New Organs

April 30, 2016

Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders, Bellwood, Illinois

Zion Lutheran Church (WELS), Columbus, Wisconsin

Located about twenty miles northeast of Madison, Zion Lutheran Church (WELS) is home to a rejuvenated instrument that originated from a blend of old and new ideas and materials. Consultant Wayne Wagner, director of music Matt Kanzenbach, and the builder agreed to retain as much of the Wangerin organ from the old church as possible, while expanding the stoplist in order to include new tonal possibilities that the instrument was missing. 

Selected Wangearin pipework, along with vintage ranks from Berghaus’s collection and new pipes, yielded a stoplist of 34 stops, 24 ranks, and 1,727 pipes over two manuals and pedal. Selected chests from the Wangerin organ were retained, restored, and integrated with new chestwork. The well-crafted and durable Wangerin pipework was cleaned, repaired, and revoiced. Certain ranks were relocated to better suit the stoplist and to allow for new pipes to take their place.

The entire instrument speaks directly across the sanctuary from its position above the choir. The main central division is the Swell, with a set of hardwood expression shutters, controlled by a 16-stage electric motor. It contains most of the original Wangerin diapason chorus, along with strings, flutes, and reeds. New flue additions include a 2 metal flute, a 113 Larigot, and a brilliant Scharf mixture. An English Oboe and French Clarion are new reed additions that provide additional color and brilliance. 

Divided on either side of the Swell box, the newly enhanced Great is founded on an entirely new chorus, complete with mutations and mixture. Retained wood flutes (both stopped and open) and dulcianas allow for softer accompaniments and solo textures. A new 8 Principal leads the division with natural, singing sound, and its polished pipes form part of the façade. 

The Pedal division is a combination of Wangerin stops along with a new 8 Principal stop that is extended to 4 pitch. The large-scale Trumpet in the Swell is also extended 12 notes to 16 pitch for tutti textures. The Pedal has variety of voices that can effectively balance any manual combination.

All new chests and winding were constructed of poplar, and the handsome custom casework is of rift-cut red oak. A new blower encased in the organ gives quiet, steady, and dependable wind to the entire instrument. 

A new combination action by Peterson Electro-Musical Products is installed in the original console, which was completely stripped and refinished. The ICS-4000 control system gives the organist multiple memory levels, piston sequencing, and record/playback settings. 

Completed in October 2015, the finished instrument makes a bold visual and musical statement, and it is capable of leading hymns and liturgy of the church as well as performing various schools of repertoire. On October 25, the organ was dedicated and first used in worship. A recital featuring Wayne Wagner and various Zion musicians was performed that afternoon.

—Jonathan Oblander, Tonal Director

GREAT–unenclosed–Manual I

12 stops, 12 ranks, 744 pipes

16 Lieblich Gedeckt 85 Wangerin pipes (1–14 offset)

8 Principal (façade) 61 pipes

8 Doppelflöte 61 Wangerin pipes 

8 Gedeckt (from 16 Lieblich Gedeckt)

8 Dulciana 61 Wangerin pipes (on old Gamba toeboard, 1–12 offset)

8 Unda Maris TC 49 Wangerin pipes on new chest

4 Octave 61 pipes 

4 Gedeckt (from 16 Lieblich Gedeckt)

223 Quinte 61 pipes 

2 Fifteenth 61 pipes 

135 Tierce 61 pipes 

113 Mixture III 183 pipes 


Chimes (25 existing tubes, new action)

Great Unison Off

Swell to Great 16

Swell to Great 8′ 

SWELL–enclosed–Manual II

13 stops, 15 ranks, 903 pipes

8 Open Diapason 61 Wangerin pipes (old Gt)

8 Hohlflöte 61 Wangerin pipes (old Gt)

8 Viola da Gamba 61 Wangerin pipes (old Sw)

8 Viola Celeste TC 49 Wangerin pipes (old Sw)

4 Geigen Octave 61 Wangerin pipes (old Sw)

4 Rohrflöte 61 pipes from stock (on old Gt Dulciana toeboard)

2 Blockflöte 61 pipes (on Sw Trumpet toeboard)

113 Larigot 61 pipes 

1 Scharf III 183 pipes 

8 Trumpet 61 Wangerin pipes on new unit chest

8 Oboe 61 pipes, new or from stock (old Sw)

8 Clarinet 61 Wangerin pipes (old Sw)

4 Clarion 61 pipes (on old Sw Vox Humana toeboard) 


Swell to Swell 16

Swell Unison Off 

Swell to Swell 4′ 


11 stops, 1 rank, 80 pipes

32 Untersatz (derived)

16 Contrabass 56 pipes (1–12 Wangerin Open Wood, 13–44 new pipes, partly façade)

16 Subbass 12 Wangerin pipes (ext of 8 Gt Doppelflöte)

16 Lieblich Gedeckt (Gt)

8 Principal (from 16 Contrabass)

8 Gedeckt (Gt)

4 Octave (from 16 Contrabass)

4 Gedeckt (Gt)

16 Posaune 12 pipes (ext of Sw 8 Trumpet)

8 Trumpet (Sw)

4 Clarion (from Sw 8 Trumpet)

Great to Pedal 8

Great to Pedal 4

Swell to Pedal 8

Swell to Pedal 4


Key and stop action: existing electro-pneumatic and new electro-mechanical

Manual/Pedal compass: 61/32 



Stops Ranks Pipes

Great 12 12 744

Swell 13 15 903

Pedal 11 1 80

Total 36 28 1,727


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