New Organs

July 2, 2013

Bigelow & Co., Inc., Organ Builders, American Fork, Utah, Opus 35

The Cathedral Church of St. Mark (Episcopal), Salt Lake City, Utah

All of us at Bigelow & Co. were thrilled and honored to be commissioned to build a new tracker organ for the beautiful, historic Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Salt Lake City. The three-manual, 40-rank instrument is the firm’s Opus 35, our fourth largest when it was completed in February 2012. The Very Reverend Frederick Q. Lawson, former dean of the cathedral, initiated the project and supported it throughout. Dr. Andrew Unsworth (Mormon Tabernacle) served as consultant.

Founded in 1871 (less than thirty years after the first Mormon settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, and only two years after the completion of the first transcontinental railroad), St. Mark’s is the oldest non-Mormon church in Utah in continuous use. It was designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn (Trinity Church, New York City) in the Gothic Revival style, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior is graced by beautiful stained glass windows, including several by the Tiffany firm.

The highest priority in the visual design of the new organ was to reveal the rose window that had been walled over behind the previous organ for forty years. That requirement was met, and the south-facing rose window once again adds light and life to the Sunday morning worship experience. The gothic architecture of the organ case fits the church interior perfectly and is a joy to behold.

Tonal objectives of the new organ included a generally warmer sound than had been in vogue at the time of the previous organ and more resources for choral accompaniment in the Anglican tradition. Because the Positive division, placed on the gallery rail, would be the least useful for accompanying a choir, it was conceived as a quasi-Solo division (Cornet, Processional Trumpet, Great-to-Positive coupler). Placing the Great division under expression, except Præstant 8 and Octave 4, increases its usefulness in choral accompaniment and adds considerably to the flexibility of the instrument.

Manual key action and all coupling is mechanical, except that the Processional Trumpet (mounted horizontally in the main case), the Swell Fagotto 16, and the lower two octaves of the Great Bourdon (borrowed from the Pedal) play from electro-pneumatic chests, as do all Pedal stops. Giving up tracker action on this limited basis solved several problems associated with fitting a sizeable organ into a restricted space, and it made some valuable unification and duplexing practical.

Dedicatory and inaugural recitals spanned several months and were played by cathedral organists George Henry and Christopher Wootton, other area organists, including those of the Mormon Tabernacle (one of whom is a former organist of St. Mark’s), and Dr. Julia Brown.

—David Chamberlin




Bigelow & Co., Inc.



8 Præstant (façade, 1–6 = Ch. Fl.)

8 Chimney Flute

4 Octave

4 Open Flute

2 Octave

III Cornet (AA–d′′′)

8 Cromorne

16 Processional Trumpet (TC) 

8 Processional Trumpet 

Flexible Wind, Positive

Great to Positive

Swell to Positive

GREAT – Manual II

16 Bourdon* (1–24 = Ped)

8 Præstant (façade)

8 Conical Flute*

8 Harmonic Flute* (1–16 = Con. Fl.)

4 Octave

4 Lieblich Flute*

22⁄3 Twelfth*

2 Fifteenth*

IV Mixture*

8 Trumpet* 

Flexible Wind, Great

Positive to Great

Swell to Great



SWELL – Manual III

8 Stopped Diapason

8 Viole de gambe

8 Voix céleste (GG)

4 Viol-Principal

4 Traverse Flute

22⁄3 Nasard

2 Blockflöte

13⁄5 Tierce

III Plein Jeu

16 Fagotto

8 Oboe

Flexible Wind, Swell

Flexible Wind, All

Tremulant (affects all divisions with

      Flexible Wind on)


32 Resultant (Bourdon)

16 Contrebasse (wood)

16 Bourdon

8 Octave (façade)

8 Bourdon (ext)

4 Octave (ext)

16 Trombone

16 Fagotto (Sw)

8 Trombone (ext)

8 Fagotto (Sw)

4 Fagotto (Sw)

Great to Pedal

Positive to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Zimbelstern (rotating star, 8 bells)



40 ranks

Detached, low-profile keydesk with terraced stop jambs

61/32 compass (AGO standard)

Bone and ebony manuals

Mechanical key action (manuals and couplers)

Electro-pneumatic action (Pedal and duplex/unit stops)

Electric stop action (slider solenoids)

60-level combination action with definable pistons and sequencer


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