The installation of Taylor and Boody Opus 83 Pipe Organ is drawing near! As of right now, the construction process is around the 50 percent mark with a target date of September 5 to begin installation. A couple of weekends ago, I made a visit to the Taylor and Boody shop to check on the progress and meet with the builders. The shop is in a restored school building a few miles outside of Staunton, a charming town nestled in the mountains of Virginia. At this point, the structural and main components of the lower and upper cases have been built, all the metal pipes have been cast with most having been constructed, the wood for the wood pipes has been milled and planed, the wind chests are constructed, and many of the smaller components are made. They will soon begin the finer work of pipe shade carving, spire carving, key and pedal design, and other decorative details. The entire process is practically done by hand, with very few pieces made with computer assisted technology. The metal used in the pipes is melted at the shop to create the ideal combination, each metal pipe is rolled and soldered by hand, the stop knobs will be turned by hand, and the carvings will be designed and carefully carved by hand. I know a lot of words are used here that are likely new, which makes it all the more important to come visit me and the new organ after it’s installed! Joel VanderZee of Taylor and Boody testing the rank of the 4’ Spitzflöte for tone quality. He had just finished assembling the pipes before this photo was taken. By Andrew Jennings | Director of Liturgy and Music Pipe Organ Update Word Gathering Spring 2022 4 The structure of the organ’s upper case.
Opus 83 will arrive in several box trucks around September 5 and the entire organ will be laid out in the nave (the main section) of the chapel. It will take approximately two weeks to assemble the case and get the pipes in place. From there, tonal director Aaron Reichert will take charge of creating the sound of the instrument in the chapel. Each of the 2,472 pipes will get individual treatment as they get tuned and voiced. In total, it will take approximately two to two and half months to have the organ completely installed and ready for use. In early December 2022 we will have a prayer service to bless the pipe organ followed by a recital to dedicate the instrument. Dr. Mary Catherine Levri, assistant professor and director of music at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology (the Athenaeum of Ohio) will play the dedication recital. In the weeks following I will be presenting demonstration or “getting-to-know-the-organ” events. In the pictures you can see the structure of the upper case. That is my dog, Péro (short for Pérotin, and for your daily dose of music history, look up that name) who traveled with me to check on things and get plenty attention from the organ builders. You can also see Penny, the shop cat, nestled in the case. She was not all that thrilled to meet Péro, however. In the picture with the metal pipes, you can see Joel VanderZee testing the rank of the 4’ Spitzflöte for tone quality. He had just finished assembling the pipes before this photo. Sean Dye, one of the shop’s newest co-workers, is putting felt on stoppers. These stoppers will go in a rank of wooden pipes and help create the tone as well as tune the pipe. September will be here before we know it! And I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to sharing this entire process with everyone. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the new organ or the building/installation process, send me a message or hunt me down. I can talk to you about it all day!