The organ at Church of the Redeemer

“Brave servants of Christ who in the Redeemer’s Name have founded a church, may you never lose the zeal which prompted this new venture, but ever retain the courage to bear all things, the confidence to hope all things, and a love that endures and is kind.” —The Rev. Arnold Krone, 1947

This describes the initial organ installation and later improvements at Church of the Redeemer. A large portion of the information comes from “A Sense of Place” by Eleanor Pachaud, and “An Involved Parish” by Derek Schwede found in Redeemer: The First Fifty Years. Additional information came from the Pipe Organ Database of the Organ Historical Society. There was light editing to make it easier to read in an online format.

This is one of several posts celebrating the 75th anniversary of Church of the Redeemer.

Pipe display: Photograph by William J. Bunch

The original organ installation

Three months after the dedication of the new building, on March 5, 1965, Father Coulter signed the purchase order for our organ through Balcolm and Vaughan Pipe Organs, Inc.

The pipe organ was funded by a donation from parishioners Robert and Eleanor Dent, and the ceremonial Spanish Trumpets were given by Father Coulter. Parish funds covered the construction of the choir platform and the construction of the organ chamber.

The organ and its installation would cost $16,579.84. The organ had a grand total of 22 ranks, 34 stops, and 1,279 pipes.

Responsibility of work

The contract that was signed stated that Balcolm and Vaughan was responsible for the installation, tuning, and finishing, making certain that the instrument was completely ready to play. Redeemer was responsible for everything else:

The Church is to be responsible for preparing the space necessary for the organ, blower, and console. The church is also to install suitable electrical service and wiring starters from the blower motor and rectifier to the console, and to supply any openings for cable, tin line, and interior entry, at a time designated by the organ builders. If the blower must be in a remote location, the church also assumes responsibility for such tin line work.

In essence, we had to do all of the electrical and architectural work necessary to install the organ. Because of this, there were a few minor details that were ignored.

  • The organ chamber, for instance, was built without formal plans, was never certified by an engineer, and was never determined to comply with local building codes.
  • Another oversight was the electrical wiring for the light on the console. This problem could not be fixed by Balcolm and Vaughan because it was not in their contract; and there was no appropriate outlet for lights. This problem was solved by means of an extension cord to a nearby outlet, and was finally wired properly in 1994, after the church was informed that the thirty-year-old extension cord did not meet electrical code standards.

Despite the delays, the organ was constructed in about ten months’ time, and the dedication was held on December 19, 1965, one year after the completion of the building.

Dedication

The ceremony was led by Bishop Ivol Curtis and Father Coulter and included both the dedication of the organ and the confirmation of over thirty people. As a celebration of the new organ, a recital was included in the ceremony with pieces by J, S. Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude, Louis Claude Daquin, Valentin Rathgeber, Jean Langlais, Dom Paul Benoit, Francis Jackson, and Henry Purcell.

The recital was played by Eugene M, Nye, the tonal director of Balcolm and Vaughan Organs.

Organ pipes

Organ renovations

Redeemer’s own musical instrument, the organ, was never fully completed. Though many parts of it had been replaced and repaired since 1987 (including a re-voicing of the instrument in 1988), many parts of the organ continued to wear out and become unusable.

The renovation of the organ began with the work of a committee in 1995, which included Don Bentley, Bill Bissell, Peter Camp, Walter Knowles, Laina Molbak, Allen Moses, Doug Oles, and Randie Sidlinger.

Options considered

The committee looked at the present condition of the organ and evaluated several possible courses of action, including:

  • Removing the organ and replacing it with either a new pipe or electronic organ.
  • Renovating the organ and making major improvements.
  • Making only minor modifications to keep the organ playable.
  • Doing nothing at all.

After many meetings, the committee recommended a plan which would:

  • Remove the organ from its present location.
  • Rebuild large portions of the organ’s action while preserving most of the organ’s original pipework.
  • Reinstall the organ in a floor-standing case.

This change in position would improve the organ as an instrument to help lead congregational singing, by focusing the organ’s tone. In addition, providing swell enclosures on some ranks would allow more control over the volume.

The firm of Bond Organ Builders in Portland, Oregon, was chosen to carry out the work.

Fundraising

The 1996 Parish Festival served as the official start of the fundraising campaign and featured a hymn-sing accompanied by a portable organ built by Bond Organ Builders. The successful fund drive ended in the late fall of 1996 after raising over $180,000, which is more than the present building cost at the time of its construction.

The funds were once again provided entirely by members of the parish in donations of many sizes. The donations included a few large contributions, but the bulk of the money was given by the average members and families of the parish.

The contract to renovate the organ was signed on Palm Sunday 1997, and construction began in early summer of that year.

Dedication

The 50th anniversary remembrance was published before the renovations were completed on the organ, so it did not cover its dedication. However, the Pipe Organ Database has information on the dedication:

The organ was dedicated on February 22, 1998, in an evensong service which began with 30 minutes of organ music played by Music Director/Organist, and Associate Rector Rev. Walter Knowles. The music performed in this pre-evensong recital was chosen to demonstrate the wide range of sound the renewed organ is capable of.

Organ Specifications for each build

Here are the organ specifications for each build: Balcom & Vaughan initial installation, Bond rebuild, and Bond new console.

Original console photograph by James Stettner in Organ Historical Society database.

Initial installation

Balcom & Vaughan Pipe Organs, Opus 739, 1965, – Original Specifications (Information from the Pipe Organ Database of the Organ Historical Society)

Technical Details

  • Chests: Electro-pneumatic (EP)
  • 22 ranks. 1,279 pipes. 3 divisions. 2 manuals. 18 stops. 34 registers.

Divisions

  • Chest Type(s): Electro-pneumatic (EP) chests

Console

  • Manuals: 2
  • Divisions: 3
  • Stops: 18
  • Registers: 34
  • Position: Console in fixed position, left.
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Pedal Compass: 32
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style with roll top.
  • Stop Controls: Stop keys above top manual.
  • Combination Action: Adjustable combination pistons.
  • Swell Control Type: No enclosed divisions.
  • Pedalboard Type: Concave radiating pedalboard meeting AGO Standards.
  • Has Crescendo Pedal
  • Has Combination Action Thumb Pistons
  • Has Coupler Reversible Toe Pistons
Division LengthNamePipes
Hauptwerk8Prestant49
8Rohr Floete61
8Spitz Gamba (OW)
4Oktav61
4Spill Pfeife61
2-2/3Quint (OW)12
2Flach Floete61
1-3/5Terz (OW)
IVFourniture  19-22-26-29244
8Spanische Trompete61
8Cromorne61
 Chimes (prep)
 Haupt. to Haupt. 16′ 
 Haupt. Unison Off 8′ 
 Haupt. to Haupt. 4′ 
1blank, black stoptablet 
Oberwerk8Gedackt Floete61
8Spitz Gamba61
8Schwebung (tc)49
4Weit Prinzipal61
4Quintade61
2Gemshorn61
1-1/3Nasat61
8Fagott61
 Tremulant 
 Zimbelstern 
8Spanische Trompete (HW)
 Ober. to Ober. 16′ 
 Ober. Unison Off 8′ 
 Ober. to Ober. 4′ 
 1 blank, black stoptablet 
Pedal16Subbass (OW)12
16Zart Bass
8Kupfer Prinzipal32
8Gedackt (OW)
8Spitz Gamba (OW)
4Koral Bass12
4Spill Floete (HW)
2Hell Pfeife (HW)
IIQuint Mixtur  22-2664
16Fagott Bass12
8Fagott (OW)
4Fagott (OW)
4Cromorne (HW)
 1 blank, black stoptablet 

The totally unenclosed organ was located at the rear of the church, cantilevered high off of the back wall.

On the Hauptwerk, notes 1-12 of the 8′ Prestant are borrowed from the Pedal 8′ Kupfer Prinzipal, which forms the primary portion of the façade. The 8′ Spanische Trompete is mounted en-chamade off of the back wall above the other pipework. The 2-2/3′ Quint is a 12-pipe bass extension of the Oberwerk 1-1/3′ Nasat. The 1-3/5′ Terz is derived from the Oberwerk 2′ Gemshorn. The Terz plays for 57 notes before breaking back to 3-1/5′ pitch on note A 58.

On the Pedal, the Pedal 16′ Subbass is an extension of the Oberwerk 8′ Gedackt Floete. The pipes are made of mahogany and were built in the Balcom & Vaughan shop. The 16′ Zart Bass is the same as the 16′ Subbass, but with notes 1-12 on soft wind. The 2′ Hell Pfeife is a borrow of the Hauptwerk 2′ Flach Floete.

The Zimbelstern of 4 bells has a speed control with a toggle switch. In the center position, the zimbelstern is off even when the stoptablet is registered. In the left position, it plays on fast, and in the right position it plays on slow.

The console manuals are reverse color with ebony naturals, and sharps of rosewood with ivory caps.

Sources: Balcom & Vaughan opus list and files; and James R. Stettner on December 16, 2012.

Organ photograph by James R. Stettner in the Organ Historical Society database.

Bond rebuild and console

Balcom & Vaughan Pipe Organs, Opus 739, 1965; Bond Pipe Organs, 1998, Rebuild with Additions (Information from the Pipe Organ Database of the Organ Historical Society). In this rebuild, the original console was retained until 2014. The console replacement changed the stoplist.

Technical Details

  • Chests: Slider with direct-electric pull-downs (externally mounted)
  • 25 ranks. 1,404 pipes. 3 divisions. 2 manuals. 21 stops. 27 registers.

Main

  • Manuals: 2
  • Divisions: 3
  • Stops: 21
  • Registers: 27
  • Position: Movable console.
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Pedal Compass: 32
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style without cover.
  • Stop Controls: Stop keys above top manual.
  • Combination Action: Adjustable combination pistons.
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals, AGO standard placement.
  • Pedalboard Type: Concave radiating pedalboard meeting AGO Standards.
  • Has Combination Action Thumb Pistons
  • Has Combination Action Toe Pistons
  • Has Coupler Reversible Toe Pistons

Divisions

  • Chest Type(s): Slider with direct-electric pull-downs (externally mounted) chests
  • Position: In a gallery-level case at the rear of the room.
DivisionLengthNamePipes
Hauptwerk8Prestant49
8Rohr Floete61
 Blank 
4Oktav61
4Spill Pfeife61
2-2/3Quint12
2Flach Floete61
1-3/5Terz
IVFourniture  19-22-26-29244
8Fagott (OW)
 Zimbelstern
 Haupt. to Haupt. 16′ 
 Haupt. Unison Off 8′ 
 Haupt. to Haupt. 4′ 
 1 blank, black stoptablet 
Oberwerk8Gedackt Floete61
8Spitz Gamba61
8Schwebung (tc)49
4Weit Prinzipal61
4Quintade61
2Gemshorn61
 Blank 
8Trumpet61
8Fagott61
8Cromorne61
 Tremulant 
 Ober. to Ober. 16′ 
 Ober. Unison Off 8′ 
 Ober. to Ober. 4′ 
 1 blank, black stoptablet 
Pedal16Principal32
16Subbass32
8Kupfer Prinzipal12
8Gedackt12
 Blank 
4Koral Bass32
 Blank 
 Blank 
IIQuint Mixtur  22-2664
16Fagott Bass12
8Fagott (OW)
 Blank 
 Blank 
 1 blank, black stoptablet 

This organ as originally built by Balcom & Vaughan was also located at the rear of the church and was cantilevered high off of the back wall.

In the rebuild work by Bond Pipe Organs, the original cantilevered chests were removed, and the organ was placed in a new free-standing case of dark Peruvian walnut – styled after Greene & Greene.

Existing pipework was rescaled, revoiced, and the wind pressure was raised. The manual divisions were placed atop new electro-pneumatic, slider windchests with electric slider motors. Only the 8′ Fagott, which is borrowed to the Hauptwerk, is located on an electro-pneumatic unit chest.

The lower façade is comprised entirely of Pedal pipes. The flamed copper pipes at the corner and in the center are from the 16′ Principal/ 8′ Kupfer Prinzipal unit of 44 pipes, which are entirely new. The polished copper pipes between the center and corners are 30 pipes from the 4′ Koral Bass. Pipes 31 and 32 are directly behind the façade on the right side. The first 6 pipes of the Pedal 16′ Subbass are in the side façades. 12 of the 32 16′ Subbass pipes are from the Balcom and Vaughan instrument. The entire Pedal division is diatonically divided with the left side being the C side and the right side being the sharp (♯) side. The Pedal II Quint Mixtur is on the right side between the façade and the swellbox, and is on a chromatic chest. The unenclosed 16′ Fagott Bass extension is on the left side between the façade and the swell-box. The entire Pedal division is on electro-pneumatic unit chests. The pedal is prepared for the addition of a 16′ Posaune.

The Oberwerk is housed in the new swellbox which is surrounded by the pedal division. All three original reeds from the Balcom & Vaughan were moved to the enclosed Oberwerk during the rebuild. The Oberwerk is prepared for the addition of    a III Scharf.

The Hauptwerk is located atop the Oberwerk swellbox and has all 61 pipes of the 8′ Prestant in the façade with the other ranks behind it. The 1-3/5′ Terz is new pipework – the old one having been derived from the OW 2′ Gemshorn. The Hauptwerk is prepared for the addition of a 2′ Super Octav and an 8′ Trumpet.

The Zimbelstern of 4 bells has a speed control with a toggle switch. In the center position, the zimbelstern is off even when the stoptablet is registered. In the left position, it plays on fast, and in the right position it plays on slow.

The original console was retained. The manuals are reverse color with ebony naturals, and sharps of rosewood with ivory caps.

Sources: Bond opus list and files; and from James R. Stettner, December 16, 2012.

Console photograph by John Stump from the Organ Historical Society database.

2014 console replacement

Bond Pipe Organs Inc. (2014), originally Balcom & Vaughan Pipe Organs (Opus 739, 1965). (Information from the Pipe Organ Database of the Organ Historical Society).

Bond’s rebuild in 1998 retained the original 1965 console. A new console and switching system have now been installed. The stoplist has been slightly revised and the new control system provides multiple-memory combination action with sequencer, record-playback, and transposer. Some preparations for future additions are included. The console is of Peruvian walnut with madrone accents.

Technical Details

  • Chests: Slider with electro-pneumatic (EP) pallets (Blackinton-type)
  • 25 ranks. 1,404 pipes. 3 divisions. 2 manuals. 21 stops. 27 registers.

Console

  • Manuals: 2
  • Divisions: 3
  • Stops: 21
  • Registers: 27
  • Position: Movable console.
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Pedal Compass: 32
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style without cover.
  • Stop Controls: Tilting/rocking tablets above top manual.
  • Combination Action: Adjustable combination pistons.
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals, AGO standard placement.
  • Pedalboard Type: Concave radiating pedalboard meeting AGO Standards.
  • Has Tutti Reversible Thumb Pistons
  • Has Tutti Reversible Toe Pistons
  • Has Combination Action Thumb Pistons
  • Has Combination Action Toe Pistons
  • Has Coupler Reversible Thumb Pistons
  • Has Coupler Reversible Toe Pistons
  • Has a Piston Sequencer
Division LengthNamePipes
Great8Principal61
8Rohrflöete61
4Octave61
4Spillpfeife61
2-2/3Nasat12
2Superoctave61
1-3/5Terz61
 Mixture IV244
8Fagott (swell)
 Zimbelstern4 bells
 Great to Great 16′ 
 Great Unison Off 
 Great to Great 4′ 
 Swell to Great 16 
 Swell to Great 8 
 Swell to Great 4 
Oberwerk8Gedacktflöete61
8Spitz Gamba61
8Schwebung (tc)49
4Weit Prinzipal61
4Quintade61
2Gemshorn61
 Sharf III183 pipes
16Fagott73
8Trumpet61
8FagottExt.
8Krummhorn61
 Tremulant 
 Swell to Swell 16′ 
 Swell Unison Off 
 Swell to Swell 4′ 
Pedal32ResultantFrom Subbass
16Principal44
16Subbass44
8OctaveExt.
8Choral bassExt.
 Mixture II64
16FagottFrom Swell
8FagottFrom Swell
4FagottFrom Swell
 Great to Pedal 8’ 
 Great to Pedal 4’ 
 Swell to Pedal 8’ 
 Swell to Pedal 4’12
Church of the Redeemer logo

Church of the Redeemer

Welcome to Church of the Redeemer: Worshiping God, living in community, and reaching out to the world. We are an Episcopal Church serving north King County and south Snohomish County, Washington. As you travel your road, go with friends walking the way of Jesus at Redeemer.

Church of the Redeemer is at 6210 Northeast 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington. We are a short distance north of Bothell Way, near the Burke-Gilman Trail. The entrance looks like a gravel driveway. The campus is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. And we managed to hide a large building on the side of a hill that is not easily seen from the street.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.