Cover feature: Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders, Denver, North Carolina: Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Wilmington, Delaware

Cover feature

Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders, Denver, North Carolina

Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Wilmington, Delaware

Like the vast array of Möller instruments spread
throughout the country, Möller opus 9745 served its congregation admirably
and capably for more than three decades. After years of faithful service,
however, mechanical problems plagued the organ of Aldersgate United Methodist
Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Mechanical failures and ciphers made
accompanying a service challenging at best. yes"> 

The original organ installed in January of 1963 comprised 29
ranks across three manuals, but lacked adequate tonal resources to fill the
large cubic volume of the sanctuary. Fortunately, placement of the organ,
speaking directly down the center axis of the sanctuary, allowed for proper
tonal egress into the nave. 

In the spring of 2002, the congregation, led by its organist
of 20 years, Brad Winters, chose Cornel Zimmer Organbuilders to complete the
rebuilding of the instrument as their opus 80. The work envisioned by the
church covered several principal areas including rebuilding/refurbishing the
existing pitman chests, releathering all reservoirs, rescaling and revoicing
existing pipework, making additions to the organ to fill in tonal gaps in the
specification, and providing a new four-manual console to control the organ.

Work began on the organ in the summer of 2004 with the
removal of all pipework and the dismantling of the winding system. Pipework was
transported back to Denver, North Carolina to be revoiced and rescaled by tonal
director Jim Twyne. When rescaling or repairs were necessary, pipemaker Tommy
Linder provided the needed pipework. Reservoirs were also transported back to
the shop to be releathered. Leather in the windchests was replaced or treated
as needed to ensure superior performance for many more decades. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 

While the organ was absent from the sanctuary, the
congregation implemented the suggestions of the organbuilder to improve the
acoustics. High-pile carpet covered the entire chancel area, greatly hampering
the sound of both the organ and the choir. The carpet was removed and porcelain
tile flooring was installed, providing a notable improvement in sound
projection.

While the acoustics improved dramatically, congregants had
always experienced difficulty in hearing the organ in the rear of the lengthy
sanctuary. To overcome this difficulty, a floating antiphonal division,
complete with festival trumpet and pedal division was added at the rear of the
nave. A broad range of echo and dialogue effects may be achieved using this
division. 

In the main organ pipe ranks were largely straight ranks.
The pipework was in good condition and capable of being revoiced, refined and
in some cases rescaled to reach its maximum potential for the room. Principal
choruses were added in the Swell and Choir divisions as were color stops not
provided for in the original specification. The Great principal chorus was
reinforced with new voices at 16’, 8’ and 2’ pitch, and a chorus
trumpet, absent from the original organ, was also added. The pedal division was
expanded greatly to provide the organ with a full foundation. A fourth manual
was added to play a new Solo division to further increase the tonal palette
available to the organist. In divisions where pipework could not be added,
Walker digital voices were used for their superior sound and flexibility in
voicing.

Eric Molenaar and Nathan Bryson of the electrical department
wired the new console and supervised and assisted in the rewiring of the
existing windchests. Pipework was returned and the windchests rewired in September
of 2004. At the same time, the winding system was rebuilt, silencing the many
leaks that had developed over the life of the organ. Master cabinetmaker George
Zong constructed a new console of mahogany, which was finished to match the
existing woodwork in the church by our finishing expert, Marty Lemons. Existing
artistic elements found in the church were incorporated into the panels of the
console as well as the music desk. The console was delivered in early November.
Jim Twyne and assistant Nathan Bryson completed final voicing on site, enabling
the church to use the organ for Advent and Christmas. yes"> 

The completed organ consists of five manual and two pedal
divisions. A full array of couplers and over one hundred levels of memory
afford the organist unlimited flexibility in registration. The organ was
dedicated in an afternoon service on January 30, 2005, and Stefan Engels played
the inaugural recital on April 10.

--Nathan Bryson with contribution from Cornel Zimmer
and Jim Twyne

GREAT

Unenclosed, Manual II

16’          Sub
Principal (WTC)

8’             Diapason
(WTC)

8’             Violone*

8’             Bourdon*

8’             Gemshorn*

4’             Octave*

4’             Spitzflute
(WTC)

2’             Superoctave
(WTC)

2’             Grave
Mixture II*

1’             Fourniture
III*

8’             Trumpet
(WTC)

8’             Tuba
Mirabilis (Solo)

8’             Harmonic
Trumpet (Solo)

                   Chimes
(WTC)

                   Antiphonal
on Great

SWELL

Expressive, Manual III

16’          Rohrgedeckt*

8’             Geigen
Principal (WTC)

8’             Salicional*

8’             Voix
Celeste*

8’             Flute
Celeste II (WTC)

8’             Rohrflute*
(ext)

4’             Prestant
(WTC)

4’             Nachthorn*

22/3’      Quint
(WTC)

2’             Principal
(WTC)

2’             Waldflute
(WTC)

13/5’      Terz
(WTC)

1’             Plein
Jeu III*

16’          Contra
Trompette (WTC)

8’             Trompette*

8’             Oboe*

8’             Vox
Humana (WTC)

4’             Clairon
(WTC)

8’             Tuba
Mirabilis (Solo)

8’             Harmonic
Trumpet (Solo)

                   Tremulant

                   Swell
to Swell 16’

                   Swell
Unison Off

                   Swell
to Swell 4’

                   Antiphonal
on Swell

CHOIR

Expressive, Manual I

16’          Dulciana
(WTC)

8’             English
Diapason (WTC)

8’             Gedeckt*

8’             Viola
Pomposa (WTC)

8’             Viola
Pomposa Celeste (WTC)

8’             Erzahler*

8’             Erzahler
Celeste*

4’             Principal
(WTC)

4’             Koppelflute*

22/3’      Nazard*

2’             Blockflute*

13/5’      Tierce*

2’             Choral
Mixture IV (WTC)

16’          Fagotto
(WTC)

8’             Clarinet
(WTC)

8’             Krumhorn*

8’             Tuba
Mirabilis (Solo)

8’             Harmonic
Trumpet (Solo)

                   Tremulant

                   Harp
(WTC)

                   Zimbelstern
(WTC)

                   Choir
to Choir 16’

                   Choir
Unison Off

                   Choir
to Choir 4’

                   Antiphonal
on Choir

SOLO

Expressive, Manual IV

8’             Harmonic
Flute (WTC)

8’             Cello
(WTC)

8’             Cello
Celeste (WTC)

8’             English
Horn (WTC)

8’             French
Horn (WTC)

8’             Orchestral
Oboe (WTC)

8’             Tuba
Mirabilis (WTC)

8’             Harmonic
Trumpet (WTC)

                   Tremulant

                   Solo
to Solo 16’

                   Solo
Unison Off

                   Solo
to Solo 4’

                   Antiphonal
on Solo

ANTIPHONAL

Expressive, Floating

16’          Violone
(WTC)

8’             Principal
(WTC)

8’             Bourdon
(WTC)

8’             Gemshorn
(WTC)

8’             Dolce
Celeste II (WTC)

4’             Octave
(WTC)

4’             Hohlflute
(WTC)

2’             Spitzflute
(WTC)

11/3’      Mixture
IV (WTC)

8’             Cornopean
(WTC)

8’             Festival
Trumpet (WTC)

                   Tremulant

                   Antiphonal
to Antiphonal 16’

                   Antiphonal
Unison Off

                   Antiphonal
to Antiphonal 4’

ANTIPHONAL PEDAL

Unenclosed

16’          Violone
(Antiphonal)

16’          Bourdon
(WTC)

8’             Principal
(Ant)

8’             Gedeckt
(Ant)

4’             Choral
Bass (WTC)

16’          Posaune
(Ant)

8’             Cornopean
(Ant)

PEDAL

Unenclosed

32’          Contra
Prestant (WTC)

32’          Contra
Violone (WTC)

32’          Contre
Bourdon (WTC)

16’          Open
Wood (WTC)

16’          Contrebasse*

16’          Bourdon*

16’          Sub
Principal (Great)

16’          Rohrgedeckt
(Swell)

16’          Dulciana
(Choir)

8’             Octave*
(ext)

8’             Bourdon*
(ext)

8’             Gemshorn
(WTC)

51/3’      Quint*

4’             Choralbass*
(ext)

4’             Flute*
(ext)

22/3’      Rauschpfeife
II*

2’             Nachthorn
(WTC)

11/3’      Mixture
II (WTC)

32’          Contra
Posaune (WTC)

32’          Contre
Basson (WTC)

16’          Posaune
(WTC)

16’          Contre
Trompette (Swell)*

16’          Basson
(WTC)

16’          Fagotto
(Choir)

8’             Tuba
Mirabilis (Solo)

8’             Harmonic
Trumpet (Solo)

8’             Trumpet
(WTC)

4’             Rohrschalmei
(WTC)


WTC = Walker Technical Co. digital voices

* Existing pipes revoiced

Total stops: 84

Total ranks: 98

Pipe ranks: 29

Digital voices: 60


Builders/voicers on this project

Nathan Bryson

David Caldwell

Marty Lemons

Thomas Linder

Eric Molenaar

Jim Twyne

Anne Zimmer

Cornel Zimmer

George Zong

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.