Our New Chapel Organ
- David Brensinger
- Nov 13, 2012
- Category: General
- Blog Feed
Many of you have already experienced the beauty of the organ in Christ Chapel. I thought you might find some information about its ancestry interesting.
Early in the new millennium, a mechanical action organ was commissioned by Colgate University Organist Emerita Mary Ann Dodd, whose residence was a former Girl Scout camp located in Sherburne (upstate) New York. It was designed and crafted virtually from scratch by David E. Wallace & Co. whose shop is just outside of Portland, Maine, in Gorham.
Some of the pipe work of this instrument was “pre-owned:” carefully assembled by David Wallace over a period of years from a variety of sources. With happy geographic convergence, the pipes that form the nucleus of the Dodd instrument came from an 1853 organ by Alvinza Andrews, a Utica builder whose shop had, in fact, first been located in Waterville, the “next town north” of Sherburne. Originally produced for the Calvary Episcopal Church in Utica, Andrews’ nine rank organ was rebuilt by the Morey company in 1903 for the Masonic Hall in Newark, New York; then, in the late 1970’s, it was relocated to the Pacific Northwest to serve the Saint Matthew Episcopal Church in Auburn, Washington. In 2002, five of its nine ranks found their way “home” to sound again in the Dodd residence, not far from the shop in which their journey originated nearly a century and a half ago.
Sadly, Mrs. Dodd died in 2007. However, another happy convergence--the availability of the organ and the construction of Christ Chapel at Holy Innocents’--has given the instrument new life. We are blessed to have this beautiful organ with pipework which will, once again, serve God and our congregation by enhancing the liturgy of the Episcopal Church!