Christ Church Organ

Our music program at Christ Covenant Church is blessed with many fine instruments: a baby grand piano, a clavinova, handchimes, Orff instruments, and five full octaves of handbells. In the midst of all these, it is easy to overlook the organ we use every Sunday.

organ_consoleInstalled when our new sanctuary was built in 1965, our instrument is a 17 rank pipe organ built by the Mudler-Hunter Co. of Philadelphia. Each “rank” is a set of individual pipes of a given type, generally one for each of the 61 keys on the keyboard. Our organ contains a total of 1,015 pipes, located in the front of the sanctuary behind the brown screens on either side of the cross. The organ chamber on the left side contains the pipes played by the upper “Swell” keyboard, while the chamber on the right contains those played by the lower “Great” keyboard plus a set of chimes. The volume is controlled by two expression pedals that open and close wooden shutters on each organ chamber, while the blower that generates wind pressure to operate the organ is downstairs in the copy room.

Our instrument contains examples of all four of the major organ pipe classes. The principals (Principal, Octave, and Mixture stops) are strong-voiced pipes used to support congregational singing, while the flutes (Gedeckts, Nacht Horn, Nazard, Bourdon, Erzahler, Block Flöte) and strings (Salicional, Vox Celeste) have softer sounds for preludes and offertories. The Trompette stop from the reed family is used selectively … to introduce the hymn “God of Our Fathers,” for example. The pipes range in size from high pitched ones only a few inches long to low pedal notes up to eight feet in length.

The sound of our organ is enhanced by the fine acoustics in our sanctuary, thanks to the hardwood ceiling and lack of drapes, pew cushions, etc. An organ with a variety of stops like ours is preferable to one with more pipes but less variety of sounds and tonal quality. Our organ cost $19,500 when it was originally purchased, but would cost well over $200,000 to replace today. For a church of our size, we are very fortunate to have an instrument of our organ’s quality; we can only thank those who had the foresight to select it in 1965. Although it would have been cheaper to buy, an electronic organ would likely have been replaced by now, and would not have given us the same sound quality that we have enjoyed since then with our pipe organ.

Christ Church Organ Specifications

CONSOLE:
great_pipesTwo 61 key manuals, 32 pedals

GREAT (488 pipes):
Principal 8′ 61 pipes
Bourdon 8′ 61 pipes
Erzahler 8′ 61 pipes
Octave 4′ 61 pipes
Block Flöte 2′ 61 pipes
Mixture III 183 pipes
Chimes 21 notes, a’-f”
Great Tremolo

SWELL (415 pipes):
Rohr Gedeckt 8′ 61 pipes
Salicional 8′ 61 pipes
Vox Celeste 8′ 49 pipes
Nacht Horn 4′ 61 pipes
Nazard 2 2/3′ 61 pipes
Principal 2′ 61 pipes
Trompette 8′ 61 pipes
swell_pipesSwell Tremolo

PEDAL (112 pipes):
Bourdon 16′ 32 pipes
Rohr Gedeckt 16′ 12 pipes
Principal 8′ 32 pipes
Bourdon 8′ 12 pipes
Rohr Gedeckt 8′
Octave 4′ 12 pipes
Gedeckt 4′
Super Octave 2′ 12 pipes
Trompet 8′

COUPLERS:
Swell to Swell 16′ Great to Great 4′
Swell to Swell 4′ Swell to Great 16′
Swell Unison Off Swell to Great 8′
Great to Pedal 8′, 4′ Swell to Great 4′
great_pipes_topSwell to Pedal 8′, 4′ Great Unison Off

ADJUSTABLE COMBINATIONS:
Pistons 1-2-3-4 affecting Great & Pedal
Pistons 1-2-3-4 affecting Swell & Pedal
Pistons 1-2-3-4 affecting Full Organ
General Cancel

PEDAL MOVEMENTS:
Great to Pedal 8′, Swell to Pedal 8′, and Sforzando Reversible
Great and Swell Expression Pedals
Crescendo Pedal