since the beginning of the year to organize his own company. Before the end of the year, the new firm had installed its first organ at Trinity Episcopal Church in Matoon, Illinois. This organ still plays … [Read more...]

March 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Buffalo, New York Parsons Pipe Organ Builders • Integrated Organ Technologies Inc. New organ projects have the luxury of starting from scratch. After evaluating the acoustics, placement, and people, the builder can create a design that (hopefully) suits everyone, perhaps even himself. In the best situations, the builder is given carte blanche, much like a novelist with a blank page. It is often under such circumstances that masterpieces result. By contrast, rebuilds are another breed altogether. They enjoy neither the luxury of restoration (with its discipline of no change) nor that blank page of new-organ creativity. In place of the novelist starting from scratch, the rebuilder is akin to the … [Read more...]

February 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

The Second Time Around S.L. Huntington & Co. • Stonington, Conn. By Scot L. Huntington In 1816, a two-manual organ built in 1680 by Arp Schnitger—the most celebrated organbuilder of the Baroque era—was moved to the remote North Sea village of Cappel on the North Sea. This organ is now a mecca for builders and organists alike. In America, Hook & Hastings maintained an ever-changing catalog of second-hand instruments. William Johnson moved one of his early organs when he replaced it in 1874—it in turn being moved a third time in 1914. This month’s cover story features legacy instruments given a new lease on life in new and appreciative homes, acquired for a fraction of the cost of a new, purpose-built organ. When New … [Read more...]

January 2017 TAO Cover Feature Article

Emmanuel Episcopal Church Southern Pines, N.C. C.B. Fisk, Inc. • Gloucester, Mass. by David C. Pike At Fisk, our mission is not only to build superb musical instruments, but also to be collaborative partners in all aspects of a project, to ensure the best and most practical musical solutions for our clients. In December 2013, our firm was formally commissioned by Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Southern Pines to build a new mechanical-action pipe organ for the church sanctuary. The signing of a contract represented a true milestone after several years of brainstorming and in-depth discussion between Emmanuel’s organist and choirmaster Homer Ferguson III, church governance, and members of the Fisk team. For a time, church leaders had … [Read more...]