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Home / About / Not Your Grandmother's Pipe Organ

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Get Free Tickets for the
Organ Concert

for more information about Ken Cowan, visit his website

Generous Allison family Designated Gift Allows for World-Class Pipe Organ

At First Presbyterian Church, the pipe organ is a valuable tool in accompanying choir and congregation in Traditional worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Norman Goad, FPC's Director of Music & Organist, is also owner of NEG Keyboard Services Company which rebuilt our organ in 2018. The organ at FPC has a history dating back to the 1927 church building. The previous major rebuild, in 1990, was by Dan Garland Co. of Ft. Worth. The Dan Garland/Norman Goad organ is truly a landmark instrument! NEG Keyboard Services has done extensive work repairing, tuning, and restoring fire and water damage on organs in churches in the Panhandle, South Plains, Permian Basin, Beaumont (Coastal Plains) of Texas and in Eastern New Mexico.


​The publicly visible part of our instrument, the console, is a beauty and has many custom features such as: Walnut/Maple drawknobs (stops) with inlaid name plates, matching walnut sharps (normally black plastic keys), and historic E.M. Skinner architectural features along with architectural wood panels to match and enhance the beauty of our 1928 Gothic sanctuary.


​The console is stunningly beautiful, and, although it is very traditional in its appearance, it has many hidden high-tech functions that are unique to this instrument such as audio plug-in, Bluetooth & direct-in audio, Bluetooth MIDI and record/playback of music or even a full concert.

MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is the music industry standard for keyboard instruments, special stringed instruments, drums, and lighting automation. The use of MIDI means that synthesizers can play from the console and the organ (the pipes!) can also play from a remote keyboard instrument. The audio plug-in feature allows the sound from outboard electronic instruments to play THROUGH THE PIPE ORGAN via the Walker Technical Co. system (a high-resolution audio system).


The console is merely the control center of the instrument, much like the jumbo jet which the captain controls from the plane's cockpit. The music all comes from the pipe chambers which are not visible from the sanctuary pews. There are thousands of wiring connections in the chambers - much like the telephone system in a small village! Our pipe chambers contain not only pipes, but also six percussion instruments: a zimbelstern (with tiny, tuned handbells), two distinct types of harps, a celesta and two sets of chimes, both in the chancel and the balcony.


​The FPC organ is one of the fifty largest organs in the world and is the largest one between Fort Worth and the California border with 4 manuals (keyboards), 117 ranks (rows of pipes), 158 drawknobs, 135 speaking stops (sounds) and almost 4000 pipes in four chambers around the sanctuary.

Listeners often comment about this powerful instrument with its 32-foot bass stops which one can feel as they move the air in the room. The upper frequencies (and their harmonics) extend well beyond the top end of human hearing. The wide range of frequencies is only one aspect of an organ that makes it unique among musical instruments.


It is no wonder Mozart once praised the pipe organ, writing, “in my eyes and ears… it is the king of instruments.”

To see the Stop List, click here

Did You Know...

"There is great mystery surrounding the pipe organ, but it is basically a wind instrument with air-blown pipes, each one making one pitch, which, when combined, make music."


“It is estimated that there are approximately 120,000 pipe organs in the world with the instrument at First Pres Amarillo being one of the 50 largest!”

“The organ at First Pres is the largest in an area from Ft Worth to Los Angeles and Salt Lake City to Houston!”


“While bigger is not always better, an instrument of this size AND quality will compare favorably to some of the best instruments in the world.”


"The earliest pipe organs got their air pressure using water as weights and were called the "hydraulis."


"The pipe organ was the first keyboard instrument and appears to date back to 3rd century BC."


"The oldest organ in existence (not in playing condition, but on display in the Archaeological Museum of Dion in Central Macedonia, Greece), 'the hydraulis of Dion', dates back to the 2nd century AD."

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