Paul Fritts & Company Organ Builders has recently completed the last of two new significant organs, the firm’s Opus 44 and Opus 45, for Christ Chapel at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. The chapel was completed in 2019 and provides seating for 1,350 within the 27,500-square-foot building.
Early on when the building was being designed it was determined that rather than making one very large organ, the needs of the program would be better served by two organs. Opus 44, completed concurrently with the new building in 2019, is conceived as a “choir” organ and speaks from the side of the chancel where it is in close proximity to small and large ensembles. Its 30 stops are divided between three divisions: the Great at impost level, the Swell above, and the Pedal divided on either side. The organ case is made of sapele mahogany to match all of the woodwork throughout the chapel. Its musical resources are designed to support a wide variety of service music and organ repertoire.
To provide support for singing for a full congregation and to serve as a concert instrument, the Gallery Organ, Opus 45, has three manuals and pedal. Installation and tonal finishing were recently completed in October 2022. It, too, is housed in a sapele mahogany case with a large “broken” pediment, columns, and architectural capitals. The polished tin façade pipes are the lowest notes of the Great and Pedal Principal 16′ stops, both of which are independent. The en fenêtre keydesks of both organs are in the front center of the cases.
The completion of the Gallery Organ will be celebrated with an inaugural concert by Nathan Laube on April 13, 2023.
Opus 44 Choir Organ: 30 stops; 38 ranks; 1,854 pipes
Opus 45 Gallery Organ: 57 stops; 85 ranks; 4,115 pipes
The organs are featured on the cover of the January issue of The Diapason.
For information: www.frittsorgan.com
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