In Christian worship, organs are primarily used to provide service music, such as hymns, preludes, offertories and postludes. They accompany both instrumental and vocal soloists in worship, weddings, funerals and memorial
Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1342
Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1342 was designed by Joseph M. Whiteford in consultation with Dr. Merle Pflueger, Professor of Organ at Augustana College and Organist at First Lutheran Church from 1953 to 1986. The organ was installed in the fall of 1959, and dedicated on November 21, 1959, with a recital by Virgil Fox. The contract price was $52,000. For financial reasons, the organ was not completed as designed. The original stop list called for a sparkling Positiv division, and several ranks in the Pedal division. In 1964, the Festival Trumpet was added by Aeolian-Skinner as a memorial to the late wife of Pastor Robert Borgwardt. No significant work was done between then and 1989, when Organist Marcia Kittelson retained Schoenstein & Co. to perform remedial maintenance and tonal finishing work, which was completed in 1990. In 1994, Schoenstein did additional tonal regulation and added a Bombarde to the Pedal at 16', 8' and 4', and at 32' (digital). The organ at that time was 39 ranks, and 2,446 pipes.
Beginning in 2008, First Lutheran retained Dr. John Ferguson as a consultant, and proceeded to develop plans with Jack Bethards at Schoenstein to do significant work to the organ. The objectives were:
1. to rewire the console and convert it to solid-state action;
2. to replace all of the leather in the chests and reservoirs that had not been recently repaired;
3. to replace the expression shades on the swell and choir boxes;
4. to add an antiphonal division in the chancel that would serve primarily to provide “the acoustical illusion of tone from the main organ in the rear balcony reaching forward to the chancel”;
5. to enhance the Great with more fundamental tone at 16' and 8'; and
6. to add a complete chorus to the Choir to better complement the other choruses.
Schoenstein’s stated goal was to complete the tonal work in the Aeolian-Skinner aesthetic, without changing the fundamental character of the organ. The work started after Easter in 2011, and was completed late in November. Schoenstein added 12 ranks of pipes. In the Great, we added a 16' Violone, an 8' Flute Ouverte, and a 1 3/5' Seventeenth. In the Choir, we added a 4' Fugara and 2' Klein Mixture (III-IV). The new Antiphonal division consists of an 8' Diapason, an 8' Lieblich Gedeckt, an 8'
Erzahler, a 4' Octave, and a 16' Quintaton, which had served as the foundation of the Great. Walker digital additions included a 32' Untersatz in the Pedal; Chimes in the Great; and Harp and Celesta in the Choir. Schoenstein added a new Zymbelstern to the gallery organ, and the original Zymbelstern was added to the Antiphonal. The completed organ is 54 ranks of 3,114 pipes on three manuals, with a floating Antiphonal and solidstate combination action with 100 levels of memory. Paul Jacobs played a re-dedication recital on December 4, 2011. A cover feature in The Diapason, November, 2012, p. 30, contains additional information on the project, and can be found here. Also, the stoplist for the completed organ can be viewed here.
Christ the Victor Chapel's Alfred Fuhrer organ
In order to make the Fuhrer organ fit the acoustical environment of Christ the Victor Chapel (a much different room than its prior home at Good Shepherd), and to help lead congregational hymns and sung liturgy two considerations came before the organ committee:
The first was the need to lower the pitch series of the two-rank Mixture stop. A Mixture is a compound stop, meaning that for each note, two or more pitches sound at the same time. The Mixture was rescaled and 18 pipes were added.
The second addition was to the pedal division (the lowest notes played by the organist's feet). This division of the organ functions in a similar way to the bass section of a choir. It provides warm foundation tones for hymn singing and service music. This additional stop consisting of 27 pipes is invaluable in leading hymns and liturgy and expands the possibilities for organ repertoire.
The installation of the Fuhrer organ signifies the commitment of First Lutheran's music ministry to a higher standard of excellence. As an expression of outreach and evangelism to the community, First Lutheran has an opportunity and obligation to share this great heritage not only with children, but the entire community.
Read more about the organ in this brochure. View the organ stoplists here.
Community Outreach Piano Laboratory