Over November 10th and 11th I was in the shop of Taylor and Boody in Staunton, Virginia to review the construction progress of our new Bicentennial Organ and meet with the builders and their amazing team. The work is stunning. Every one of the thousands of parts has been beautiful crafted and is strong and full of the passion and expertise of our builders. The shop is about to explode there is so much organ already finished. The top portion of the South Case has been put up in the main room and soon the wind chests and pipes will be fitted. When that is completed the North Case will follow the same procedure.
All the wind chests, trunks and lungs already give an impression of the breadth and quality of sound the organ will produce. The pipes are works of art in themselves. Sturdy, and of beautiful construction. George and John put many examples of our “stops” on the voicing machine so I could hear samples. The diapasons have a variety of color and strength, the flutes are playful and bloom with an amazing energy, the strings sizzle like their orchestral counterparts and the reeds speak with warmth, character and energy. The trumpet chorus is full of majesty and the 32’ Bassoon sings with the intensity and lushness of a great orchestral string bass section playing very quietly. It’s hard to type when I think about how much beauty is already present in the parts completed. I could hear our congregation and choirs in song with our new organ already.
The console is taking shape and nods it’s head at the great console built in 1928 for Grace Church by Ernest Skinner working in consultation with our organist Ernest Mitchell and William Zeuch of Boston. It’s not a copy, being built to play our new organ and for our time, but is related to her predecessor in the simple elegance that the builder has worked to impart on the character of the design while keeping the size and appearance appropriate for the choir area.
Please use the following link to see a sample of the photographs made on this visit.
The photographs give one an idea of how many parts go into our instrument and how many different skills and arts are employed by the builders. They are involved in a labor of love bringing all their experience, skill, passion and joy to our new organ. When she arrives next year to begin her work supporting our worship I think we will have a musical instrument with an amazing spirit full of awe and majesty and also the gentle sweetness of the voice of a child to support our songs of Praise.
O PRAISE God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him in his noble acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him in the sound of the trumpet: praise him upon the lute and harp.
Praise him in the timbrels and dances: praise him upon the strings and pipe.
Praise him upon the well-tuned cymbals: praise him upon the loud cymbals.
Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD………Psalm 150