In early 2014, Dr. Nathan Davy, then-director of music at St. Joseph's, invited us to submit a proposal for a new pipe organ to replace a failing electronic instrument, installed in the 1980s. The church, built in 1967, was not designed with a pipe organ in mind; space would have to be created for one. The visual design, developed by Chris Ortloff, Jr., places the organ on the central axis of the church, supported on a new 40’-wide platform constructed across the front. Great care was taken in the design process to maintain focus of worship on the altar, and to complement, not compete with, the dramatic gold mosaic surrounding the crucifix.
The tonal design of the organ was developed between Dr. Davy, Jonathan Ortloff, and Stephen Russell to maximize the resources of the instrument within the bounds of space and budget. A number of fine vintage stops from our stock were incorporated into the design, including reeds, strings, and wood pipes, all restored and revoiced. New fluework is 94% lead to promote warm, singing tone from principals and flutes alike. The façade, of flamed and polished copper, features pipes from the Pedal 16’ Principal and Great 8’ Diapason. Flue voicing is by Jonathan Ortloff. Reed voicing is by Trivo, Inc.
The mechanical chassis is based around two slider chests for the Great and Swell, with additional electric and electro-pneumatic chests for reeds, unit stops, and basses. The organ speaks on 3.5” and 5” wind pressure.
Installation began in early 2016, with Great and Pedal playing in time for Easter. The remaining installation and tonal finishing was completed in August. Nathan Davy returned to dedicate the organ on September 9.
Many more photographs are available on our Facebook page, here.
I am as fortunate as an organist can be, enjoying a world-class new organ…Those of our parishioners who were at the dedicatory recital had an epiphany singing a hymn with a large audience of organists and choristers—this organ really sings, and it supports full, vibrant congregational singing. The physical design of the organ, with its outward-radiating flamed copper façade, draws the eye to the altar, complementing both the shape of the building and the color profile of its stained-glass windows. I couldn’t be more pleased with this instrument.
- Dr. Jacob Fuhrman, Director of Music
16 Bourdon (Pedal)
8 Harmonic Flute
8 Chimney Flute (Swell)
8 Viola (Swell)
Swell to Great 16
Swell to Great 8
Swell to Great 4
16 Bourdon (Ext)
8 Chimney Flute*
8 Viola Celeste
2 2/3 Nazard
2 Flute (Ext)
1 3/5 Tierce