• Covenant Presbyterian Church


Carl and Steve

Photo 1. Carl and Steve layout the Syndyne system to go inside the console.


Carl Steve Halie Barbara

Photo 2. Carl, Steve, Halie and Barbara wire the key contacts with a double backup system.


Jim Refiniishing

Photo 3. Jim does refinish work on the console before it is taken to the church.


Flower Boxes

Photo 4. The pipes for the "flower boxes" are set up in the Foundation assembly room, preliminary tonal finishing is done, and the windchests are tested before everything is taken to the church for installation.


Left Pipes

Photo 5. Pipes on the left (console) side when taken to the church and put in place.


Pipes Right

Photo 6. Pipes on the right side when taken to church and put in place.


Front of Church

Photo 7. Front of the church shown with the console in concert position.


Antiphonal Ledge

Photo 8. The ledge where the Antiphonal organ will sit. The sound management panels will be removed before installation. The 16' Violone will be installed on the back wall in diatonic "A" formation, and it will come up to less than six inches from the peak of the ceiling.


Updating and Expansion of Organ at Covenant Presbyterian Church

In 2001, the Foundation began to be in touch with Covenant Presbyterian Church in Issaquah, Washington about the possibility of placing a pipe organ in their small sanctuary.  In 2002, a two-manual eight rank instrument was placed there and on August 2, 2002, the instrument was dedicated.  See the second article in past news 2002 November for a description of the project at that time.

In 2005, the church moved into a handsome new building, and the organ was moved to the new structure.  For photos of the new building and the organ chamber see Past Projects, Covenant Presbyterian Church.  Since that time, the organ has continued to be played in this new space and since the sanctuary is quite reverberant, it has played quite well even though the instrument has been small.  Nevertheless, none of it was under expression, the antique mechanical switching mechanism has had a number of failures, and the combination action is almost unusable.  Finally, with only eight ranks of pipes, the tonal palate is fairly narrow, especially for the larger sanctuary.

Given the limitations at hand, the primary project of the Foundation in 2010 has been the rebuilding and expanding of the instrument.  A Reisner three manual console was obtained in order to drive the four divisional instrument (Great, Swell, Antiphonal, Pedal).  The console needed to be fitted out with a Syndyne electronic system which provides a great deal of flexibility including multiple general and divisional pistons, autopedal (the ability to play the pedal registration on the Great manual), a transposer, two programmable crescendos, etc.  The keyboards were wired with a double backup system and other precautions were taken to insure long life.  The case required work to bring it to near-new condition.

The organ was outfitted with a 5 rank diapason chorus (Great 8', 4', 2 2/3', 2'; Pedal 8') and this plus an 8' Rohrflute were assembled and tested in our shop on Mercer Island prior to being taken to the church.  Ultimately, they were placed in "flower boxes" on either side of the front and constituted the Great division.  Able persons at the church constructed and installed these boxes (See more in News about this project).  Windchests were modified and refurbished as needed in order to make the array of pipes attractive and functional over the long haul.  Other windchests for the Swell and Pedal divisions were rebuilt and/or made from scratch in order to make best use of the space.

Pipes were selected with great care to provide a warm tonal palate with a good representation of flutes, strings, and reeds and with care for balance between the divisions.  Altogether, 20 ranks were selected which were made by major builders including Kimball, Moller, Tellers, Hinners, Austin, and others. Most pipes are 70 years of age or older, and two sets of pipes are exactly 100 years old.  The final instrument has 6 ranks in the Great, 9 in the Swell, 4 in the Antiphonal, and 2 in the Pedal.  Selective unification along with the provision for an ample number of couplers adds versatility to the instrument.

As of Advent, 2010, all divisions were fully functional except for the Antiphonal.  That division will go on a ledge at the back of the church, and it is the focus of the work of the Foundation for the first part of 2011.  It will be a complete organ in and of itself, and it consists of a Geigen Principal (playable at 8' and 4'), a Melodia (playable at 8', 4', 2 2/3' and 2'), a Violone/Viola (playable at 16', 8', and 4'), and an harmonic Cornopean (playable at 8' and 4').