David E. Wallace & Co.
Opus 35/35a (2003 & 2012)
Christ Chapel, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church,
In 1996, organist Mary Ann Dodd began a discussion with organ builder David E. Wallace about the possibility of a practice organ for her home in upstate New York. The project for a new organ was developed over a period of time and was ultimately completed as David E. Wallace & Co. Opus 35 and installed at Mrs. Dodd’s home in Sherburne, New York, in 2003. Sadly, Mrs. Dodd passed away unexpectedly a short time after the organ was installed. Wallace & Co. was asked to find a new home for the two-manual, 16-rank tracker pipe organ.
David Brensinger, organist and choirmaster at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia, was considering the idea of a pipe organ for the new chapel that was being planned as part of an extensive addition to the Holy Innocents’ church buildings. Mr. Brensinger found the Dodd organ through the Wallace & Co. “For Sale” website page and considered the organ to be a good candidate for installation in the planned chapel. He was able to visit the Dodd home to try the organ, after which plans were made to purchase the organ for Holy Innocents’.
The organ was designed and built as a free-standing organ and fit under a 12-foot ceiling. In the new chapel at Holy Innocents’, most of the organ was to be located in a chamber and all of the organ’s key and stop action had to fit around two vertical structural steel columns that would be located just inside the organ façade. This required that the façade and keydesk portion of the organ be located on the outer side of the columns and the remainder of the organ take its place in the chamber behind the columns.
The organ was disassembled and moved from the Dodd residence in the summer of 2012 back to the Wallace & Co. shop in Gorham, Maine. The modifications to the organ were made around a mock-up of the Christ Chapel chamber. The key and stop actions were extended and the wind system was enlarged and relocated to a different position in the chamber outside the main framework of the organ. The side panels for the casework were redesigned and the additional woodwork coverings for the chamber openings were designed and built.
The organ is fully mechanical. The Trompette is shared between the Swell and Great but can only be played on one manual at a time. The Pedal is a mechanical unit slider windchest allowing the Bourdon to play at two pitches. The original façade design was by James Stillson of Dallas, Texas, and all of the modifications to the organ to allow it to fit into the organ chamber at Holy Innocents’ were designed and completed by Nick Wallace. The Wallace & Co. crew for the relocation of Opus 35 was David Wallace, Nicholas Wallace, Gwen Rowland, and Seth Doyle.
The organ was delivered and installed at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in October 2012 and completed in time for a community-wide open house for the new facilities. Organist David Brensinger provided a demonstration recital for the organ during the festivities.
David E. Wallace & Co., LLC
147 County Road
Gorham, ME 04038-1916