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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
(rebuilt afer 2000 fire)

360 Interactive View Inside Chamber (drag cursor to look up/down)

Worcester Area Pipe Organs (click column names to sort rows)

First Unitarian home page

(rebuilding completed 2003-4, dedication service: January 2004)

 

First Unitarian Church of Worcester was founded in 1785. The original meeting house building at the present site was dedicated in 1851, and various pipe organs were installed in 1855, 1901 and 1922, before we installed our current Aeolian/Skinner pipe organ in 1963-64. In 2000, roof replacement work caused a steeple and roof fire which resulted in $4 million in damages to the church, and $750,000 in damages to the organ. The organ was expertly rebuilt by Russell and Co. of Vermont, with some tonal additions, and a dedication service in January 2004 and a dedicatory concert series in October 2004. In 2010 the organ was dedicated to Will Sherwood in celebration of his 25th year at First Unitarian. In 2013, a new & unique organ bench was custom built and dedicated in memory of Gordon Gurney, solo emeritus and organ curator for five decades. The bench features a flip-top seat (on hinges) which allows flexible height adjustment for different organists and allows the organist to easily stand to conduct a cappella repertoire from the console position. The organ has a total of 81 stops, and 3994 pipes in 67 ranks. With four keyboards and another "keyboard" of foot pedals, this instrument keeps the organist very busy, as he directs the choir with nods of the head.

Additional Organ history information

Below is detailed information about the various aspects and parameters for the instrument. The list of stops (ranks) in a pipe organ is call the "specs" which show the
tonal resources available for the organist.

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; prior A-S electro-pneumatic mechanical capture action "machine"
Temperament:
Equal
Tuning (a'):
440 Hz (hot summer: 447Hz)
No. stops:
81 (119 stopknob controls)
No. ranks:
67 (original 1964: 61 ranks)(in 2003 added 6 ranks of pipes, and Digital voices: 7in pedal, 1 in Choir)
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 (Casavant)
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
(Choir)(2003)
(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; Sequencer (next/last) has one programming regardless of Level selected.
Control System is Classic Organ Works

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 as well as SETTER button)
   (Hold & set: Press piston and after one second the drawknob solenoids disengage and then the system "listens" to any drawknob changes and remembers those at the time of the release of the piston)
Division cancels operated by division name tablets
French manual transfer
Pedal Divide

Mechanicals

Swell Expression
Choir Expression
Crescendo Pedal with Bar graph Indicator (three separately programmable Crescendos)
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 3 assignable reversers A-B-C (these toe studs enable particular drawknob(s) to be reversed: pull the desired stop(s) and SET like a piston to select which stop(s) the toe stud affects - it can be more than one stopknob and reverses those stopknobs).


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

Aeolian-Skinner list of Stoplists

This instrument (Op 1433) original 1964 stoplist

1964 Letter to Aeolian-Skinner company of installation complaints/punchlist - many of the voicing/regulation issues remained until the time of 2001 rebuilding

 


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