Organ updates

Did you notice the subtle differences in the organ console over the last couple of Sundays’ streamed services? Astute watching may have revealed large wooden pipes lying on the back pews and even a second console in the crossing during one piece. Our streaming schedule over the last couple of weeks has required much recording out of sequence, so maybe you even noticed the console change within one service.

The chancel console has taken a trip back to the Austin factory in Hartford, Connecticut, where it was built in 1999, for some major refurbishment. The console now in use is the gallery console, moved to the chancel location for about 5 months while its twin is on the road. It was quite a sight to see the 1100-pound console carried down the aisle on a forklift! Once the chancel console returns, the gallery console will take its turn in Hartford for a scaled-down version of its sibling’s update.

After several lightning strikes in recent years, the electronics that relay the consoles’ instructions to the 6000+ pipes in the two pipe chambers have suffered numerous malfunctions. The updated system relies on fiber optics, which are much less susceptible to lightning. We are also taking the opportunity to revise some of the console layout, replace some worn-out mechanicals, and do some timely regulation of pipework. A grant from the Wyncote Foundation is covering 95% of the project’s cost. We anticipate completion in January. Organ concerts are coming!

Dr. Stuart Forster
Associate for Music and Liturgy, Organist, and Choirmaster