St. Philip's 1978 Organ Console Gets a 2020 Rebuild
Over the past two weeks, you’ve likely noticed our increased use of the piano and the gallery organ at the back of the church. The reason for this change was that our main organ console, located in the chancel, had been gutted and sent to the organbuilders’ shop in Denver, North Carolina, for refurbishment. This organ, our third in this building, was built in 1978 by the firm Casavant Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. Earlier this year, St. Philip’s contracted with Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders of Denver to refurbish the 1978 console. This same firm has been at work over the past years bringing the Citadel’s Summerall Chapel pipe organ back to life.
Over time, pipe organs, like any other machine, need maintenance and service to perform as intended. And as with anything built even to the highest of standards, a pipe organ’s mechanical components wear out and need refurbishment to continue serving us in worship. This pipe organ console (the organist’s cockpit, if you will, located on the Epistle side of the chancel) has served us well for 42 years using the parts and components common to its day, but it has long ago reached the end of its useful life.
Pat Gould plays the organ during the March 29 service, before the console rebuild.
Chris Walchesky adjusts settings on the touchscreen of the new console on October 2.
We now have a rebuilt console, complete with many memory levels, ready to lead us into this new season of worship together. Pat and I were eager to use our newly refurbished console this past Sunday, appropriately beginning with "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus." (Click here to watch the video.) While the entire instrument has not been rebuilt (our organ contains 2,640 pipes!), this rebuilt console keeps us on track to continue to lead God’s people in praise and will continue to support congregational song and choral music of the highest quality.