New Organs

January 24, 2003

Cover

Austin Organs, Inc.,

Hartford, Connecticut

The Episcopal Church of

Bethesda-by-the-Sea,

Palm Beach, Florida

The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea is positioned on
a large piece of land amid the splendor of the Town of Palm Beach. A Gothic
building, somewhat out of place amid the Mediterranean architecture which
dominates this resort community, Bethesda is one of the "must see"
buildings of interest in the brochures which greet the visitors to this island.
Set amongst specimen plantings and beautiful gardens, this oasis of calm has
become a destination of persons of all faiths and backgrounds.

The building was erected between 1925 and 1927 and was, for
many years, the home of E. M. Skinner Opus 590, a four-manual instrument of 48
ranks to which was added, as an Antiphonal division, the 15-rank C. E. Morey
instrument from the former church building. The Skinner was fitted with two
four-manual consoles, one in the chancel and the second serving the garth, a
quadrangle adjacent to the church. The organ was heard through louvers which
could be opened when outdoor services were held. In 1970 the Skinner was removed
to St. Barnabas Church in Nassau, the Bahamas, where it still is used.

There followed an instrument of 80 ranks built by the
Schlicker firm of Buffalo, New York. The original 3-manual console was replaced
in 1990 by a four-manual console and certain electronic voices were added in an
attempt to alter the rather narrow tonal character of the organ. While helpful,
these additions failed to adequately change the character of the instrument. By
the mid-1990s mechanical problems began to plague the organ and the vestry
asked Harold E. Pysher, organist/choirmaster, to determine a course of action
that would ensure a reliable organ.

Two options became obvious: rebuild the existing instrument
or sell it and build an entirely new organ. When the two options and cost data
were presented to the vestry, the decision was made to replace the organ.
Harold Pysher, in consultation with Thomas R. Thomas and Hugh M. Pierce,
members of the parish with expertise in organ design, drew a specification. It
provides, essentially, two instruments: a complete gallery organ and a complete
chancel organ fitted with two identical four-manual consoles. Either console
would control its own instrument or both organs.

Tonally, this opportunity allowed a proper Anglican
instrument to be designed. The instrument was to be English in character with
an abundance of 8¢ tone, complete chorus development in each division,
de-emphasis in the mixture department and a wealth of reed qualities. In
placing the gallery organ on the center axis of the nave, this division would
reinforce congregational singing; the chancel division, while located high and
to the left of the chancel, would serve both the choir and those parishioners
seated in the front of the room. A three-rank chant division is located above
the chancel console and close to the choir. This serves as an ideal pitch organ
for the choir and is the most "polyphonic" division in the organ. The
chancel console is located on a lift, lowered for service playing and, being
fitted with a concealed dolly, it may be moved about the chancel as required by
various events.

The specification was submitted to builders who were deemed
capable of building in the tonal area desired by the church, and the firm of
Austin Organs, Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut was finally chosen. Austin, having
a long and distinguished reputation for building organs of reliability and
durability and because of its English history, was ideal for this undertaking.
Conferences were held with then tonal director David A. J. Broome as well as
present tonal director Bruce Q. Buchanan. It was decided that the reeds,
particularly the high-pressure en Chamade Cor Séraphique, Tuba Mirabilis
and French Horn, must maintain their power in the upper octaves. In the
gallery, both the Swell and Great were to be expressive. The gallery contains
unusual stops such as the Bois Celeste (Melodias) in the Great and, in the
Swell, a Nitsua and Nitsua Celeste. Scales were developed and assurances given
that the organ would address the qualities and flexibility required. While the
organ must support the music requirements of the worship service, there was a
strong requirement that the organ perform equally well as a recital instrument
and have sufficient resources to work with small and large choruses and orchestras.
Bethesda serves as the venue for a variety of programs using the organ for both
church and community events.

A buyer for the existing organ was located and the contract
let to Austin Organs, Inc. in late 1997. The instrument was installed, first in
the gallery in time for Christmas 1999 and the chancel division was completed
in time for Easter 2000. While certain digital augmentation is found in the
specification, this was done simply as an economy of space. Aside from
percussion stops, a 32-note 64¢ Ophicleide is located in the chancel
Pedal. The organ has proven to be an outstanding success in every respect. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  It meets every demand put upon it and
its tonal resources are exceptional.

—Austin Organs, Inc.

 

The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Palm Beach,
Florida

Austin Organs, Inc., Opus 2777

Chancel GREAT (wind: 5" flues, 6" reeds; * stops
enclosed with Choir)

                  16¢ style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Violone
(digital ext)

                  style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Diapason

                  style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Violone

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Bourdon

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Nachthorn

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Fifteenth

                                    Fourniture
IV

                                    Cymbal
III*

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Double
Trumpet* (digital ext)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Trumpet*

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarion*

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Séraphique (Solo)

                                    Tremolo
(flues only)

                                    Tower
Bells (digital)

                                    MIDI

Gallery GREAT (wind 4"; enclosed)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Bourdon
(12 pipes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Principal

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Bourdon

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Bois
Celeste II

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Rohrflute

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Principal

                                    Sesquialtera
(tc) II

                                    Mixture
IV

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Kontra
Trompete (12 pipes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Trompete

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cromorne

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Séraphique (solo)

                                    Tremolo

                                    Chimes
(digital)

                                    Zymbelstern
(with rotating star on Gallery façade and controllable as style='mso-tab-count:1'>                  to
speed)

                                    MIDI

Chancel SWELL (wind: 5"; enclosed; 68-note chest)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Lieblich
Gedeckt (12 pipes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Diapason

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flûte
a Cheminée

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Viola

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             ViolaCeleste

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flauto
Dolce

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
Celeste  (tc)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Principal

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flûte
Octaviante

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Viola
(12 pipes)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Viola
Celeste (12 pipes)

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flautino

                                    Plein
Jeu III

                                    Cymbal
III

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Waldhorn

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cornopean

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             French
Trumpet

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Oboe

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Humana (in a box)†

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarion

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Séraphique (Solo)

                                    Tremolo

                                    Vox
Humana Tremolo

                                    MIDI

Gallery SWELL (wind: 41/2"; enclosed)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Contra
Gamba (12 pipes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Geigen
Principal

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flûte
Oûverte

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Viole
de Gambe

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Voix
Celeste

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Nitsua

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Nitsua
Celeste

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Principal

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
Harmonique

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Viole
de Gambe (12 pipes)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Voix
Celeste (12 pipes)

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Blockflute

                  11/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Larigot

                                    Mixture
III

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Bassoon
(12 pipes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Trompette

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Hautbois

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Humana (in a box)†

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarion
(12 pipes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Séraphique (Solo)

                                    Tremolo

                                    Vox
Humana Tremolo

                                    MIDI

                                    †Vox
Humana (Chancel and Gallery) fitted with four levels of                   expression
(controllable from the console) and separate tremolo

Chancel CHOIR (wind: 5"; enclosed)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Dulciana
(digital)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Geigen
Diapason

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Hohlflute

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Dulciana

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Unda
Maris (tc)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave
Geigen (12 pipes)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Koppel
Flute    

                  22/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Nasard

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Piccolo

                  13/5' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Tierce

                  11/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Larigot (digital)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Clarinet
(digital ext)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarinet

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Séraphique (Solo)

                                    Tremolo

                                    Harp
(digital)

                                    Celesta
(digital)                

                                    MIDI

Chancel SOLO (wind: 15" reeds, 5" flues; enclosed)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Gamba

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Gamba
Celeste

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Harmonic
Flute

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Orchestral
Flute

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             English
Horn

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             French
Horn

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Tuba
Mirabilis

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Tuba
Clarion (12 pipes)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Cor
Séraphique (tc) (49 notes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Séraphique

                                    MIDI

                                    Tremolo
(everything except Tubas and Cor Séraphique)

                                    Chant
Organ

                                    Harp

                                    Celesta

                                    Tower
Bells

                                    Chimes
(Gallery)

Chancel CHANT ORGAN (wind: 31/4")

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Gedeckt

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Suave
Flute

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Spitzflute

                                    Note:
Chant Organ "floats"; available on each manual and pedal with
stopknob in respective division; does not couple

Chancel PEDAL (wind: 6" flues, 8" reeds)

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Sub
Principal (digital)

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Untersatz
(digital)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Principal

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Bourdon

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Violone
(Gt)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Lieblich
Gedeckt (Sw)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Dulciana
(Ch)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave
Bass (12 pipes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Gedeckt
(12 pipes)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flûte
à Cheminée (Sw)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Choral
Bass

                                    Mixture
III

                  64' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Ophicleide
(digital)

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Grand
Cornet VI (derived)

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Ophicleide
(digital)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Trombone

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Double
Trumpet (Gt)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Waldhorn
(Sw)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Trumpet
(12 pipes)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarion
(12 pipes)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarinet
(Ch)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Séraphique (Solo)

                                    Tower
Bells (digital)

                                    MIDI

 

Gallery PEDAL (wind: 4")

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Contra
Violone (digital)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Open
Wood

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Principal

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Subbass

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Bourdon
(Gt)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Gamba
(Sw)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Bourdon
(Gt)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Choral
Bass (12 pipes)

                                    Mixture
III

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Contra
Posaune (digital)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Posaune

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Kontra
Trompete (Gt)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Bassoon
(Sw)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Trompete
(12 pipes)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarion
(12 pipes)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cromorne
(Gt)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Séraphique (Solo)

                                    Chimes
(digital)

                                    MIDI

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