New Tonal Concept
In the early 2010s, Muller was approached by St. Patrick Church to discuss options for their aging pipe organ. Their instrument was beloved, but the mechanism was failing and it did not adequately support congregational singing. After considering many options, the favored approach established a new tonal concept, created a new organ mechanically, and retained several signature sounds of the existing organ.
Maximum Flexibility and Color
The new instrument is rooted in centuries of pipe organ tonal design but departs somewhat from the “norm” to provide maximum flexibility and color. Possessing completely independent principal stops in the Great division chorus, and separate principal ranks in the Swell and Pedal, the organ can effectively render contrapuntal music. Unification is deployed to provide enhanced functionality and encourage creativity. Both the Great and Swell are enclosed to elicit inventive use of the instrument’s resources.
The Great division boasts five 8’ flue ranks and has a dual nature. Aptly serving as a traditional Great division, it also assumes the role ordinarily assigned to a Choir division with its colorful flutes, strings, and Clarinet. The retained Open Diapason functions as both a solo stop and foundation tone.
Plethora of Possibilities
The Swell division commands a formidable presence in the tonal scheme. Beginning with the restored Violin Diapason, a plethora of possibilities emerges as one explores the tonal palette. Two reed stops are available, including the powerful English-style Trumpet to crown the sound of full organ.
The Pedal division undergirds the entire instrument, with no less than five 16’ ranks on this modest instrument. A variety of unifications make the accompaniment of any manual combination possible.
Building this instrument in a limited footprint so that all components are readily accessible was an interesting challenge for our engineering team. Twenty-two ranks and five 16’ stops now reside where fourteen ranks and one 16’ stop existed. Specially designed wind chests were employed to take full advantage of the chamber where horizontal space is more abundant than depth.
To complete the project, volunteer artisans from the Parish painstakingly restored the façade pipes.