Aeolian-Skinner Opus 936 - St. John's Chapel Groton School - 2024

Often considered the birthplace of the American Classic organ, Aeolian-Skinner Opus 936, completed in 1935, served as a laboratory for G. Donald Harrison, and was heavily revised over the next 30 years.


Over six months in late 2023 and 2024, our work included the complete rebuilding of the console, revoicing the Great 8’ Bombarde, and adding an 8’ Harmonic Flute to the Processional division.


The console, previously rebuilt in the 1985, had its case and interior refinished, keyboards and pedalboard restored, and all ivory hardware retained. The knobheads, replaced in the previous rebuilding, were replaced with new ivory knobs, engraved in the correct pre-WWII font. The foot movements, heavily revised over the years, were restored to their original complement, including reducing the number of expression shoes from four to three. A new top, patterned after that at the Church of the Advent, Boston (Opus 940), replaced a spurious top out of character with the rest of the console. A new SSOS control system and combination action completed the work.


The Great Bombarde was added to the organ in 1950 as a gift from Dr. and Mrs. William Harrison Barnes, using pipes from the Aeolian-Skinner organ at Williams College. Like much of the rest of the organ, the stop has gone through several revisions, and was revoiced by Christopher Broome.


The original Great Flûte Harmonique was replaced by the Positif Rohrflöte, depriving the organ of a soloistic harmonic flute. New pipes, installed on a new windchest in the Processional division (itself an expansion by organist Ned Gammons of the original two-stop division), returns this voice to the organ. The console was returned to St. John's Chapel in March, 2024.


Photographs from the project can be found here