Photo 1. The new sanctuary building into which the organ was placed.



Photo 2. A view across the sanctuary showing the console at the far side.



Photo 3. The 1953 Moller console with the pistons and other features installed by the Foundation.  All are operated by the Syndyne electronic system.



Photo 4. The name plate for the Pipe Organ Foundation.  This was our seventh installation.



Photo 5. The swell shades at the back of the sanctuary.  These shades are 8 feet tall and the frame is approximately 12 feet wide.  The sanctuary was designed to be very friendly to sound with no carpets, pew cushions, etc.


Disassembly Begins

Photo 6. A view from inside the chamber.  While there was ample space within the chamber to put all pipes at floor level, two ranks (String Celeste, Harmonic Flute) can be seen high up where they are close to the swell shades as are all the rest of the pipes.  The result is very pleasing and precise pipe speech.



St. Luke Organ Project at Mt. Vernon 

The project at St. Luke Lutheran in Mt. Vernon was completed in April, 2012 with the installation of a two manual, six rank organ.  The initial contact with the church and the agreement for the organ are described in a previous report of this project (see here).  Further, under News, the article St. Luke Organ Moves Ahead (07/12/11) gives a number of details about the rebuilding of the organ with photos and a description of the work that was done by our staff of volunteers.  The present article deals with the installation of the organ and how it looked and performed when put in place. 

The building into which the organ was installed is new.  While the sanctuary is small and seats about 80 people, it is very nicely done and it is a worshipful space.  The building was planned with the organ in mind with the loft for the organ at the back and up high over the entrance.  The console was placed at the front of the church on the left side, and the conduit for the wires from the console to the organ loft was put in place before the concrete foundation was poured. 

The entire organ is in a single chamber and is under expression.  Tall swell shades were deliberately selected for the organ in order to permit a maximum of egress of sound from the chamber to the sanctuary.  Further, all the pipes were located within 60 inches of the swell shades with two ranks mounted up high on the beam of the building which goes through the pipe chamber.  Deliberately avoided was the plan in many organs in which multiple pipe ranks are put behind each other going well back into the chamber. By having all pipes close to the front, a high level of immediacy of sound was achieved in the speech of the organ.  It is, in fact, remarkable how clearly the pipes speak with precise articulation.  This produces a highly pleasing imtimacy of sound. 

Features of the organ were described in the previous articles on this organ posted on this website.  As has been indicated, the basis for the pipe organ was the 1953 two manual, four rank Moller Artiste from Queen Anne Lutheran Church in Seattle.  The Queen Anne organ was given to the Foundation in 2009 when funds were made available for a new pipe organ for that church.  That four rank instrument was unified and it consisted of long ranks of each of the four types of pipes in pipe organs: 1) Flute; 2) Diapason; 3) String; and, 4) Reed (Trompette). To these basic four ranks, we added a String Celeste, and an Harmonic Flute.  While there is considerable unification, each manual retains distinctive functional and tonal features.  Chimes were included.  Rene Marceau of Marceau Pipe Organs in Seattle provided tonal consultation. 

The instrument is driven by an electronic operating system from the Syndyne Corporation in Vancouver, Washington.  This system operates the instrument efficiently and flawlessly with advanced features including Transposer, Autopedal, and multiple memories.  Twelve sets of memories were installed, each of which has 10 pistons.  This has proven to be an ample number for the two organists who play at the church. 

The Foundation is most gratified with this installation, and our volunteers have said so repeatedly.  Not only were the sound effects achieved of outstanding quality, but thanks to the church, the installation went very smoothly indeed.  The people in the church went far out of their way during the installation to be of assistance, and it was obvious that they highly valued and respected the organ.  It is the sole instrument for their worship, and as Pastor Dalke said some time after the installation was completed, “We feel very strongly that it is a wonderful blessing for our congregation.”  We are fully confident that the church will use the organ for decades to come.

See the photos in the left sidebar and click on the small images to enlarge.