New Organs

July 1, 2016

Schoenstein & Co. Pipe Organ Builders, Benicia, California 

Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, Missouri

This new organ is the result of a musical journey common to many American congregations. Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church’s first organ, built by Kilgen and dedicated by William H. Barnes, was warmly received with praise for its “dignified and churchly ensemble.” By 1971, however, the academic pressure to forsake “accompaniment” organs in favor of “solo repertoire” instruments was so great that a large mechanical-action organ by the German firm of Werner Bosch replaced the Kilgen. The congregation began to miss the pleasing tones of the old organ. After two major attempts at remaking the neo-Baroque instrument, it was decided that it was time to start fresh. The exceptionally fine music program developed by director of music ministry and organist David Erwin deserved an equally fine instrument.

Schoenstein & Co. was selected to design an organ primarily to support and accompany the service. Our approach recognizes that a church organ is a specific type of instrument that must be able to capture and hold the interest of listeners and musicians. If it lacks enough variety and the ability to make a strong emotional connection—to celebrate joy, to comfort in grief—it is a failure. The church organ has a heavy musical job to accomplish, and its most important characteristics are versatility and beauty.

The main divisions are located in side chancel chambers for excellent control of dynamics. The large open wood pipes are arranged horizontally behind the choir risers. The Echo organ is in a chamber at the rear of the balcony. Acoustical renovation was designed by Scott Riedel & Associates of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Casework was built by New Holland Church Furniture.

The organ was dedicated in a recital by Scott Dettra on March 6, 2016, before a packed audience and included stunning performances of works by Gigout, Bach, Guilmant, Saint-Saëns, Craig Phillips, Howells, Whitlock, and Stanford. It was broadcast via live streaming over, a project of the Organ Media Foundation. At the Sunday, April 10, Choral Vespers, “Te Deum laudamus” by Robert Lehman received its world premiere.


GREAT (Enclosed)

16 Contra Salicional 12 pipes

8 First Open Diapason 

(unenclosed) 61 pipes

8 Second Open Diapason 61 pipes

8 Harmonic Flute 

(unenclosed) 61 pipes 

8 Salicional 61 pipes

8 Bourdon 61 pipes

4 Principal 61 pipes

4 Silver Flute 61 pipes

223 Twelfth 61 pipes

2 Fifteenth 61 pipes

113 Mixture (III–IV) 186 pipes

8 Tuba (Choir)

8 Clarinet (Choir)

Chimes (Echo) †

SWELL (Enclosed)

16 Bourdon 12 pipes

8 Horn Diapason 61 pipes

8 Traverse Flute 49 pipes

    (Stopped Diapason Bass)

8 Flutes Unison (TC)*

8 Stopped Diapason 61 pipes

8 Gamba 61 pipes

8 Gamba Celeste 61 pipes

8 Erzähler 49 pipes 

    (Stopped Diapason Bass)

8 Erzähler Celeste (TC) 49 pipes

4 Gemshorn 61 pipes

4 Harmonic Flute 61 pipes

2 Fifteenth (ext Gems) 12 pipes

2 Mixture (III–IV) 209 pipes

16 Contra Fagotto 61 pipes

8 Trumpet 61 pipes

8 Fagotto 12 pipes

8 Oboe Horn 61 pipes


CHOIR (Enclosed)

8 Dulciana 61 pipes

8 Unda-Maris (TC) 49 pipes 

8 Concert Flute 61 pipes

8 Lieblich Gedeckt 49 pipes

    (Concert Flute Bass) 

4 Fugara 61 pipes

4 Concert Flute (Lieb Ged treble)

4 Lieblich Gedeckt 12 pipes

223 Twelfth (TC, from Nineteenth)

223 Nazard (from Lieblich Gedeckt)

2 Harmonic Piccolo 61 pipes

135 Tierce (TC) 42 pipes

113 Nineteenth 54 pipes

8 English Horn 61 pipes

8 Clarinet 61 pipes

16 Bass Tuba†† 12 pipes

8 Tuba†† 61 pipes


Chimes (Echo)†


ECHO (Enclosed – Floating)

8 Chimney Flute† 61 pipes

8 Voix Sérénissime 61 pipes

8 Voix Céleste (TC) 49 pipes

4 Chimney Flute (ext.) 12 pipes

4 Voix Sérénissime (ext.) 12 pipes

4 Voix Céleste (ext.) 12 pipes

8 Vox Humana 61 pipes



* From 8 Traverse Flute and 4 Harmonic Flute

From existing organ

†† High pressure

+ From Great Silver Flute, Swell Traverse Flute, Swell Harmonic Flute, and Choir Concert Flute

++Full length


32 Acoustic Bass

16 Open Wood 32 pipes

16 Contra Salicional (Great)

16 Bourdon (Swell)

8 Principal 32 pipes 

8 Flute (Great Harmonic Flute)

8 Salicional (Great)

8 Horn Diapason (Swell)

8 Stopped Diapason (Swell)

8 Dulciana (Choir)

4 Fifteenth 12 pipes

4 Flute (Great Harmonic Flute)

4 Flutes Unison+

32 Contra Fagotto (ext Sw)++ 12 pipes

16 Bass Tuba (Choir)

16 Contra Fagotto (Swell)

8 Tuba (Choir)

8 Fagotto (Swell)

4 English Horn (Choir)

4 Clarinet (Choir)

Chimes (Echo) †



Usual Couplers

Peterson ICS System

100 Memories

Programmable piston range for each 

memory level

58 Pistons and toe studs

7 Reversibles including Full Organ

Piston Sequencer


Crescendo Pedal

All Swells to Swell

Manual I–II Transfer

Expression selector for Echo

Adjustable bench


Three manuals, 40 voices, 46 ranks

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