Cover feature: Brombaugh Opus 33-Lawrence University

Information supplied by George Edward Damp, University
Organist, Associate Professor of Music, and Chair, Departments of Music History
and Historical Keyboards, and by John Brombaugh.

John Brombaugh, Organbuilder, Eugene, Oregon, has built the firm's opus 33 for Lawrence University,
Appleton, Wisconsin. The three-manual, mechanical action organ is a mix of many
historical styles, and comprises 42 stops, 49 ranks, and 2,496 pipes. The stop
and combination action is a solid state system with 32 levels of memory, 12
general pistons, and eight pistons for each division. Lawrence Memorial Chapel
has a deep orchestral stage with good acoustics, so the organ has been placed
at stage rear on a raised platform which puts the organist in view of the
auditorium audience and allows interaction with musicians and directors on
stage. A shallow loft 12 feet above the floor at the back of the stage that
runs to the ceiling offers effective acoustic projection of the Swell and Pedal
divisions.

The architectual design of the main case housing the Great
and some of the Pedal was inspired by the 1685 "Father" Smith organ
at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The Positive is based on an idea used by Charles Fisk, cantilevered in front of the main case over the organist's head. The major parts of the casework are made from white oak fumed by concentrated
ammonia, then oiled. The unfumed white oak decorative carvings and pipe shades
were designed and executed by David Campbell. The Swell division is located in
the loft above and behind the main case. The Pedal Posaune and Subbass are
located in the loft or under the Swell.

The principal design influence on the majority of pipes and
voicing is from old North German/Dutch organs. The Great reeds are based on the
late classical French type and the Swell reeds and some of its flues are based
on ideas of "Father" Henry Willis. Tuning is based on an unequally
tempered system developed by Herbert Anton Kellner; pitch is a440. The front
pipes for the Great case are 98% lead; Positive facade is of 98% tin; the
majority of interior plenum pipes are 23% tin; bass resonators of the Contra
Oboe are partially of copper. The Pedal Subbass is of Douglas fir; the bass octave of the 32' Posaune is of tulip poplar. All pipes were fabricated in the
Brombaugh shop, and all metal pipes are hammered. Smaller open metal pipes are
cone tuned; stopped metal pipes have soldered caps.

The manual keys have line-engraved natural keyplates made of
cow shinbone; sharps are ebony. The keyscale follows that of Andreas
Silbermann's organ in Marmoutier, Alsace. The flat pedalboard follows the old
American standard. Compass is 56/30. Other details around the keydesk include
ebony moldings near the keys, zebrawood keycheeks, and music rack of zebrawood
with a frame of ebony and fumed white oak. Stop knobs with engraved nameplates
are turned of boxwood, rosewood, or coca bolo.

The slider windchests have tables of western red cedar on a
grid of white oak and sugar pine. Alaskan yellow cedar sliders are used with
modern slider seals, and sugar pine toeboards. Pallet valves are made from
laminated poplar or Sitka spruce. Manual pallets are covered with a single
layer of leather; pedal pallets are covered with felt and leather. The
suspended action uses trackers made from Alaska yellow cedar; rollerboards use
steel rollers with welded arms and teflon bearings. The Swell division features
shades of laminated Sitka spruce, mechanically controlled.

The wind system consists of two large single-fold wedge
bellows in a room below the stage, and a third small wedge bellows below the
Swell windchests. Wind is supplied by a one horsepower blower, conveyed through
large rectangular wooden wind conductors. The wind is musically flexible
without requiring any assisting stablizers. The Pedal Posaune and Subbass are
on 130 mm; the remainder of the organ is on 87 mm. Two tremulants are present:
the tremulant affecting the Great and Positive is based on a form used by Arp
Schnitger and can be adjusted for depth by the position of the activating knob;
the Swell tremulant uses a small motor-driven weight on the Swell bellows.

The Brombaugh staff included Chris Fralick, David Campbell,
Karl Nelson, Keith Spahn, Michael Korchonnoff, Darron Welch, Terry Lambert,
Mark Werner, Matthew Vettrus, Trent Buhr, Bob Lea, Fred Spencer, Christa
Brombaugh, and John Brombaugh.

The Memorial Chapel, built in 1918 as a World War I
memorial, contained previous organs by Steere (1919), Kimball (1934), and
Schantz (1965). The organ department was chaired from 1926 to 1969 by La Vahn
Maesch (who served as Dean of the Conservatory 1954-70), and Miriam Duncan from
1969-84, when George Edward Damp was appointed University Organist. Robert
Dodson is Dean of the Conservatory. The new organ was dedicated on May 5, 1995
with a recital by Prof. Damp featuring works of Alain, Muffat, Couperin, Below,
Bach, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.

GREAT

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Praestant*

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Octave+

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Spielflöte*

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Octave

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Koppelflöte

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Octave

                                    Mixture
IV-VI

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Bombarde

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Trompette*

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Clairon*

POSITIVE

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Quintadena

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Praestant+

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Gedackt

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Octave

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Rohrflöte

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Octave

                                    Sesquialter
II

                                    Scharff
IV-VI

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Dulcian

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Harfenregal

SWELL

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Rohrflöte

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Salicional

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Vox
Celeste (tc)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Principal

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Spitzflöte

                  22/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>    Nasard

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Waldflöte

                  13/5' style='mso-tab-count:1'>    Tierce

                                    Willis
Mixture III

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Contra
Oboe

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Trumpet

PEDAL

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Subbass

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Praestant*

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Octave+

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Spielflote*

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Octave

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Contra
Posaune

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Posaune
(ext)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Trumpet
(ext)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Trompette*

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Clairon*

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Cornett

                                    Couplers

                                    Gt/Ped

                                    Pos/Ped

                                    Sw/Ped

                                    Pos/Gt

                                    Sw/Gt

*Great stops that transmit to Pedal

+Some bass tones common with another stop

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt><dd><i>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.