Anderson Memorial Pipe Organ
The first pipe organ in the current church building was a Jesse Woodberry three manual tubular-pneumatic instrument with a magnificent façade, whose pipes swooped under the north rose window; the side-playing console finding close proximity to the central pulpit in the grand Auditorium/Akron-style sanctuary.
It was common for many American churches from the mid-19th century through early 20th century to often replace an entire pipe organ, every generation or so. By the mid-1920’s, the late 19th century (then prototype) “modern” 1894 playing system and its patented register action (controlling the movement of the stops) began to fail and the need for a new pipe organ was met by the commission of a new instrument from the Austin Organ Company of Hartford, Connecticut.
The Anderson Memorial Pipe Organ- Austin’s Opus 1406- was dedicated in 1926 and is the second pipe organ to be housed in the Sanctuary. The chancel was reconfigured at this time and the new console moved to the center of the north side of the Sanctuary. Its austere non-speaking pipe façade is concentrated in the center of the instrument, in front of the north rose window.
The three manual electro-pneumatic instrument’s enclosed divisions (speaking through wood grilles), are found to the left (Swell), right (enclosed Great and Choir), and far right (Solo) of the rose window. The unenclosed Great is found under the rose window, and the Pedal division splitting remaining space inside the wide expanse of the central organ case.
Under the guidance of Minister of Music Dr. Robin Dinda, FAGO (1989-99), a new Austin console was designed and installed for future expansion of the instrument with a new Solo division, additional prepared stops on other divisions, and a multi-level memory system. This state-of-the art console was dedicated in 1996 to the memory of Claudia Rae Young and serves the playing needs of the instrument well into the 21st century.
Under Dr. John Pagett, AAGO (1999-2006), a new 8′ Bourdon, 4′ Octave, 2′ Fifteenth, and IV Mixture was added to the Great division – replacing non-original upper-work additions to the Great from the 1970’s.
In late 2014, under Joseph R. Olefirowicz, CAGO (2008-present), and as a pillar of the “Ministry-Music-Mission” Capital Campaign, the Anderson Memorial Organ was removed from The First Church for a substantial restoration and tonal expansion. Austin Organs, Inc. of Hartford, CT (the organ’s original builder) returned the organ to its original 1926 specification using existing and vintage pipework, while judiciously adding upper-work to each division in the style and voicing of the instrument’s original era.
This magnificent instrument- donated through the generosity of the Anderson family in 1926, and carried on in vibrant stewardship of our 21st century congregation, provides a powerful music presence in worship services: leading hymns, accompanying choirs, and allowing ample color resources for organ literature of all periods. In addition to its fiery harmonic reeds, specialty color stops like the Swell Vox Humana, Choir Harp, Great Grand Diapason, and Solo Cor Anglais are signature voices on this Austin instrument. The restored three-manual instrument over six divisions includes a new floating Solo division, bringing the tonal resources of the organ to 60 ranks, and ca. 4,085 pipes.
The specification of the instrument is:
|8′||Violoncello*||(enclosed) – Skinner 1922|
|8′||Gemshorn*||(enclosed) – Austin 1925|
|8′||Echo Salicional*||Midmer-Losh 1930|
|2-2/3′||Nasard||(original 8′ Echo Salicional)|
|1-3/5′||Tierce+||Austin 1965; revoiced|
|8′||Vox Humana||(separate tremulant)|
|All Swells to Swell|
|16′||Quintade+||(ext.) – Austin 1924|
|1-1/3′||Larigot+||Orgues du Canadienne 1918|
|SOLO||(floating; 10″ wind pressure)|
|8′||Doppel Flute+||Austin 1925|
|4′||Flute Ouverte+||Austin 1942; revoiced|
|III||Vox Serapqhiue+||(15-17-19) – Austin 1924|
|IV||Mounted Cornet+||(TC) – Austin ’26/Casavant ’29|
|8′||Cor Anglais+||Austin 1925|
Standard 8-4 pedal couplers
12 General, 10 Swell, 8 Great, 8 Choir, 3 Solo pistons
Gt/Enc Gt/Sw/Ch to Pedal in separate toe studs as well; 4 Ped divisional studs
Tutti controls (piston & stud)
Ventil controls (Reeds or Mixtures)
300 levels of memory
Transposer, Clock, Playback System
Chime dynamic controls
Bridal (HCTB) Indicator
Solo – nave shades on/off
Solo – chancel shades on/off
Previous / Next controls for sequential registrations
Enclosed Great/Choir – Swell – Solo expression pedals
Register Crescendo (programmable)
Digital General display & LED displays for expression pedals and select controls