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Northminster Presbyterian Church
Independent Voices: 17
From the outset, our discussions for a new organ at Northminster Presbyterian Church revolved around the need for a versatile instrument to lead the congregation in hymn singing, accompany the church’s superb thirty-nine voice choir, and be able to perform a wide range of organ literature and that would make best use of a confined chancel placement.
With these three goals in mind a concept developed for the organ concurrent with a reimagined chancel. In the new design scheme, the proscenium and side walls that bounded the existing organ chamber are to be removed, increasing both volume and footprint of the chancel area and creating a single acoustical space for music making and the spoken word.
Design ideas for the organ and chancel layout were tested in a 1:16 scale model allowing for thorough examination and discussion of their merits and limitations. The result of our collaborative effort is an instrument in an acoustically supportive environment that serves the larger needs of the church and supports the continued development of a robust music ministry.
The specification leans toward the German Baroque, but includes an enclosed, front-to-back Swell division for effective accompaniment functions. The organ is thus eclectic in that it combines a German principal chorus and Schnitger-style reeds on Great and Pedal with French Romantic flues and Hautbois in the Swell. Opus 154 has a sensitive and responsive tracker key action in all divisions, a lively and buoyant wind system, and state-of-the-art combination action.
Great, Manual I
Spire Flute 8′
Swell, Manual II, enclosed
Violin Diapason 8′
Chimney Flute 8′
Traverse Flute 4′
Nasard 2 2/3′
Tierce 1 3/5′
Dulcian 16′ prepared
Octave 8′ (Gt.)
Spire Flute 8′ (Gt.)
Trumpet 8′ (Gt)
Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Pedal 4′
Key Action: Direct mechanical (tracker).
Stop Action: Solenoids, electrically controlled.
Combination action: SSOS system, Sequencer.
Casework: Painted Poplar with Walnut console surrounds.
Key Desk: two manuals and pedal; manuals 61 keys CC – c4, naturals covered
with cowbone, sharps of ebony; Fisk pedalboard 32 keys CC – g1.
Front Pipes of polished tin.