Organ Renovation Project, 2014

The Project 

In early 2013, research was started into the current mechanical and musical state of the instrument after the organist noticed ongoing issues occurring since 2010.  It was discovered that numerous components of the instrument needed timely attention and others were in a more advanced state of decay.  The cause of the damage was broken into multiple categories including accelerated natural decay due to extremely dry room conditions, the quality of some of the materials, and potential human error over the 25 years of this instrument’s life.  In its current state, approximately 25% of the instrument is not operational.  A project was slowly compiled and brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees.  This project was set into two parts.  The first part addresses repairs that will bring the instrument back to full working condition, but will not improve upon the original specifications.  The second part, which purposely does not include redundant aspects from the first part, focuses on general tonal and mechanical improvements to the instrument, which will finally temper the instrument for the room and will make it more approachable for guest musicians.  The following will be an overview of the project as originally compiled by Patrick Budelier, and will include an estimated duration for work done.

Phase 1

  • Remove, re-leather, and re-install Choir C-side stop action - 5 days 
  • Remove extraneous framing; clean the organ’s accessible areas - 2 days 
  • Remove, strip, clean, and repack failed leather pipe stoppers. Repack felted metal caps (retaining original felt as possible) - 4 days
  • Remedial voicing and regulation of flues and reeds - 4-5 days 
  • Regulate key, coupler, and duplex actions - 3 days 
  • Install shoeboards for Swell and Choir mixtures - 1 day    
  • Through-tune the entire organ - 5 days 
  • Miscellaneous repairs (Tremulants, Orgaflex tubing, blower filtration) - 2 days

Estimated Total for Part 1 - $25,360.00

Phase 2

New Multi-level Capture System: Custom-built for FUMC by Solid State Organ Systems, Alexandria, VA.  Installation, including processor, wiring, and console display by Patrick Budelier and Carroll Hanson.  100 levels of memory with scope (which allows the organist to reconfigure existing console pistons and studs, e.g. converting divisionals to generals).  Minimizes (expensive) alterations to the console and maximizes flexibility - 2 months for fabrication, 7-14 days for installation

New Swell-Shade Operators: 16-state RC-150 built by Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Alsip, IL; installed by Budelier and Hanson.  Allows much smoother and reliable opening and closing of shutters; capability for much greater musical expression.  Compared to existing system (which is on its last legs), the RC-150s are much easier to install and adjust, are more robust and will lower service costs over the years - 2-4 days 

New Chime Action:  A low-voltage control with the capability to playchimes from one of the organ manuals.  Will replace aging, balky, high-current action, wiring runs, and sub-standard plastic detached keyboard. Eliminate possibility of sparking and shocks when playing chimes. Chime action and keying cable from Peterson Electro-Musical; installed by Budelier and Hanson, including interfacing the chime driver with the mechanical key action via reed switches or micro switches - 4 days for installation

Engraved Indicator Plates: Labels for function of toe-studs and other registration aids.  From Peterson Electro-Musical or Organ Supply Industries (Erie, PA) - 2 weeks for engraving order, 1 day for installation  

Re-voicing of Chorus Reeds: (Great 8’ Trumpet; Pedal 8’ Trumpet and 16’ Posaune).  Work to be done by A.R. Schopp’s Sons (Alliance,OH) or Casavant Frères (Saint-Hyacinthe, QC).  Currently, these ranks detract from the musical effect of the instrument.  They blend poorly and are “wild” – excessively noisy, unfocused, and bright for the and acoustics of the FUMC sanctuary.  Furthermore, each rank is out of regulation “with itself” – timbre, volume, and attack can vary widely from one note to the next.  With new shallots, tongues, and possible voicing caps on the Posaune, the re-voiced ranks would have a rich, dark timbre, more prominent fundamental, and less clatter and “ping” – all without a reduction in carrying power and gravitas.  Because re-voicing all three chorus reed ranks would profoundly improve the tonal character of the organ given the acoustics of the space, it is recommended in place of the original plan, which was to convert the bottom 12 notes of the Pedal Posaune from half to full-length resonators - Up to 2 months at the shop, 4 days removal and reinstall 

Estimated Total for Part 2 - $79,600.00 

Estimated Total for Entire Project $104,960.00

Estimate Does Not Include Money For Future Maintenance Fund 

Total Project Goal: $115,000