Open the pages of any recent organ journal, and its a good bet that some builder's latest "magnum opus" instrument will be featured in great detail. And while nearly every builder would like to build large, famous instruments, the truth is that what most American churches are looking for is a well-designed and constructed pipe organ of modest size that will look good in their building, give them years of trouble-free service with minimum maintenance, and cover the "three bases" that virtually every organ is expected to cover: accompaniment of congregational singing, choral singing, and playing the incidental music of the worship service, all at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, many churches, convinced that pipe organs are out of their reach, opt for an electronic substitute.
Thom DeLessio, at the time, Director of Music at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, was faced with a similar dilemma. The church, a mid '60's building in "late gymnasium" style, (low and wide) was slated for renovation, and he seriously wanted a pipe organ to replace the aging digital instrument he had been playing for 11 years. Investigations of proposals from several pipe organ builders seemed to indicate that the instrument he wanted was just beyond the congregation's financial reach.
Referral from a friend, a way in which we become acquainted with many of our clients, resulted in an impromptu visit as we returned from a family vacation in Maine in 1995. Thom, in turn, visited Tennessee, played three of our installations in this area, and was immediately convinced that he wanted our firm to build an organ for Our Lady of Lourdes.
All that was left was to design an instrument that would do what needed to be done within the church's limited budget. First, we worked very closely with Thom to become more familiar with the requirements of the Catholic liturgy. Then we worked with the Architect to make the instrument blend visually. We were fortunate that the designated space for the organ was front, dead center, directly ahead of a very solid masonry wall.
Carpet and other absorptive materials were eliminated and the rear wall was made very slightly convex to eliminate annoying echos and chatter. The result is a superb room of modest size, ideal for music and liturgy, and very kind to the organ.
The design of this instrument became a "concept" that lead to several other small, but very flexible instruments of modest size. It is a complete three manual all-pipe organ of 18 ranks on electro-pneumatic slider-and-pallet chests, and includes space for future additions when funds permit. Scaling is generous, and voicing is broad and full. Two expressive divisions are housed in our heavy three-ply enclosures for very effective control of volume, and the facade is formed by the large Principal pipes of the unenclosed Great and Pedal divisions.
This instrument can be built at a surprisingly reasonable cost. Write for a detailed specification. We would be glad to show you what is available in an organ with REAL pipes.
|2'||Doublette (double-draw) |
|SWELL - (expressive)|
|8'||Viola Celeste TC||49||Pipes|
|CHOIR - (expressive)|
|8'||Erzahler Celeste (prep)|
|8'||(Sw.)Trompette || |