Since the approval of funds for the organ restoration project, there has been quite a bit of background work completed. In October, the contract was signed after some final negotiations, then the process of designing the console was initiated. This process determined the layout of each component of the console, including stop tabs and names, placement and function of pistons (thumb and toe), selection and placement of control system, and basic design elements. This process was navigated using hand drawings. After approval of the hand drawings, a drawing was completed by Austin Organs using computer-aided design. These drawings are currently being revised, but show the way the console will look when it returns to the church.
Now that the console design has been completed, several more preliminary steps will occur. First, Austin Organs will order the parts from suppliers, including the new control system, new wood pieces, new felt, engravings, and other necessary parts. During this time, Austin Organs will visit GPC for further discussion of tonal design and to go through the organ again. Much of the background is not visible, but extremely important. Currently, we are on track for Austin Organs to remove our organ in early May. While these steps are occurring, some manufacturing will occur for our restored organ. Primarily, the new pneumatics (the so-called “leathers”) will be constructed. Pictures will follow soon showing the new pneumatics and some of the engravings and other organ components.
Austin Organs will come to GPC to remove the organ in early May and take it to their factory in Hartford, CT. In the factory, the console will be rebuilt, the pipes fixed and voiced, and final work on the pneumatics completed. During the summer months, we will be provided with an Allen digital organ. We anticipate the return of our pipe instrument in September. After it returns, we can expect several months of “settling” and voicing to occur. As we look ahead, a rededication recital will be held in November. Stay tuned for more information on the re-dedication and other recitals on the organ during the next program year.
Throughout this process, our committee has worked extensively with the Austin Organs team to design the organ. Austin Organs has existed since the late 1800s and is a well-known and highly respected organ builder. For more information about the company, including a detailed history, please visit their website.
If you have any questions or would like a more detailed explanation of the organ restoration process, please contact .