Photo 1.  Charles sizes each Krummhorn pipe in preparation for making the rackboard on the windchest to fit the pipes correctly.


Photo 2.  Charles next drills out the rackboard to the right sizes.  Getting the new holes centered over the old ones requires care.


Photo 3.  Bob wires each note of the windchest with color coded telephone wire.  You can see the double row of magnets with the circular caps on them which are under his hands.

Myrtle wires

Photo 4.  Myrtle wires the harness which goes into the Syndyne driver board.  She has done this for all of our organs for a number of years.


Photo 5. Getting the windchest up the stairs at the church was a bit tricky!

Windchess in place

Photo 6.  Once in the pipe chamber, the windchest was placed in approximately the correct location and it looked like this.

Final Touches

Photo 7.  Chuck is shown here doing final touches to the tuning.




Krummhorn Added to St. Luke Lutheran

Organ in Mt. Vernon, Washington


In 2012, a two manual 6 rank electropneumatic organ was installed by the Pipe Organ Foundation in St. Luke Lutheran (project link).  Since that time, the organ has been played regularly, and it has well served the growing congregation.  Persons involved in music at the church have sought ways of enhancing the usefulness of the instrument.  Karla Hammond, the organist, was to be gone for several weeks this summer and there was no substitute available to play the organ.  As the organ is the only instrument in the sanctuary and there are 12-15 musical components to every service, a Syndyne Profiler MIDI record/playback device was installed.  Karla then recorded all components to the service and included 60 hymns for the weeks of her absence. Charles Wray, a church member who has been involved with the organ from the start, learned to operate the system to play back each musical part of the liturgy at exactly the right moment.  The product was highly successful, and the Syndyne system made it possible to run an intricate and multifaceted liturgical service without an organist being present.

The church has sought to further enhance the instrument by adding an additional solo voice.  The instrument already had one reed, a Trompette, but the sanctuary is highly resonant and a softer reed was desired.  After considering various options, an 8’ Krummhorn was selected.  Available to the Foundation was a 1976 Moller Krummhorn which had originally been installed at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Palo Alto, California.  This rank closely matched the voices already installed at St. Luke since most of them were from a 1953 Moller (Opus 8588) with exactly the same wind pressure (4 inches).

An electropneumatic windchest made in the style of Balcom and Vaughn Pipe Organs in Seattle was selected.  However, the rackboard of that windchest did not precisely match the pipes of the Krummhorn.  Charles therefore had to first measure the sizes of each of the pipes in a rackboard jig and record those sizes.  Then, using a drill press in the Foundation shop, he enlarged each hole so that it matched the corresponding pipe.  You can see pictures of these operations in the left sidebar (click to enlarge)

Bob, a volunteer for the Foundation, then wired each note of the windchest using color coded telephone wire so that electricity would go to the right magnet.  On the other end of the wiring, a harness had to be made to receive output from each point on the Syndyne driver board.  Myrtle, another Foundation volunteer, wired up this harness and soldered each wire to the appropriate pin. 

Once the wiring was complete, legs were made for the windchest which would put it at the right height in the pipe chamber.  The pipes were then installed in the windchest and a tall triangular rackboard was made and installed to hold the pipes up straight.  Pipe Organ Foundation President Carl Dodrill then voiced and tuned the pipes.

The pipes and the windchest were taken to the church where they had to be taken up a pull-down ladder to get them up to the pipe chamber.  The windchest was then placed near the main windchest of the organ, secured to the floor, and braced.  The Foundation’s electronic expert, Chuck, then installed all the electronics and programmed the driver board.  Once the new stop tablet was installed in the console, the pipes were ready to play.  Carl then made minor voicing adjustments and tuned the rank together with Chuck. 

The result of this installation was extremely pleasing.  The organist now has the option of a softer solo voice as well as a louder one. This has significantly increased the versatility of the organ. With regard to the new voice, on October 5, Karla the organist said:

 ”I think the Krummhorn adds a layer of rich brightness to portions of our liturgy and certain hymns which express praise and adoration of the holiness of our God, without being too brash and overwhelming for our relatively small space and congregational size.  Also, in experimenting with registration for a meditative Advent prelude this past week, I personally felt that using only the Krummhorn with 8' flute produced the feeling of mystery I desired in contemplating the incarnation of Christ Jesus.” 

(click on small images to enlarge)



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