Three Kimball Pipe Organs in Missouri

January 19, 2003

Introduction

The Kimball Company of Chicago was one of the foremost pipe
organ builders in America in the first three decades of the twentieth
century.  Instruments of all sizes in
churches, colleges, theaters, homes and municipal auditoriums across the
country made the Kimball organ well-known to churchgoers and the music world of
that era. The name lives on in epic instruments in St. John's Episcopal Church,
Denver, and the Minneapolis Civic Auditorium, others lesser-known, and in the
recollections of older generations. Ironically, very little has been written
about the company and its instruments, apart from David Junchen's perceptive
summary of the firm and its theater organ work.1 A systematic study of the
tonal philosophy and practices of the firm, as well as design features and
construction details of their instruments, is long overdue. No comprehensive
history of the pipe organ and its builders in America in the twentieth century
can be complete without a major study of Kimball.

George T. Michel, a forgotten figure in the pantheon of
notable American tonal directors and voicers, was the heart and soul of the
Kimball pipe organ. His superb voicing talents, which embraced the full
spectrum from reeds to strings to a Diapason chorus, were complemented by the
skills and experience of other factory personnel including superintendent Oscar
J. Hagstrom, voicer Joseph J. Carruthers, pipemaker Frank A. Meyer, and the
astute front-office businessmen Wallace Kimball, Walter Hardy, and the
much-traveled Robert P. Elliot. Yet as Van Allen Bradley remarks, correctly, in
his company history Music for the Millions: "It was Michel more than any
other man who gave the Kimball pipe organ of the 20th Century its great
reputation."2

Junchen was unsparing in his praise of Michel: "His
reeds were constructed with a jeweler's precision. They had distinctive tone
colors, stood rock solidly in tune and were perhaps more uniform note per note
than any ever built. Michel's strings set the standard by which all others were
judged. Their richness, timbre and incredible promptness of speech, even in the
32' octave, have never been surpassed."3

This article takes a close look at three instruments in two
small liberal arts colleges in western Missouri--Park College in Parkville and
Missouri Valley College in Marshall--as examples of Kimball's work in the
1930s, near the close of its glorious era in organbuilding. The 1930s were the
crucial decade before WWII when changing tastes and preferences swept the pipe
organ market. The King of Instruments began to break away from the romantic and
orchestral paradigm of the 1920s and earlier and moved toward "old
world" antecedents and the classic ensemble. How did Kimball, progressive
throughout its history, articulate and implement these changes? The stoplists
under discussion shed light on Kimball's approach to organbuilding in that
watershed era. The recital programs dedicating these instruments are
representative of organ recital fare during that period and in contrast to
recent times.

The 1930s demand closer scrutiny. The pioneering work of
Walter Holtkamp and G. Donald Harrison is well documented. What about other
builders and their instruments? The majority were family-owned firms where
change came slowly and was often viewed as a threat. Thus much of the industry
fell behind in the emerging trends. These builders were reluctant to depart
from stoplists that had worked so successfully a decade earlier. They moved gingerly
into mixtures and mutations, while holding onto favorite stops of the previous
era--solo reeds, for example. Likewise, there was a pronounced lag in voicing
philosophy and technique. The distinctive character and blending quality of
independent mutation ranks, which are tuned to pure‚--not
tempered--intervals, was scarcely appreciated by voicers accustomed to
wide-scale diapasons and other unison stops. What mutations existed were
frequently extensions of foundation stops. Mixtures of the 1920s were largely
confined to the narrow scale string-sounding Dolce Cornets. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 

The following analysis is made possible by the vivid
recollections of one elder statesman of the organbuilding fraternity, the brief
remarks of another who has passed on, and the insights of several contemporary
observers well-acquainted with Kimball instruments and the 1930s era.

Charles McManis, living and working in semi-retirement in
Woodbury, Connecticut, helped install the 1938 Kimball at Park College, an
inspiring early step in his long and distinguished career as an independent
builder in Kansas City, Kansas. Charles has close family ties to Park College.
His grandfather was one of the original seventeen students enrolled when
classes began on May 12, 1875, in an old stone hotel downtown. His parents were
both graduates of the school.4

Another prominent builder in the postwar era who observed
Kimball and their work was Franklin Mitchell (1917-1998), tonal director of the
Reuter Company from 1951 to 1993. As a sophomore at Missouri Valley College in
1935, sitting in the back of the chapel, Mitchell observed George Michel finish
the new three-manual organ. This experience and the ensuing summer employment
at the Kimball factory in Chicago, at the invitation of Michel, inspired
Mitchell to become an organbuilder and significantly influenced his work. As
Jack Sievert, formerly Mitchell's colleague at Reuter and now with the Schantz
Company points out, certain aspects of Mitchell's early work at Reuter bore the
unmistakable stamp of George Michel and Kimball.5 Mitchell's failing health and
death on March 31, 1998 precluded additional detailed comments which would have
added importantly to this analysis.

Park College

Located in northwest Missouri, in the town of Parkville on
the Missouri River nine miles upstream from Kansas City, Park College was
founded in 1875, the realization of a long-cherished dream of George S. Park
whose name it bears. A Vermont native and veteran of the Texas War of
Independence, Park was a successful land speculator and devoted churchman,
whose name graced the village he founded in 1844. For two decades, Park pleaded
with the Presbyterian Church to establish a college in what was then considered
the frontier. His dream was made possible by Dr. John McAfee, a professor at
Highland College in Kansas who came as the school's first president, providing
the experience and leadership required to establish it. McAfee's vision for
Park College was a work-study curriculum affording poor students the
opportunity to obtain a college education and was symbolized in the new
school's motto "Fides et Labor" (faith and labor).6

The Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel is one of the first
buildings one sees when approaching the campus and forms an appropriate
introduction to a historically church-related institution of higher learning.
Standing majestically in front of a terraced green hillside, this modified
Gothic edifice, with a cruciform floor plan, features an English hammer-beam
ceiling in the nave and, above the altar in the chancel, an exquisitely
detailed wood carving of the Last Supper by Alois Lang (see photos).7 Seating
700, the building was designed by Kansas City architects Greenbaum, Hardy &
Schumacher, who were awarded a bronze medal by the Kansas City chapter of the
American Institute of Architects for the design of the best institutional
building in the area in 1931.8

The new chapel was made possible by an $80,000 bequest of
Mary G. Tyler (total cost $135,000) in memory of her father, Graham Tyler, a
Philadelphia merchant. It followed the "Old Stone Church" erected in
1852, and its successor McCormick Chapel, given by Mrs. Cyrus Hall McCormick of
Chicago in memory of her husband, the farm machinery magnate and inventor of
the McCormick reaper. These chapels housed only reed organs. Miss Tyler
recommended the building be patterned after the Russell Sage Memorial Chapel in
East Northfield, Massachusetts on the campus of the Northfield Mount Hermon
School.9

In his quest for a suitable pipe organ for the new chapel,
the president of Park, Dr. F. W. Hawley, wrote to his friend from student days
at McCormick Seminary, Dr. Paul W. McClintock, then director of research in the
Department of Building Fund Campaigns at the Presbyterian church headquarters
in Philadelphia. Dr. Hawley requested advice and recommendations and McClintock
was happy to oblige. Their correspondence offers a rare glimpse of the role of
a consultant in an organ project, a role whose numbers are legion in the
history of the organ business in America, and sheds light on the brutal,
white-hot competition for work in the dark days of the Great Depression.10

McClintock began by strongly recommending that Hawley engage
William H. Barnes as consultant for the project, which Hawley did. "You
will find Barnes wonderfully helpful. He has a thorough knowledge of the organ,
perhaps a better knowledge than any other living American and I know from my
contacts with him that his advice is absolutely unbiased and can be thoroughly
depended upon."11 In the meantime, Hawley wrote McClintock that he was
"quite strongly inclined toward the Reuter Organ" because of the
short distance (50 miles) from Parkville to Lawrence, Kansas. He mentioned that
the founders of Reuter had trained at Casavant.12 McClintock quickly dismissed
Hawley's concern over proximity to a nearby factory as a criterion for choosing
a builder. He pointed out that builders had agents coast-to-coast and even in
Laurel, Mississippi (where he had lived), a serviceman was never more than six
hours away.13

Hawley asked whether McClintock was familiar with the Robert
Morton Company of Van Nuys, California, a firm he had never heard of but one of
the many firms sending in proposals once word got out that Park was buying an
organ. The local representative was offering a $13,000 instrument, built for a
theater in Oklahoma City but refused upon delivery, for $3,500. "I do not
want to buy a cheap organ but if we can buy a good organ that will meet our
needs at a very low cost we want to take advantage of all the saving we can,"
Hawley wrote. The representative also proposed a $15,000 new organ for $10,000
as an "introductory offer."14

McClintock continued by offering his opinion on builders
whom he divided into two classes. In the first class he named: Austin,
Casavant, Estey, Hook & Hastings, Kimball and Skinner. Their work can be
"thoroughly depended upon," he said, adding that Skinner excels in
reeds and Hook & Hastings in diapasons. In the second class he included:
Hall, Kilgen, Midmer-Losh, Moller and Pilcher, builders whose work is
"very good" but does not embrace the "same careful attention as
to construction, mechanism, voicing and tonal balance." He faulted Reuter
for lacking tonal balance and excessive octave coupling which he called
duplexing. He wrote off Bennett whose instruments he had found
unsatisfactory.15

President Hawley circulated the specification drawn up by
Barnes, together with a cover letter, to twelve builders. Bids were received
from Estey, Kilgen, Midmer-Losh, Moller, Pilcher, Reuter and Welte-Tripp.16 The
Reuter sales manager, William C. Verney, was eager to obtain the contract and
solicited support from friends whom he thought would be influential with
Hawley. One was a prominent Kansas City lawyer, Thad B. Landon, who wrote
Hawley: "I just want you to know that I had come in very close touch with
these people . . . on some matters in the past few years and feel they are very
good people with whom to work."17 Another was A. O. Thompson, well-known
Kansas City lumber yard operator and trustee of the college, who while
vacationing in Los Angeles sent a telegram to Hawley in care of Barnes:
"Would appreciate your favoring Reuter organ provided price and quality
are equal to other makers."18 In January, 1931, Hawley traveled to
Chicago, to meet with Barnes and listen to several instruments. Based upon his
own preference for the Kimball sound as well as Barnes' recommendation, he
signed a contract with Kimball for a $15,000 organ. The terms were $5,000 upon
delivery (and acceptance) and three annual installments of $3,333 each plus six
percent interest.19 Kimball was represented in the negotiations by Herbert
Hyde, well-known Chicago organist, composer and music impresario who joined
Kimball in the Fall of 1930 after four years as western representative for
Skinner.20

The Kimball pipe organ was given in memory of Mrs. Annette
Young Herr of Mifflinsburg, Pennsylvania by her children. A twenty-three rank,
three-manual instrument with four-rank echo division prepared for (see
stoplist), it was designed by William Harrison Barnes, remembered today for his
multi-edition and widely-circulated book, The Contemporary American Organ.
Barnes presided at the console during commencement week, June 6-8, 1931. He
played for the baccalaureate service and the chapel dedication program on
Saturday, the organ dedication recital on Sunday evening, and commencement
Monday morning. 21

The Barnes dedicatory recital (see program) featured
traditional organ fare and the work of contemporary composers Joseph Bonnet,
Marco Enrico Bossi, Joseph Clokey, Giuseppe Ferrata and Bernard Rogers.22
Appearing frequently in recital programs during this period, these composers
are seldom heard in performances today. The Mendelssohn selection was from
Elijah. Clokey's "Dripping Spring" was a character piece, so-called
because the title describes the work. The Schubert number was a transcription.

A full-page biographical sketch of Barnes was featured in
the Commencement Program. It began with his BA degree from Harvard and his
organ study with Wallace Goodrich, dean of the New England Conservatory of
Music, and with Clarence Dickinson in New York. His several church organist
positions in the greater Chicago area were enumerated as were his offices in
professional associations. He was also an associate editor of The American
Organist. In recognition of his services to the college and his prominence in
the organ world, Barnes was awarded an honorary doctorate (Mus.D) by Park
College at this commencement.23

The 1931 Kimball organ specification (see stoplist) bore a strong
resemblance to the previous era, and was in marked contrast to the two later
Kimballs in this article. The Great manual contained a unit Diapason at 16', 8'
and 4', a scheme which results in scaling discontinuity and octave overlap.
Arguably, this sort of unification never works in building a true Diapason
chorus. The Grave Mixture, a tepid stop comprising a Twelfth and Fifteenth with
no breaks, was no Mixture at all. The wide-scale Clarabella was borrowed from
the Pedal.

The Swell division was built around a unit Bourdon of 97
pipes. Also conspicuous in this tonal palette was a tapered flute and Celeste,
played as one stop, and a Waldhorn, a robust reed voice which played at both
16' and 8' pitches. The Choir manual contained four independent ranks with the
balance borrowed from the Great. The Celeste was matched with the Dulciana, not
the Gamba, standard practice for that period. The nine-stop Pedal division
embraced only two unified independent ranks with others, chiefly 16' voices,
borrowed from the manual divisions. Again, this was typical of this period. The
prepared for Echo organ stoplist was nearly identical to those of other
builders in this era.

The organist and choirmaster at Park from 1921 to 1953 was
Dr. Charles L. Griffith, 1887-1969 (see photo). A graduate of William Penn
College in Iowa, where he taught music for 17 years before coming to Park,
Griffith earned an M.A. degree from Grinnell College, also in Iowa, and a Ph.D.
in music from the University of Iowa. He was awarded honorary degrees by Park
and William Penn. After 21 years at Park, Griffith retired and returned to
William Penn, as chairman of the Fine Arts Department. Griffith Hall, the Fine
Arts Building at William Penn, is named in his honor.24

On the evening of December 25, 1937, scarcely six years
after its completion, the beautiful Graham Tyler Chapel caught fire and burned
to the ground. The blaze, believed to have started in the basement, spread
rapidly and soon the roof fell in.25 The Kimball organ was destroyed as were objects
d'art in the chancel. Construction of an identical replacement edifice began
immediately. The Lang carving replaced a painting of The Lord's Supper above
the altar in the chancel. A new and larger Kimball organ, with casework and
display pipes to be duplicates of the first instrument, was ordered. Kimball
was represented in the negotiations by N.W. Hillstrom who was quick to praise
the new stoplist proposed by Barnes. "It is a very fine specification and
would indeed make a glorious organ for the Chapel," he wrote, calling
attention to the changes in each division including a "cohesive and
vibrantly rich Diapason chorus" on the Great. He was particularly effusive
about the 32' Sub Bourdon on the Pedal. "It is a charming stop against the
softest of manual combinations and one that in my opinion should be included in
every organ of note."26

The rebuilt chapel and the new three-manual, thirty-six rank
Kimball organ (the five-rank Antiphonal division was prepared for) were dedicated
during Fine Arts Week, October 23-30, 1938 in a program series. The inaugural
recital Monday evening was again played by William H. Barnes, now Dr. Barnes,
who also presented a lecture entitled "The Organ" Tuesday morning.
His 1938 recital was more standard fare (see program), concentrating largely on
works closely identified with the organ but also including Hugh McAmis'
"Dreams," a work frequently played during that era.27

The recitalist Tuesday evening (see program) was the
legendary Edna Scotten Billings, for decades the grande dame of Kansas City
organists. Mrs. Billings chose a demanding program, including the very
difficult "Variations de Concert" by Joseph Bonnet. Wednesday
evening's program featured several instrumentalists, along with college
organist Charles Griffith and his wife Blanche Noble Griffith, soprano. The
series closed Thursday evening with an organ recital (see program) by Joseph A.
Burns, a well-known local keyboard artist. He selected three compositions by
Enrico Bossi, and "Le Vol du Bourdon" which is known today as
"The Flight of the Bumble Bee."28

The 1938 Kimball (see stoplist) differs radically from the
1931 specification, reflecting the maturing classical outlook of Barnes and
Michel. The Great division features a unit Gemshorn, which works very well in
pitch, color and blending quality, and an authentic principal chorus, carefully
voiced and capped with a Mixture IV made of tin. The Hohl Flote, a dark, broad
scale voice which fills out the ensemble, is a wooden rank with arched upper
lips and is full length in the 8' octave. It contrasts sharply with the
Rohrflote on the Swell. The Great Trumpet, reflecting the orchestral paradigm,
is Tromba sounding, confined and fundamental, designed to dominate the chorus
on full organ. The Great Mixture begins on the 12th, the lower pitch typical
for the period when organists were accustomed to using the super-coupler on
full organ. Mixture composition and scaling of principal ranks was based upon
this assumption. Each pipe of the mixture is winded on a separate valve.

The foundation for the Swell is the unit Rohrflute with a
compass of 16' to 2', by now a trademark of George Michel. The Swell Trumpet,
in contrast to the Tromba voiced Great Trumpet, is a brighter, more
harmonically developed, open sound. The Salicional has a slight edge, and the
Flauto Dolce, reminiscent of the Skinner voice of this name, is not as
assertive as even a Dulciana but loud enough to be heard. The Corno d'Amour, a
capped trumpet nearly identical to a Flugelhorn, serves in place of the
customary Oboe. The Swell design also featured the Contra Fagotto as the 16'
reed voice in place of the Waldhorn in the 1931 stoplist.

The Choir manual, boasting exquisite strings, Viola and
Dulciana, and a notably fine clarinet, is voiced as a mild principal ensemble,
a tad soft in an otherwise carefully balanced instrument. The 8' Concert Flute
is made of wood harmonic pipes, and the 4' Lieblich Flote is a capped metal
rank of singular beauty. The Pedal division, as in 1931, counts only two ranks
with unification, plus many borrows from manual ranks. The five lowest pipes of
the 32' Sub Bourdon, GGGG to BBBB, are enormous in scale, much larger than the
following pipes in the 16' octave. The first seven notes in the 32' octave are
resultants. The five-rank Antiphonal organ, in contrast to the projected 1931
stoplist (never installed), was added the following year and contained a
Diapason and and Octave. The Park College Stylus, apparently referring to these
stops commented: "Two new stops in connection with the echo organ will
combine the features of both the echo organ and the antiphonal organ."29

Seated at the console demonstrating the instrument to the
writer, Canon John Schaefer, organist and choirmaster of Grace and Holy Trinity
Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Kansas City who is staff organist at Park,
remarks that this Kimball organ has "real character" and an enduring
quality that has survived the fads and fashions of the postwar era to remain a
most attractive instrument. Carefully planned and executed, it is a tribute to
the artistry of George Michel. Schaefer remarks that if there is a weakness in
this instrument it is in the mutations, derived from the Dulciana in the Choir
and Flute in the Swell, which "don't do much."30 style="mso-spacerun: yes">  In keeping with the period, the entire
instrument was under expression when installed although subsequently the shades
of the Great and Pedal divisions were removed.

The primary function of the Graham Tyler Chapel today, no
longer used for scheduled chapel services by the college, is as one of the most
popular wedding venues in the metropolitan area. Park College is now an
independent school with no denominational affiliation. The epic Kimball organ,
a noteworthy instrument by a neglected builder in a bygone era, was renovated
in 1978 by Charles McManis who praised it in a letter to the college president
as a noteworthy example of the "Clarified Ensemble" in the
contemporary epoch of American organbuilding.31 When funds permit, it is
scheduled for a full restoration by the Quimby Pipe Organ Company.

Missouri Valley College

Founded in 1888 by Cumberland Presbyterians, Missouri Valley
College is located in Marshall, Missouri, a town seventy miles east of Kansas
City, settled in 1839 and named for Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S.
Supreme Court. Marshall is the county seat of Saline County, so named because
of numerous salt springs in the area. Stewart Chapel, built in 1906 (see
photo), was given by prominent St. Louis lawyer Alphonso C. Stewart, L.L.D., a
trustee and lifelong benefactor of the school, in honor of his father, General
A. P. Stewart, Confederate States of America.32 The chapel was remodeled in
1935, a gift of Mrs. Olive Depp Richey, widow of an early trustee of the
college. The new Kimball organ was designated the James Edward Richey Memorial
Organ.33

The organist and keyboard professor at Missouri Valley was
Claude Leslie Fichthorn, 1885-1972 (see photo). A native of Reading,
Pennsylvania, where he studied piano, organ and voice in his youth, Fichthorn
served local churches as organist and choirmaster while yet a teenager. Then,
even without a college degree, he taught at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania
before coming to Missouri Valley, in 1912, to teach piano. The following year
he studied voice in Paris with Louis Dubigny, then returned to Missouri Valley
where he completed a B.A. degree in 1916. In 1931, Fichthorn obtained an M.A.
from Columbia University. He also held the A.A.G.O. certification. From 1920 to
1935, he was organist and choirmaster of the Westport Presbyterian Church in
Kansas City and afterward, for twenty years, held the same position at the
Methodist Church in Marshall.34

As the resident impresario of Marshall, Fichthorn, now dean
of the school of music at Missouri Valley, was a man of broad musical interests
and boundless energy. He orchestrated what must have been one of the most
extensive musical programs for a town of 8500 people to be found anywhere. In
addition to directing the keyboard, choral and instrumental music offerings of
the college and serving as organist and choirmaster at the Methodist Church
organ on Sunday morning, he organized and directed the Marshall Symphony, an
ambitious project for a rural community but one not entirely unknown in the
state.35 Fichthorn was awarded an honorary Mus.D. from Missouri Valley in 1948,
in grateful recognition of his forty years of devoted service to the school.
And in 1962, in reply to a citation for his half century of service to the
school he said: "I have had fun and enjoyed my work, and that is why it
has been so wonderful."36

Dean Fichthorn played the opening recital on the twenty-six
rank three-manual Kimball organ on Thursday evening, December 5, 1935 (see
program), preceding rededication of the chapel and dedication of the organ on
Sunday afternoon. The Marshall Democrat-News described the forthcoming recital
as designed to exhibit the tonal resources of the new organ. Bach's D-Minor
Toccata and Fugue was said to be his work most often heard on radio since it was
judged as more dramatic than the composer's other works which were deemed more
classical. The choice of Widor's Toccata, selected specifically to exhibit the
tonal colors of the organ, reflected the belief that as the premier organ
composer of the late romantic period, he, unlike other composers, perceived the
instrument's possibilities as an interpretive medium.37 Barbara Owen comments
that his program was "quite ambitious" in that playing the complete
Widor Symphony No. 2 was unusual, adding that organists and musicians in
general weren't favorably disposed toward Stravinsky and the Firebird Suite in
1935. However, since Fichthorn was also an orchestra conductor, he most likely
had a good feeling for orchestral works.38

In his program notes, Fichthorn asserted that Bach's fugues
were the epitome of organ composition and the D-minor Toccata and Fugue was the
most popular. The eight symphonies of Widor were said to be "unequaled in
breadth of concept and richness of imagination" and the second symphony
"more lyrical" than the others. The chimes of a church in Canada were
the inspiration for Russell's "The Bells of 'St. Anne de Beaupre."
Fichthorn described his composition "In the Forest" as: "An
afternoon in the forest, heard are the peaceful brook, the call of birds, the
threatening storm and a return to peaceful meditation." In that time as
well as today, it was not unusual for organists to play their own works in a
recital. Delius' "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring" was
portrayed as an impressionistic study by the recently deceased and the
"most original" composer Great Britain has produced. Stravinsky's
Firebird Suite was hailed as this composer's most popular work for orchestra.39

The choice of a three-manual design for an organ of just
twenty-six ranks (see stoplist) was, no doubt, deemed appropriate for the
teaching and performance demands of a college. With a budget limit of these
resources, the voices were distributed over the manuals in a very interesting
way. Professor Mary Ellen Sutton, organ teacher at Missouri Valley, 1968-73,
described the unification and borrowing as "very skillful."40 The
specifications for the instrument were written by Fichthorn and revised by
William H. Barnes, with voicing and tonal finishing by George T. Michel.
Program notes called attention to the thirty combination pistons and toe studs
on the console incorporating the new Kimball Remote Control System. Also, a new
non-rigid sound-absorbing material in the console made it as silent as
possible. The entire instrument was under expression in two chambers.41

On the Great division, the Gemshorn lent itself well to
unification, augmented the principal chorus, and added color and pitch. The 4'
Flute, borrowed from the Swell unit Rohrflute, blended well with the 8'
Harmonic Flute, while the Dulciana provided a soft stop on the division. The
Diapasons I and II were a throwback to a previous era, indicating that the
designers had not totally abandoned that paradigm. The Mixture began on the
15th, because there was no independent 2' stop on the division.

The Swell division, with the unit Rohrflute from 16' to 2'
pitches, so typical of Michel, was supplemented by strings, string principals
and a full reed chorus plus the ubiquitous Vox Humana, another vestige of
previous times. Barbara Owen observes that on this Kimball, the Choir was
nearly as large as the Swell, which was unusual for a period when the Swell was
customarily the largest division of the organ. She notes that the absence of an
Oboe among the reeds was also unusual. The 16' Waldhorn, frequently used by
Skinner, would impart a "growl" at this pitch but was comparatively
lacking in blending and solo quality and thus would disappear entirely from
stoplists in the postwar era.42

The Choir began with an 8' Diapason borrowed from the Second
Diapason on the Great. Therefore, it was most likely voiced as a string
principal, as the independent voice on this division would customarily have
been. The Melodia was unified to 4' and 2' and, in effect, would most likely
have been a Wald Flute at 4' since the scales for the Melodia and Wald Flute
were often the same. The reeds on the Choir, French Horn, Cor Anglais and
Clarinet, were solo voices from the symphonic era.

Recalling the instrument from the perspective of the postwar
era and his practices as tonal director of the Reuter Company, Franklin
Mitchell said the diapasons would be considered a tad "hooty" today,
while the trumpet was big in scale and would pass today as a tuba. The Clarinet
was very "conventional" and sonorous. The Salicional string was thin
and keen. The Waldhorn was a mild 16' reed with not much character. Mitchell
commented that George Michel later veered toward diapason type strings, such as
a small Geigen, which were not nearly as authentic as an orthodox string voice.43
Sadly, this notable instrument was lost when the chapel burned on February 28,
1973.44

Summary

The 1930s, marking the close of one epoch and the beginning
of another, were a major turning point in the history of the pipe organ in
America. The Kimball Company was an industry icon before WWII and a builder
deserving of recognition today. The three instruments discussed above were
milestones in the history of Kimball and representative of the progress of this
landmark era in terms of several criteria. These include the emergence of an
authentic principal chorus capped with a mixture, the place of chorus reeds in
an ensemble and the role of mutations--although failure to embrace them as
independent voices. Most important, they reflect Michel and Kimball's vision
and implementation of the fundamental concepts of pitch, color, contrast and
blend in the design and voicing of the inimitable King of Instruments. style='mso-tab-count:1'>       n

                                   

R. E. Coleberd writes frequently on the history and
economics of pipe organ building.

 

For research input and critical comments on earlier drafts
of this paper the author gratefully acknowledges : Tom Atkin, Wilson Barry,
E.A. Boadway, Christopher Bono, Carolyn Elwess, Laura Gayle Green, Alan
Laufman, Charles McManis, Albert Neutel, Barbara Owen, Michael Quimby, Pam
Reeder, Lois Regestein, John Schaefer, Katharine Fichthorn Schanz, Jack
Sievert, and Mary Ellen Sutton.

 

Bibliographical material on Park College is found in
Fishburn Archives, McAfee Memorial Library, and on Missouri Valley College in
Murrell Memorial Library. The author expresses his appreciation to Carolyn
McHenry Elwess of Park and Pam Reeder of Missouri Valley for their assistance.

Notes

                  1. style='mso-tab-count:1'>              Junchen,
David L., Encyclopedia of the American Theater Organ, Pasadena, California: Showcase
Publications, Vol. 1, 1985, pp. 206-209.

                  2. style='mso-tab-count:1'>              Bradley,
Van Allen, Music for the Millions: The Kimball Piano and Organ Story, Chicago,
Illinois: Henry Regnery Company, 1957, p. 191.

                  3. style='mso-tab-count:1'>              Junchen,
op cit, p. 209.

                  4. style='mso-tab-count:1'>              Charles
McManis, letter to the author, October 8, 1998.

                  5. style='mso-tab-count:1'>              Jack
Sievert, letter to the author, September 30, 1998.

                  6.
            A
Chronicle of Memories: Park College--1875-1990, Copyright by the Alumni
Association of Park College, Parkville, Missouri, 1990, pp. 17-21. Also C. M.
Elwess, "Park College: Past, Present and Future," Alumni Directory,
1995, p. V.

7.                    
Alois Lang (1871-1955), was a native of Oberammerg

 

PARK COLLEGE

PARKVILLE, MISSOURI

 

DEDICATION

ANNETTE MATILDA HERR ORGAN

PROGRAM

June 7, 1931

William Harrison Barnes

 

1. (a) Caprice Heroique                Bonnet

   
(b) Reverie  Bonnet

   
(c) Andante (Grand Piece Symphonique)   Franck

2. (a) Scripture and Prayer        Pres.
Frederick W. Hawley

   
(b) He, Watching Over Israel             Mendelssohn

3. (a) The Legend of the Mountain       Karg-Elert

   
(b) Scherzo Rogers

   
(c) Dripping Spring Joseph Clokey

4. Remarks concerning the Tonal Structure of the Organ style='mso-tab-count:1'>         Barnes

5. (a) Nocturne                 Farrata

   
(b) Beside the Sea   Schubert

   
(c) Toccata (Gothic Suite)   Boellmann

 

Benediction

 

PARK COLLEGE

PARKVILLE, 
MISSOURI

 

DEDICATORY RECITAL

William H. Barnes, Mus.D. (Park)

Monday evening, October 24, 1938

at eight o'clock

 

Grand Choeur Dialogue               Gigout

Sketch in D Flat               Schumann

St. Anne's Fugue             J.S.
Bach

Chorale Prelude "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" style='mso-tab-count:1'>               J.S.
Bach

Prelude and Fugue in B Flat     J.S.
Bach

Chorale Prelude "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" style='mso-tab-count:1'>     Johannes Brahms

Ronde Francais                 Boellmann

The Mirrored Moon      Karg-Elert

Pastorale              Cesar
Franck

Chorale in E Major        Cesar
Franck

Dreams                 McAmis

Theme And Variations                  Widor

 

Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel, Park College, Parkville,
Missouri

W.W. Kimball, 1931

 

Great Organ (enclosed)

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>         
Open Diapason (unit) 85 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             First
Diapason 61 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Second
Diapason (from 16' Diap)                                            61
notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarabella
(ext Pedal Bourdon) 17                                            pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Concert
Flute 61 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave
(from 16' Diap) 61 notes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
Harmonique 61 pipes

                  II style='mso-tab-count:1'>              Grave
Mixture 122 pipes

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

                                    Chimes,
20 tubes

Swell Organ

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Bourdon
(unit) 97 pipes

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Chimney
Flute (from Bourdon) 73                                           notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Salicional
73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Celeste 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Spitz
Flute Celeste 134 pipes

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

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
(from Bourdon) 73 notes

                  22/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Nazard (from
Bourdon) 73 notes

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Piccolo
(from Bourdon) 73 notes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Wald
Horn 85 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Horn
(from Wald Horn)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Clarion
(from Wald Horn)

                                    Harp
(prepared for) 49 bars

Choir Organ

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Diapason
(from Gt Second Diap)  style='mso-tab-count:3'>                                           61
notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Concert
Flute (from Great) 61                                                                       notes

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

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Unda
Maris 61 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Harmonique
Flute (from Great) 61                        notes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Dulcet
(Dulciana) 61 notes

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Harp
(from Swell)

Echo Organ (prepared for)

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Viol
Aetheria 61 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Angelica 61 pipes

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Humana 61 pipes

                                    Chimes

Pedal Organ

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Resultant
32 notes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Diapason
44 pipes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Second
Diapason (from Great) 32                                            notes

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

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Second
Bourdon (from Swell) 32                                                               notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave
(from Diapason) 32 notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
(from Bourdon) 32 notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flauto
Dolce (from Swell Bour-                                                                    don)
32 notes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Wald
Horn (from Swell) 32 notes

 

Source: The Diapason, March, 1931, page 2.

 

Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel, Park College, Parkville,
Missouri

W.W. Kimball, 1938

 

Great Organ

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             First
Diapason 61 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Second
Diapason 61 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Hohl
Flote 61 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Gemshorn
61 pipes

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

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Gemshorn
(ext.) 12 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
Harmonique 61 pipes

                  IV style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Fourniture
244 pipes

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

                                    Chimes
(Deagan "D" Kimball spe-                                           cial,
piano hammer action) 25                                                                 tubular
bells

                                    Tremolo

Swell Organ

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Geigen
Diapason 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Rohrflote
73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Salicional
73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Voix
Celeste 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flauto
Dolce 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
Celeste (T.C.) 61 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave
Geigen 73 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
d'Amour (ext.) 12 pipes

                  22/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Nazard (ext.) 61
notes

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flautino
(ext.) 61 notes

                  13/5' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Tierce (prepared
for)

                  IV style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Plein
Jeu 244 pipes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Contra
Fagotto 73 pipes

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Corno
d'Amour 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Humana 61 pipes

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Harp
(prepared for)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Celesta
(prepared for)

                                    Tremolo

Choir Organ

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

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Viola
Celeste (T.C.) 61 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Concert
Flute 73 pipes

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Unda
Maris (T.C.) 61 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Lieblich
Flote 73 pipes

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

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Dulcet
(ext.) 12 pipes

                  22/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Dolce Twelfth
(Dulciana) 61 notes

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Dolce
Fifteenth (Dulciana) 61                                                                        notes

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

                                    Chimes
(Great)

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Harp
(prepared for)

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Celesta
(prepared for)

                                    Tremolo

Antiphonal Organ

Manual

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Melodia
61 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Viiole
d'Amour 61 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Angelica 49 pipes

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

                                    Tremolo

Pedal Organ (Installed 1939)

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Sub
Bourdon GGGG-BBBB* 5                                                                  pipes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Open
Diapason 44 pipes

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

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Contra
Viola (Choir) 32 notes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Lieblich
Gedeckt (Swell) 32 notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave
(ext. Open Diapason) 32                                                                  notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
(ext. Bourdon) 32 notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Gemshorn
(Great) 32 notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Stillgedeckt
(Swell) 32 notes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
(ext. Bourdon) 32 notes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Contra
Fagotto (Swell) 32 notes

                                    Chimes
(Great), 8'

* First 7 notes Resultant

Pedal Antiphonal

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

 

Source: The Diapason, September 1, 1936, pp. 1-2.

 

PARK COLLEGE

PARKVILLE, MISSOURI

 

EDNA SCOTTEN BILLINGS

Organist

Tuesday evening, October  25, 1938

at eight o'clock

 

The Program

 

I

First Concerto  Bach

Allegro

Grave

Presto

Choral Prelude, "My Inmost Heart Doth Yearn" style='mso-tab-count:1'>           Bach

Fugue in G Minor           Bach

 

II

Piece Heroique                  Franck

Saluto Angelico from "Cathedral Windows" style='mso-tab-count:1'>   Karg-Elert

Romance             Bonnet

Lamento               Bonnet

Variations De Concert Bonnet

 

PARK COLLEGE

PARKVILLE, MISSOURI

 

ORGAN RECITAL

 

Joseph A. Burns, A.B., M.Mus., F.A.G.O.

Thursday evening, October 27, 1938

at eight o'clock

 

The Program

 

I

Fantasie And Fugue in G Minor              Bach

Ave Maria           Bossi

Siciliana, Stile Antico    Bossi

Scherzo in G Minor      Bossi

 

II

Clair De Lune  Karg-Elert

Chorale Inprovisation, "Jerusalem, Thou City Built On
High"                Karg-Elert

Le Voldu Bourdon         Rimsky-Korsakoff

Andante Cantabile          Widor

Toccata in F      Widor

 

Stewart Chapel, Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Missouri

W.W. Kimball, 1935

 

Great Organ

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Diapason
I 73 pipes

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Harmonic
Flute 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Dulciana
(Choir) 61 notes

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

                  3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
(Swell) 61 notes

                  III style='mso-tab-count:1'>            Mixture
(12, 15, 19) 183 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Trumpet style="mso-spacerun: yes">  73 pipes

                                    Chimes

                                    Harp

                                    Celesta

                                    Tremolo

Swell Organ

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Geigen
Principal 73 pipes

                  6' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Rohrflote
73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
Dolce 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
Celeste 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Salicional
73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Celeste 73 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave
Geigen 73 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
d'Amour (ext.) 12 pipes

                  22/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Nazard (ext.) 61
notes

                  2 style='mso-tab-count:1'>               Flageolet
(ext.) 61 notes

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

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Vox
Humana 61 pipes

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

                                    Harp

Choir Organ

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Diapason
(Great II) 61 notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Melodia
73 pipes

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Unda
Maris 73 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
(ext. Melodia) 12 pipes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Dulcet
(ext. Dul.) 12 pipes

                  22/3' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Dolce Twelfth
(ext.) 61 notes

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Piccolo
(ext. Melodia) 61 notes

                  2' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Dolce
Fifteenth (ext.) 61 notes

                  13/5' style='mso-tab-count:1'>      Dolce Tierce
(ext.) 4 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             French
Horn 73 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Cor
Anglais 73 pipes

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

                                    Harp

                                    Celesta

                                    Tremolo

Pedal Organ

                  32' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Acoustic
Bass 32 notes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Open style="mso-spacerun: yes">  Diapason 32 pipes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Contra
Gemshorn (Gt.) 32 notes

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

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

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Octave
(ext. O.D.) 12 pipes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Gemshorn
(Gt.) 32 notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Flute
Ouverte 32 notes

                  8' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Stillgedeckt
32 notes

                  4' style='mso-tab-count:1'>             Super
Octave 12 pipes

                  16' style='mso-tab-count:1'>          Trombone
(ext. Gt.) 12 pipes

                  8 style='mso-tab-count:1'>               Trumpet
(Great) 32 notes

                                    Chimes

 

Source: The Diapason, January, 1936, pp. 1-2.

 

STEWART COLLEGE

MISSOURI VALLEY COLLEGE

MARSHALLL, MISSOURI

 

Dedicatory Recital

James Edwin Richey Memorial Organ

Thursday evening, December 5, 1935

Dean Claude Leslie Fichthorn, recitalist

 

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor                Bach

Symphony Number 2  Widor

Praeludium Circulaire

Pastorale

Andante

Salve Regina

Adagio

Finale

Marche Champetre        Boex

Largo, New 
World Symphony               Dvorak

The Forest          Fichthorn

On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring               Delius

Firebird Suite    Stravinsky

Berceuse

Finale