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First Unitarian Church, Worcester, Massachusetts
90 Main Street 01608       508.757.2708


First Unitarian Æolian-Skinner Pipe Organ

A-S Opus 1433, 1964

water damaged by fire 6/17/00
(rebuilding completed 2003-4, dedication service: January 2004)

 

First Unitarian of Worcester was founded in 1785.  The present meeting house was dedicated in 1851 and a large 2m E & G G Hook, Op 184, was installed in 1855.  It was replaced in 1901 by a Steere III/38, which was, in 1922, replaced by Casavant Op. 936, a 4-manual.  The building was virtually destroyed in the New England Hurricane of September 1938 when the steeple crashed through the roof, smashing the crossbeams and demolishing the center structure. Luckily, the organ escaped serious harm and was removed quickly within two days.  The Casavant was replaced in 1963-4 by the Aeolian-Skinner, re-using a few Casavant ranks.

In 2000, roof-replacement work caused a steeple and roof fire that resulted in about $4M damage to the sanctuary, and $750K to the A-S.  It was rebuilt by Russell & Co. of Vermont, with some tonal additions, and a service of dedication held in January 2004, with a dedicatory concert series in October 2004.

In 2010, the instrument was dedicated in honor of Will Sherwood, ChM, AAGO, Director of Music for 25 years.

Additional Organ history information

Schematic locations of stops on drawknob jambs:   left jamb,   right jamb
Information for substitute service organists

Console type:
Detached
2003-4: Moved back to center balcony (original Casavant orientation)
Stop controls:
Drawknob (Harris)
Pedals type:
Radiating, concave
Action
Pitman chests
  Key:
Electro-Pneumatic
Stop:
1997: Harris solenoid drawknobs/tilting tablets,
2003: Classic Organ Works
capture memory, relay & midi interface
formerly 1995  SSL capture action memory
Temperament:
Equal
Tuning (a'):
440 Hz
No. stops:
81
No. ranks:
67 (2003 + 7 Digital voices in pedal, 1 in Choir) (original 1964: 61 ranks)
No. pipes:
 3994      (Original 1964: 3453)

2003-4 rebuilding tonal alterations are shown in red.


Great Organ (Exposed)

61 Notes, Manual II

16
8
8
8
8
4
4
2


8
8

  Gemshorn
Diapason
Principal
Bourdon
Gemshorn
Octave
Flute Harmonique
Fifteenth
Fourniture IV
Cymbel III  
Trompet
Major Trumpet
MIDI on Great
A-S
2003
A-S
A-S
A-S(Ext.) 12 Pipes
A-S
A-S
A-S
A-S 244 Pipes
A-S 183 Pipes
2003
A-S (Choir)(No Coupling)
2003
Duplex access deleted: Major Clarion 4' (Choir)

Swell Organ (under expression, whiffle tree)

61 Notes, Manual III

16
8
8
8
8
8
8
4
4
2

16
8
8
8
4


 

Rohr Bass
Principal
Rohrflote
Spitzviol
Viol Celeste
Flauto Dolce
Flute Celeste (Tenor C)
Prestant
Flute Ouverte
Octavin
Plein Jeu IV
Fagott
Fagott
Voix Humaine
Trumpet (**) 
Clarion
Tremulant
Swell 16'
Swell Unison Off
Swell 4'
MIDI on Swell

A-S (Ext.) 12 Pipes
A-S
A-S
A-S
A-S 61 Pipes
CF
CF 49 Pipes
A-S
A-S
A-S
A-S 244 Pipes
A-S
A-S (Ext.) 12 Pipes
1964: from A-S Trinity Lutheran NYC
A-S (2003: 8, 4 reeds swapped to balance scaling)
A-S
(A-S type, EP)



2003
**(to increase 8' scale, swap existing larger scale clarion pipes of the same physical pipe length)

Choir Organ (under expression, whiffle tree)

61 Notes, Manual I

8
  Doppelflute Moller (added 1997; 2003 moved into choir box)
8
8
8
4
4
4
2 2/3
2
1 3/5

8
8



  Cor de Nuit
Viola Pomposa
Viola Celeste
Principal

Rohrflote
Spitzflote
Nasard

Blockflote
Tierce
Mixtur III
Clarinet
English Horn

Tremulant
Choir 16'
Choir Unison Off
Choir 4'
MIDI on Choir
A-S
A-S
A-S
2003
2003 new pipes
A-S
2003 new pipes
A-S (2003: revoiced)
A-S
A-S 183 Pipes
A-S (2003 from Higgins Estate Aeolian, Worcester)
Walker Digital Voice (trem. & expression)
(A-S type, EP)



2003

Delete: Cromorne 8' (moved to positiv)

Positiv Organ (Exposed)

61 Notes, Manual IV

8
8
4
4
2
2
1 1/3
2 2/3+1 3/5

8
8
16
8
4
  Doppelflute
Pommer Gedeckt
Geigen Principal
Koppelflote
Hellflote
Octave
Larigot
Sesquialtera II
Zimbal III
Cromorne
Clarinet
Major Trumpet t.c.
Major Trumpet
Major Clarion
Positiv 16'
Tremulant
MIDI on Positiv

from Choir
A-S (low 6 offset)
A-S
A-S (caps tapered; low 12 no holes in caps)
A-S (tapered)
A-S (2003)
A-S
A-S (chest prep bass octave; pipes t.c. for now)
A-S 183 Pipes
A-S (relocated from choir chest)
(Choir)
A-S (add duplex
access)(No Coupling)
A-S (Choir)(No Coupling)
A-S (Choir)(No Coupling)
2003
(A-S offset counterbalance motor on reservoir)
2003

Delete: Tremulant(Choir, originally for Doppelflute winding)

Pedal Organ -- 32 Notes

32
32
32
32
16
16
16
16
16
8
8
8
8
4
4
4

32
32
16
16
8
8
8
4
4

  Principal
Bourdon

Lieblich
Violone
Principal

Violone
Bourdon
Gemshorn
Rohr Bass
Principal
Gemshorn
Bourdon
Rohrflote
Choral Bass
Gemshorn
Nachthorn
Mixtur III
Kontra Fagott
Kontra Posaune
Bombarde
Fagott
Trompette
Clarinet
Fagott
Clarion
Fagott
MIDI on Pedal
Walker Digital
Walker Digital
Walker Digital
Walker Digital
Walker Digital
Walker Digital
A-S
A-S (Great)
A-S (Swell)
A-S
A-S (Great)
A-S (Ext.) 12 Pipes
A-S (Swell)
A-S
A-S (Great)
2003 (independent)
A-S 96 Pipes
A-S (Swell Ext.) -- 12 Pipes
Walker Digital
A-S (2003: raise wind pressure)
A-S (Swell)
(Ext. from Bombarde) -- 12 Pipes
Walker Digital(Choir)
(Choir)
A-S(Ext. from Bombarde) -- 12 Pipes
A-S (Swell)
2003

Delete: Resultant 32' (principal-based)
Delete pipes: Bourdon 32' -- 10 Pipes(CCCC, CCCC# were resultant) (1964 A-S had stopped 10 pipes of the Casavant open 16')
Delete duplex access: Gemshorn 2' (Great)
Delete duplex access: Cromorne 2' (Choir)
Delete: Quint 5 1/3'
Delete: Principal 16' -- 12 Pipes (never had been satisfactory, overblown, cut-ups too high, etc.)

 

Console

Adjustable bench
"Tracker Touch" springs under each key

Couplers

Great to Pedal 8'
Swell to Pedal 8'
Choir to Pedal 8'
Positiv to Pedal 8'
Swell to Pedal 4'
Choir to Pedal 4'
Pedal to Great 8'
Swell to Great 16'
Swell to Great 8'
Swell to Great 4'
Choir to Great 16'
Choir to Great 8'
Choir to Great 4'
Positiv to Great 8'
Positiv to Swell 8'
Swell to Choir 16'
Swell to Choir 8'
Swell to Choir 4'
Positive to Choir 8'

Combinations
Replace: Old SSL 32-Level capture action with adjustable crescendo and sfzorando (installed 1995)
New capture action, integrated with key action solid state, including MIDI (record/playback, MIDI voices, & remote console)
99 Levels

Swell -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 0
Great -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 0
Choir --1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 0
Positiv -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 0
Couplers -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 0
Pedal -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 0 (Toe studs duplicated by thumb pistons)
General 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11,12,13,14,15,16 (Thumb pistons)
General 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (no: 6 thru 10)    11,12,13,14,15 (Toe studs)
General Cancel
Setter Thumb Piston (includes traditional hold-and-set feature)
Division cancels operated by division name tablets.

Mechanicals

Swell Expression
Choir Expression
Crescendo Pedal with Bar graph Indicator
Full-Organ Reversible Piston and toe stud with Light Indicator

Reversible Thumb Pistons and Toe Pedals:

Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal
Positiv to Pedal
Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Positiv to Great
Bourdon 32'
Fagotto 32' (Contra Fagotto)

Additional 2 assignable reversers (these enable particular drawknob(s) to be reversed).

Aeolian-Skinner list of Stoplists

This instrument (Op 1433) original 1964 stoplist


More information about First Unitarian:



First Unitarian home page    Music at First Unitarian

E-mail: info@firstunitarian.com
Phone: 1+508.757.2708
Fax: 1+508.753.9332
Mail: 90 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608-1173  USA

The Reverend Sarah Stewart, Minister(2014-)
The Reverend Barbara W. Merritt, Minister Emerita
Will Sherwood, AAGO, ChM, Director of Music & Organist
James Haupt,Assistant Director of Music
Paul Ropp, Music Committee Chair

Hosted by: SherwoodWeb.com