21st Century Upgrades
In each we have retained the very best of the pipework, revoiced as required, while supplying additional new ranks to fill out the specification. Mechanical systems have been rebuilt or replaced and new consoles with state-of-the-art technology provided.
The results are outstanding new organs which maintain the essence of the original instrument while generally going beyond the original builders' intent to speak with the character of a 21st century organ, ready to meet their owners' needs, tonally and mechanically, for decades to come.
Click on the pictures for additional photos or information.
The "tri-cities" area of northeast Tennesse, consists of three medium-sized towns, all about 20 miles apart, in what is roughly an equilateral triangle. Bristol has the further distinction of straddling the state line with Virginia.
Our firm had been maintaining the 1961 Moller organ at Central Presbyterian Church, Bristol, Virginia, since about 1980, and in fact, we made our first additions to the organ in 1981, replacing Mixtures, adding some stops of larger scale, and generally revoicing the Principal ensembles.
We always liked this organ; it was one of the best Mollers we knew, anywhere. It was well engineered, nicely installed, and the pipework was almost virgin. Nicks were minimal, cut-ups were fairly low, and the factory voicing had not been "overdone". It responded nicely to our realignment of the sound.
By 2000, however, the organ was beginning to show signs of needing a complete overhaul. Switches in the console and relay had become unreliable, swell shades did not work, reservoirs were leaking and primaries in the chests had begun to fail, causing ciphers. And in the intervening 20 years, the sound had become dated; it needed filling out.
Down the road at Kingsport, Tennessee, the 1957 Moller at First Broad Street United Methodist Church, was beginning to experience the same anomalies. Interestingly, both of these organs were installed in buildings designed by the same architect, and featured much of the same interior decoration. Even the wood paneling, reflected in the organ console cases, used the same color of stain on red gum lumber. And both organs were tucked away in chambers on each side of the choir loft.
The Broad Street organ had a different sound from the Central organ. It was a darker, more Moller-esque sound. Though an ineptly done earlier revoicing had nearly destroyed parts of several ranks, it was interesting. And among other things there was a plethora of color reeds including a Clarinet, an English Horn and a Festival Trompette.
Best of all, Louise Ammons, former organist at Broad Street, now unfortunately deceased (and we miss her tremendously!) was a "friend of the firm". She made it known from the start that she wanted a Dyer organ, and we were privileged to get in on the ground floor of a major remodeling project. Indeed, the agreement for the organ was cut before the construction contract.
We think Moller pitman chests are problematic to rebuild, rarely working as well afterward, as they did fresh out of the factory. And even following releathering, there is a definite service life to the outside primary style chest. We prefer to replace them with our Blackinton-style electro-pneumatic slider-and-pallet chests. Not only do they have a good effect on pipe speech, they are more space efficient: additional pipes can be placed in the same area, meaning that the size of the organ can be increased, or the space consumption can be decreased, for better projection of sound.
As in other projects involving existing organs, we harvested the best pipework from both instruments, provided new primary Principal ensembles and Mixtures, additional reeds, and color flutes, and redesigned the stoplist along our model three-manual plan. Existing pipes were placed on the voicing machine and treated just like the new pipes moving through the shop; the result is a much fuller, broader sound that is clean and clear.
Both organs were engineered for better projection of sound, and were built in our shop from the ground up as new organs. At Broad Street, the Great, thanks to increased depth of the chancel, was exposed on each side of the front window. At Central, the Great and Pedal 8' Principals were placed in the grille as facade ranks.
At our suggestion, both churches took the opportunity to renovate their choir areas by installing hardwood floors, movable chairs and railings. And at Broad Street, the whole choir riser system can be removed to provide a flat surface for orchestral concerts or performance art.
Both consoles are new, featuring the latest solid-state controls with ivory manual keys, and are movable for flexible placement. MIDI interface allows connection to digital keyboards and sound modules.
Both organs have a totally new, 21st century tonal character, and best of all, because they are new, they come complete with a 10-year new organ warranty.
CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN FIRST BROAD STREET METHODIST
BRISTOL, VIRGINIA KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE
GREAT ORGAN-Unenclosed GREAT ORGAN-Visible
16' (Sw.)Bourdon 16' Violone, 61 pipes
8' Principal, 61 pipes (fac.) 8' Principal, 61 pipes
8' Rohrflote, 61 pipes 8' Major Flute, 61 pipes
4' Octave, 61 pipes 8' Violone, 12 pipes
4' Spitzflote, (prep.) 4' Octave, 61 pipes
2' Super Octave, 61 pipes 4' Spitzflote, 61 pipes
IV Mixture, 244 pipes 2' Super Octave, 61 pipes
8 (Ch.)Trumpet IV Mixture, 244 pipes
Chimes 8' (Sw.)Trompette
8' Tromp.-en-Chamade, 61 pipes 8' (Ch.)Festival Trumpet
SWELL ORGAN-Expressive SWELL ORGAN-Expressive
16' Bourdon, 12 pipes 16' Bourdon, 12 pipes
8' Principal, 61 pipes 8' Diapason, 61 pipes
8' Bourdon, 61 pipes 8' Bourdon, 61 pipes
8' Viola, 61 pipes 8' Viole de Gambe, 61 pipes
8' Viola Celeste GG, 54 pipes 8' Viole Celeste TC, 49 pipes
4' Octave, 61 pipes 4' Geigen Octave, 61 pipes
4' Nachthorn, 61 pipes 4' Flute Harmonique, 61 pipes
2 2/3' Nasard, 61 pipes 2 2/3' Nasard, 61 pipes
2' Blockflote, 61 pipes 2' Blockflote, 61 pipes
1 3/5' Tierce, 61 pipes 1 3/5' Tierce, 61 pipes
III Plein Jeu, 183 pipes IV Plein Jeu, 244 pipes
16' Fagott, 61 pipes 16' Basson, 12 pipes
8' Trompette, 61 pipes 8' Trompette, 61 pipes
8' Fagott, 12 pipes 8' Oboe, 61 pipes
8' Voix Humaine, 61 pipes 4' Clairon, 61 pipes
4' Clarion, 12 pipes Tremulant
CHOIR ORGAN-Expressive CHOIR ORGAN-Expressive
8' Flute Harmonique, 54 pipes 8' Gedackt, 61 pipes
8' Copula, 61 pipes 8' Viola, 61 pipes
8' Erzahler, 61 pipes 8' Erzahler, 61 pipes
8' Erzahler Celeste TC, 49 pipes 8' Erzahler Celeste TC, 49 pipes
4' Principal, 61 pipes 4' Principal, 61 pipes
4' Koppelflote, 61 pipes 4' Koppelflote, 61 pipes
2' Otave, 61 pipes 2' Principal, 61 pipes
1 1/3' Quinte 1 1/3' Larigot, 61 pipes
III Scharff, 183 pipes 1' Octave, 61 pipes
8' Trumpet, 61 pipes 8' Clarinet, 61 pipes
8' Cromorne, 61 pipes 8' Cor Anglais, 61 pipes
16' (Gt.)Tromp.-en-Chamade TC Chimes
8' (Gt.)Tromp.-en-Chamade 16' Festival Trumpet TC
8' Festival Trumpet, 61 pipes
PEDAL ORGAN PEDAL ORGAN
32' Resultant 32' Resultant
16' Contrebasse, 32 pipes 16' Contrebasse, 32 pipes
16' Subbass, 32 pipes 16' Subbass, 32 pipes
16' (Sw.)Bourdon 16' (Gt.)Violone
8' Octave, 32 pipes (facade) 16' (Sw.)Bourdon
8' Subbass, 12 pipes 10 2/3' Grosse Quinte
8' (Sw.)Bourdon 8' Principal, 32 pipes
4' Octave, 12 pipes 8' Subbass, 12 pipes
4' Flote, 12 pipes 8' (Gt.)Violone
II Rauschquinte, 64 pipes 8' (Sw.)Bourdon
32' Reed Cornet 4' Super Octave, 12 pipes
16' (Sw.)Trompette, 12 pipes 4' (Sw.)Bourdon
16' (Sw.)Fagott II Mixture, 64 pipes
8' (Sw.)Trompette 32' Reed Cornet
4' (Sw.)Fagott 16' (Sw.)Trompette, 24 (Clar.)
8' (Gt.)Tromp.-en-Chamade 16' (Sw.)Basson
4' Rohrschalmei, 32 pipes
8' (Ch.)Festival Trumpet
41 Ranks 44 Ranks