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Opus 75

North Carolina School of the Arts

Winston-Salem, NC

Created: 1977

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The Sarah Graham Kenan Memorial Organ, Opus 75, is a fitting testament to Mrs. Kenan and the seven generations of her family that have worked for the welfare of North Carolina and its citizens. Thomas S. Kenan III, in consultation with Dr. James G. Ferguson, and John Mueller, organist at NCSA, selected Charles Fisk as the builder.

The organ stands against the back wall of the stage at Crawford Hall. The low ceiling of the stage area presented challenges both aesthetic and practical. The Swell division could not be over the Choir division in its normal location, so was instead mounted immediately behind the Choir with swell shades placed in the angles of the upper case.

The organ’s contemporary case is built of red oak with oiled Honduras mahogany trim and keydesk.  While modern in appearance, the central section is designed with the same proportions as the 1738 Silbermann organ at Grosshartmannsdorf, Germany.  Designed as both a teaching and a concert instrument, the organ has the versatility necessary for playing the repertoire of all periods. Silbermann’s wind system design maxims were followed to give the early literature a human dimension and liveliness.  There is a system for stabilizing the wind to meet the demands of the Romantic and Contemporary literature.

The key action, suspended mechanical, was designed to provide students the most sensitive action possible.  The trackers are installed at a ten-degree angle, permitting the keyboards to be placed outward from the case, giving performers aural contact with the instrument not possible at a keydesk within the case. Opus 75 is the first Fisk organ using a substantial amount of hammered lead as pipe metal, resulting in a warm, dark, and cohesive sound.  The use of tin mixture pipes added a characteristic brilliance to the choruses of both the Great and the Positive.

Opus 75

Great manual I
Bourdon 16′
Prestant 8′
Spire Flute 8′
Octave 4′
┌Superoctave 2′
└Blockflöte 2′
Cornet II
Mixture IV-VI
Trumpet 8′
Clarion 4′
Voix humaine 8′

Choir manual II
Gedackt 8′
Prestant 4′
Chimney flute 4′
┌Nazard 2 2/3′
└Sesquialtera III
Doublet 2′
Sharp IV
Cromorne 8′

Swell manual III
Violin Diapason 8′
Stopt Diapason 8′
Spitzflute 4′
┌Fifteenth 2′
└Fourniture III
┌Larigot 1 1/3′
└Cornet III-IV
Trumpet 8′
Hautbois 8′

Prestant 16′
Octave 8′
┌Superoctave 4′
└Mixture IV
Bassoon 16′
Trumpet 8′
Shawm 4′


Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Swell to Choir
Great to Pedal
Choir to Pedal
Swell to Pedal


Tremblant doux (Gt)
Tremblant fort
(whole organ)
Wind Stabilizer

Bracketed pairs of stops controlled by single knob, half-draw brings on first stop and full draw brings on second
Manual keyboards CC-g3, 56 notes, concave radiating pedalboard CC-f1, 30 notes