New Organs

March 3, 2016

Messiah Lutheran Church, 

Seattle, Washington

Marceau Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd., Seattle, Washington

Opus 32, 2014

Marceau Pipe Organ Builders has completed their Opus 32, a two-manual and pedal organ for Messiah Lutheran Church in the Wedgewood neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. This instrument is the first pipe organ for the church, replacing an ailing electronic substitute. The speakers were housed in what is now the Swell chamber. In order to accommodate the unenclosed Great and Pedal, a steel beam was installed, supported by the ceiling beams. In addition, a back wall was installed to help reflect the sounds of both the organ and choir into the nave. The existing carpeting in the balcony was also removed and replaced with hardwood flooring. These two significant changes help to improve the sound projection into the room quite successfully.

The tonal design of the organ is influenced by the Lutheran liturgy and the need for strong congregational participation in the singing of the hymns and service music. Both Principal choruses are based on 8 pitch and when coupled deliver a most energetic result. The flutes are varied and colorful; the Swell Cornet II adds its own uniqueness and when the 4 and 2 flutes are added, takes on a much more French classic timbre. The Great 8 Gemshorn was revoiced to add a much-needed accompaniment. This enhances the 8 Gedeckt and is also a dynamic and color foil to the Swell strings. The reeds add richness to the Principal choruses; when the Swell reeds are combined, they provide a successful contrast to the Great Trumpet. The addition of a 16 extension (Posaune) caps off the full ensemble. One of the unique elements of the tonal design is that all of the pipes were chosen from the pipe inventory of Marceau Pipe Organs. Given the variety of pipe makers, much time was given into proper scaling, voicing, and on-site regulation to achieve a unified musical ensemble.

All of the new windchests are of direct valve design and were built in the Marceau shop. The console was originally built by a reputable supply house, with an exterior of red oak. A new exterior of white oak was laminated onto the old surface with very successful results. The new stop rail and keycheeks are bubinga, providing a nice contrast to the white oak.

Projects of this nature cannot succeed without the efforts of many individuals. I wish to thank Noel Channon, organist at Messiah Lutheran, for his encouragement and trust in the project and his willingness to help out whenever needed. James Leary was instrumental in the installation of the support beam and providing exceptional help whenever needed. I am grateful to my staff for their efforts, especially Sean Haley, Tom Krisinski, Jim Van Horn, Gerrit Duys, Rusty Knorr, and Derek Curtis-Tilton. The completed organ was heard for the first time with a members recital presented by the Seattle AGO chapter.

—René A. Marceau

President and Tonal Director



16 Bourdon (ext Sw 8 St Diap) 12 pipes 

8 Principal 61 pipes (1–11, 13–18 in façade) 

8 Gedeckt 61 pipes (1–12 wood, 13–61 planed lead)

8 Gemshorn 61 pipes (1–12 zinc, 13–61 50% tin)

8 Harmonic Flute (1–12 from 8 Viola and St. Diap, 13–61 from Sw. 4 Fl)

4 Octave (70% polished tin) 61 pipes 

4 Koppelflute (50% tin) 61 pipes 

2 Super Octave (from Mixture IV)

2 Mixture IV (50% tin) 244 pipes 

8 Trumpet 61 pipes  (1–12 zinc, 13–61 50% tin)

8 Krummhorn (Sw)


8 Geigen (ext 4 Principal) 12 pipes 

8 Stopped Diapason (wood) 61 pipes 

8 Viola 61 pipes (1–12 zinc, 13–61 50% tin)

8 Viola Celeste, TC (50% tin) 49 pipes 

4 Principal (60% lead) 61 pipes 

4 Harmonic Flute (50% tin) 61 pipes 

223 Cornet II (50% tin) 122 pipes 

2 Octavin (50% tin) 61 pipes 

113 Plein Jeu IV (50% tin) 244 pipes 

8 Hautbois (50% tin) 61 pipes 

8 Krummhorn (copper) 61 pipes 


16 Subbass 32 pipes (3-8 in façade)

16 Bourdon (from Sw 16 Bourdon)

8 Principal (from Gt 8 Principal)

8 Gedeckt (from Gt 8 Gedeckt)

8 Viola (from Sw 8 Viola)

4 Principal (from Gt 8 Principal)

4 Gedeckt (from Gt 8 Gedeckt)

16 Posaune (ext Gt 8 Trumpet) 12 pipes 

8 Trumpet (from Gt 8 Trumpet)

4 Clarion (from Gt 8 Trumpet)


25 ranks 

1,520 pipes

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