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Home / About / Not Your Grandmother's Pipe Organ

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

Our new organ was by Norman Goad of NEG Keyboard Services (a pipe organ service and installation company) and is a landmark instrument. Norman is also FPC's Director of Music/Organist.

The publicly visible part of the project - the console has been in the sanctuary for some time now, and it is a beauty! It 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 designs along with architectural panels to match and enhance the beauty of our 1928 Gothic sanctuary.

Although the console is very traditional in its appearance, it has many hidden high- tech functions that will be unique to this instrument such as audio plug-in and MIDI record/playback of any piece of music or full concert allowing automation of music when necessary. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is the music industry standard for keyboard instruments, some modern stringed instruments, and drums, etc. The use of MIDI means that synthesizers can be played from this new console and the organ can also be played from a remote keyboard instrument.

The console is merely the control center of the instrument (much like the captain controls the jumbo jet from the plane's cockpit.) The sounds all come from the parts of the instrument that are not visible from the sanctuary pews - the pipe chambers (rooms where the pipes reside). There are thousands of wiring connections in the chambers and Norman has also repaired valves that had been water damaged. The chambers not only contain pipes, but they also feature five percussion instruments: a zimbelstern, two different types of harps and two sets of chimes.

The First Pres organ is the largest church organ in a line between Fort Worth and the California border with 4 manuals (keyboards), 158 drawknobs, 135 speaking stops (sounds) and approximately 4000 pipes in four chambers around the sanctuary. The frequency range of an organ such as this is 16 Hz (cycles per second) to frequencies well beyond the human range of hearing. The maximum range of human hearing is approximately 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

To see the Final Stop List, click here.

Did You Know...

“It is estimated that there are approximately 120,000 pipe organs in the world.”

“The new pipe organ at First Pres will be the largest one between Ft Worth and Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Houston!”

“There are only about 50 pipe organs in the world that are larger than the new one at First Pres!”

“Bigger is definitely NOT always better, but an instrument of this size AND quality will compare favorably to the best instruments in the world.”

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