New Organs

June 23, 2011

Kegg Pipe Organ Builders,
Hartville, Ohio
First Presbyterian Church,
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

The new Kegg organ in the First Presbyterian Church of Phoenixville replaces an organ that had been pieced together with parts mostly from Bartholomay, with some Haskell pipes and other supply house additions. Although many in the church have a high regard for things historical, it became clear that the haphazard installation in the crowded chamber made repair and maintenance of the failing instrument impractical. Even so, the committee expressed a desire to reuse any old material that could be successfully incorporated into the new instrument.
When dealing with an instrument of celebrated historical merit, the process of proper documentation, conservation, and, when appropriate, careful restoration is normally the best course of action. A poorly installed organ of dubious heritage, no matter how old, makes that choice much less clear. When the request comes from a historical perspective, however, with a client wishing to maintain a line of continuity with the past, we do everything we can to respect that heritage.
In the Phoenixville organ, we reused six sets of pipes. The 16′ Open Wood Diapason and the 16′ Subbass are large pedal pipes that would indeed have been very expensive to replace. We repaired and refinished these pipes, and restored and releathered their original windchests as well. The Swell Gedeckt and Harmonic Flute are two wood stops that were particularly charming in the old organ, and we have retained them as well, replacing only the top two octaves of metal pipes in the Harmonic Flute 2′ extension. The Great Dulciana and Unda Maris are very likely Haskell pipes from the organ before the Bartholomay. Their tone is soft and extremely delicate, a luxury in an organ of this size, but the sound is entirely appropriate in the intimate acoustic of the renovated sanctuary.
The stoplist is laid out for all the normal functions of a two-manual church organ. The Great Clarinet and Swell Mixture are prepared. Fund-raising efforts were quite successful, but fell short of allowing these stops to be installed at this time. However, there was some money left, and after studying several of our organs where we have made a two-manual specification playable on a three-manual console, the committee decided to take that option. The plan still calls for adding the prepared stops, but the flexibility afforded by the third manual cannot be overstated.
Director of music David Nicol and organist Mary Nicol, who also chaired the organ committee, made our time in Phoenixville an absolute delight. Far beyond the usual chores of coordinating our work with electricians, heating/AC technicians, and alarm installers, they did an outstanding job of taking care of us as well. There was a steady supply of goodies to eat and drink, and recommendations along with directions for many of the local restaurants. As consultant, Dr. Gordon Turk served the church well in helping them through some difficult spots in their decision-making, and also made helpful suggestions to us during the design process and tonal finishing.
The new organ was dedicated on November 7, 2010, with a recital by Gordon Turk, and the First Presbyterian Church choir giving the premiere performance of Kile Smith’s anthem, Behold, the Best, the Greatest Gift, commissioned for the occasion.
Fredrick Bahr

Kegg Pipe Organ Builders
Charles Kegg, President*
Fredrick Bahr, Tonal Director*
Philip Brown
Michael Carden
Joyce Harper*
Philip Laakso
Thomas Mierau*
Bruce Schutrum
*Members, American Institute of Organbuilders

Kegg Pipe Organ Builders
1184 Woodland St., SW
Hartville, OH 44632
[email protected]

16′ Viola (ext #9) 12 pipes
8′ Solo Diapason III++
1. 8′ Principal 61 pipes
2. 8′ Rohrflute* 61 pipes
3. 8′ Dulciana* 61 pipes+
4. 8′ Unda Maris TC* 49 pipes+
5. 4′ Octave 73 pipes
6. 4′ Koppelflute* 61 pipes
2′ Fifteenth (from #5)
7. IV Mixture 244 pipes
8′ Trumpet (from #15)
8′ Clarinet* (prepared)
Chimes (21 bells)
Zimbelstern (5 handbells)
Great 16, UO, 4
Swell to Great 16, 8, 4
Choir to Great 8
*Enclosed separately from Swell
++Plays #1, #5, #17 all at 8′ pitch

8. 8′ Gedeckt 61 pipes+
9. 8′ Viola 73 pipes
10. 8′ Viola Celeste GG 54 pipes
11. 4′ Principal 73 pipes
12. 4′ Harmonic Flute 73 pipes+
4′ Viola (from #9)
13. 22⁄3′ Nazard 61 pipes
2′ Octave (from #11)
2′ Flute (from #12)
14. 13⁄5′ Tierce 61 pipes
11⁄3′ Larigot (from #13)
III Mixture (prepared)
16′ Bassoon (from #9 & 16)
15. 8′ Trumpet 73 pipes
16. 8′ Oboe 61 pipes
4′ Clarion (from #15)
Swell 16, UO, 4

8′ Rohrflute Great
8′ Unda Maris II Great
4′ Koppelflute Great
8′ Clarinet Great (prep)
8′ Gedeckt Swell
8′ Viola Swell
8′ Viola Celeste Swell
4′ Harmonic Flute Swell
2′ Flute Swell
II Cornet Swell
8′ Trumpet Swell
8′ Oboe Swell
Choir 16, 4
Swell to Choir 16, 8, 4

17. 16′ Diapason 56 pipes+
16′ Viola (from #9)
18. 16′ Subbass 44 pipes+
8′ Octave (from #17)
8′ Subbass (from #18)
8′ Viola (from #9)
8′ Gedeckt (from #8)
4′ Octave (from #17)
32′ Harmonics (derived)
16′ Trumpet (from #15)
8′ Trumpet (from #15)
4′ Oboe (from #16)
Great to Pedal 8, 4
Swell to Pedal 8, 4
Choir to Pedal 8, 4

+Pipes from previous organ

Three manuals, 21 ranks, 1,324 pipes

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