Goulding & Wood, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, Virginia, Opus 43 (2005)
From the builder
Each church that undertakes an organ project seems able to find a unique method of tackling the monumental task, and as organ builders we are always amazed at the panoply of approaches. Second Presbyterian Church of Roanoke followed a path that took more time than most, but in the end the entire congregation became fully invested in the instrument. Notable in the process were the organ selection committee chair Joe Duckwall, fund-raising committee chair Linda Star, parish administrator Phil Boggs, property committee member Whitney Markley, and of course the staff musicians Jeff and Marianne Sandborg.
Second Presbyterian Church has a long and developed tradition of great choral singing, and the design of the organ grew from the concerns specific to choral accompaniment. As with all Goulding & Wood organs, the human voice provided a paradigm for the tonal style: individual stops have an immediate, singing quality, and ensembles support voices by giving a firm foundation of pitch. To accomplish this, voicing is incisive, and the sustained tone develops generous fundamental. Harsh attacks or treble-heavy ensembles both obscure the pitch and wear thin on the ear. The power of the organ resides in the 16¢ and 8¢ pitch stops, with the upperwork adding clarity and sparkle to the foundation. Another hallmark of a good accompanimental instrument is a wide variety of colors. To this end, we take great care that no two stopped flutes or trumpets sound identical. Throughout the organ we have maximized the spectrum of color and volume in order to give the organist the greatest number of musical resources for the creative shading of hymns, solo repertoire, and accompaniments.
Each division uses Goulding & Wood’s unique design of slider-and-pallet windchest. This action assists in achieving our goal of warm, gentle speech through the use of pneumatic action to pull the pallets that furnish air to the common key channels. The electric key action allows for remote key action and a movable console. This flexibility in arranging the console position is particularly useful when accommodating a variety of musical forces, from an organist conducting from the console to large choir with instruments and separate conductor.
The organ is arranged in twin chambers on either side of the chancel with cases containing pipes from the Great 8' Principal and Pedal 8' Octave in the display. New tone openings were cut into the walls facing the nave, allowing the organ to also speak directly to the congregation through the nave façades. Casework is of stained white oak with quatrefoil fences topping the pipe towers and sassafras roses lining the pipe feet. The console, also with casework of white oak, includes a decorative wood music rack, bone and ebony keys, and walnut drawstop jambs.
Since installation, the organ has been featured in several events, including a dedicatory recital by Carole Terry to a capacity crowd. We have greatly appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the rich cultural and musical life of Roanoke, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the good people of Second Presbyterian Church.
From the organist
In 1999, we at Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia, began to explore the possibility of purchasing a new organ to replace the 25-rank Moeller that had served the congregation since 1952. After consultation with some colleagues in Charlotte, North Carolina about then-recent installations in the area, it was decided that we would visit the five recommended churches. Three of the five organs had been built by Goulding & Wood.
Soon after, the pipe organ study committee was formed and eventually visited 14 church organ installations, met with the representatives of four organ builders, and traveled over 3,000 miles, in addition to holding monthly meetings to discuss and evaluate its findings. To be thorough, we also studied the possibility of renovation, versus replacement, of our 1952 Moeller. Our research for both ideas took place over the course of two busy years.
Our group’s final visit was to Greenville, South Carolina, where we heard the magnificent 67-rank organ at Christ Episcopal Church (Opus 35, 2001), and met then-director of music and composer Robert Powell, who was extremely helpful and gracious. As with the three organs in Charlotte, Goulding & Wood once again demonstrated how expert the staff is in determining the most effective way of projecting sound, no matter what the acoustical challenges. After that important visit, we came home to Roanoke and voted to build, versus renovate; Goulding & Wood received a resounding affirmative vote.
From a sound standpoint, our Opus 43 (2005) is most satisfying. The organ integrates German principal choruses, French color stops, and English accompaniment stops. At the time that the design was conceived, the Choir division was the most single-minded and stylistically pure that Goulding & Wood had proposed. Second Presbyterian has a strong choral program, and this division reflects the type of literature that is frequently performed. From Bach to Mozart, Howells to Pinkham, including everything in between, the color range is broad. Another significant feature is the Choir to Swell coupler, adding that much more texture to choral accompaniments. From a technical standpoint, the internal MIDI interface processor is a great luxury, as are the 200 levels of memory. Lastly, a basic function called “Scope” is featured, which allows each piston on the console to control any group of stops from the whole specification. Among other features, each memory level has its own scope for total flexibility.
An important characteristic of the organ’s sound is its subtlety. Any change in registration is significant, yet beautifully and intelligently shaded. The listener is also aware of the enormous range of the instrument—from the music performed during a hushed Good Friday evening service to the majesty of Easter morning. The organ’s palette of color is completely versatile and seemingly unlimited. The early delivery and installation enabled us to use the organ on Palm Sunday, 2005.
Visually, the organ is both majestic, yet understated, in accordance with the church’s wishes and the design of the sanctuary. The console’s Gothic Revival design is elegant and is a seamless aesthetic fit. Everything about the workmanship is superb.
In November 2005, we officially dedicated the instrument with a concert played by Carole Terry, professor of organ and harpsichord at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle. Also featured was a commissioned piece by British composer Andrew Carter for choir, soprano and organ, entitled O Sing to the Lord, based on Psalm 98.
The dedicatory recital marked the culmination of a project that more than met all of our expectations, and has given us an instrument that will inspire future generations. This spring we will present a Mozart festival on April 23 featuring vocal and instrumental music by the church’s Chancel Choir, the Roanoke College Choir, soloists and orchestra. For information: 540/343-3659;
—Marianne M. Sandborg
Organist, Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, Virginia
November 13, 2005
Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 541, Bach; Unter den Linden grüne, Sweelinck; Sonata No. 3 in A Major, op. 65, Mendelssohn; Joie et Clarté des Corps Glorieux (Les Corps Glorieux), Messiaen; O Sing to the Lord (Ps. 98, vv. 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8), Carter; Shall We Gather at the River, O Zion Haste/How Firm a Foundation (Gospel Preludes, Book 2, Book 4), Bolcom; Il n’est rien de plus Tendre, Dandrieu; Noël X, D’Aquin; Intermezzo, Adagio, Finale (Symphony No. III, op. 28), Vierne.
Great (II, 31/2" wind pressure)<
16’ Violone (50% tin)
8’ Principal (30% tin; bass in façade)
8’ Violone (ext 16’ Violone)
8’ Claribel Flute (poplar; open)
8’ Stopped Diapason (poplar and 30% tin)
4’ Octave (50% tin)
4’ Spire Flute (30% tin)
22/3’ Twelfth (50% tin)
2’ Fifteenth (50% tin)
13/5’ Seventeenth (50% tin)
11/3’ Fourniture IV (50% tin)
8’ Trumpet (zinc/50% tin)
8’ Festival Trumpet (Choir prep)
Great to Great 16–Unison Off–4
Swell (III, 4" wind pressure)
16’ Gedeckt (ext 8’ Gedeckt)
8’ Geigen Diapason (50% tin)
8’ Viole de gambe (50% tin)
8’ Voix céleste (50% tin; from low G)
8’ Gedeckt (poplar)
4’ Principal (50% tin)
4’ Clear Flute (poplar)
2’ Octave (50% tin)
2’ Flageolet (30% tin)
11/3’ Quint (50% tin)
2’ Plein Jeu III–IV (50% tin)
1’ Cymbale III (70% tin)
16’ Basson-Hautbois (zinc/50% tin)
8’ Trompette (zinc/50% tin)
8’ Hautbois (ext 16’ Basson-Hautbois)
8’ Voix humaine (50% tin)
4’ Clairon (zinc/50% tin)
Swell to Swell 16–Unison Off–4
Choir (I, 31/2" wind pressure)
16’ Conical Flute (ext 8’ Conical Flute)
8’ Diapason (50% tin)
8’ Chimney Flute (poplar and 30% tin)
8’ Conical Flute (50% tin)
8’ Flute Celeste (50% tin; tenor C)
4’ Fugara (50% tin)
4’ Spindle Flute (30% tin)
22/3’ Nazard (30% tin; tenor C)
2’ Recorder (30% tin)
13/5’ Tierce (30% tin; tenor C)
11/3’ Larigot (30% tin)
2’ Mixture III (50% tin)
8’ Clarinet (50% tin)
8’ English Horn (zinc/50% tin)
8’ Festival Trumpet (preparation)
Choir to Choir 16–Unison Off–4
Pedal (4" wind pressure)
32’ Contra Violone (digital ext of 16’ Violone)
32’ Contra Bourdon (digital ext of 16’ Bourdon)
16’ Open Wood (pine and 50% tin; tenor octave in façade)
16’ Bourdon (pine)
16’ Violone (from Great)
16’ Gedeckt (from Swell)
8’ Octave (ext 16’ Open Wood)
8’ Bass Flute (ext 16’ Bourdon)
8’ Violone (from Great)
8’ Gedeckt (from Swell)
4’ Choral Bass (50% tin)
4’ Nachthorn (30% tin)
2’ Mixture III (50% tin)
32’ Contra Posaune (digital ext of 16’ Posaune)
16’ Posaune (poplar resonators)
16’ Basson (from Swell)
8’ Trompete (zinc/50% tin)
8’ Basson (from Swell)
4’ Schalmei (zinc/50% tin)
Swell to Great 16–8–4
Choir to Great 16–8–4
Swell to Choir 16–8–4
Great to Choir 8
Choir to Swell 8
Great to Pedal 8
Swell to Pedal 8–4
Choir to Pedal 8–4
Switching and combination action: Solid State Organ Systems multi-system with 200 levels of memory, piston sequencer, and internal MIDI interface with playback device.
Pipework: metal principals and flutes 4’ C and higher from Jacques Stinkens Orgelpijpenmakers, B. V. Other metal flue pipes and reeds from A. R. Schopp’s Sons, Inc. Wood pipes built by Goulding & Wood, Inc.
Cover photo by James C. Morris