Trinity Episcopal Church, Newtown, CT

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Our Organ

The Austin Pipe Organ, Opus 2652, is the fourth instrument in the present Trinity Church, but only the second pipe organ. In 1870 George Jardine of New York built a pipe organ for the then new church. By the 1950’s, this instrument was in poor condition, and was followed by two unsuccessful electronic imitations. The Austin organ is the result of an exhaustive one and one-half year study of the organ situation and a forty-five page report which the Organ Commission submitted to the Vestry. The Austin organ was chosen from among the several possible builders because of a history of reliability, and because of the tonal beauty and versatility revealed in such other Austin organs as those of Trinity College Chapel, Hartford, and Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, PA.

The instrument is conceived largely as one which can with variety and subtlety accompany and enhance the liturgy and choral tradition of the Episcopal Church. However, the inclusion of stops (voices) necessary to the correct performance of the concert organ literature of four centuries has not been neglected. Therefore, we have in this two manual (two keyboard) instrument a tonal and dynamic range sometimes not achieved even in larger organs. The stoplist was drawn up by Frederick Krieger, former music minister of Trinity, in consultation with Frederick L. Mitchell, Vice President of Austin Organs, and David A. J. Broome, Vice President and Tonal Director.

The organ is located in the West gallery, as was the Jardine organ, speaking down the length of the nave. The majority of the pipework is on two levels in the central tower area: The Récit orgue (upper keyboard) on the bottom, behind the carved wooden grill; and Grand Orgue (lower keyboard) and Pédale on the second level. Pédale Soubasse and Bombarde reeds are on south and north sides, respectively, and Montre 16 is displayed in the façade. The console is built of solid American black walnut, and contains a wealth of mechanical devices giving the organist instantaneous control over the resources of the entire organ. The console is moveable and connected to the windchess by a 22-foot cable. Wind is provided at 2 ¾, 3 ½, and 4 inches by Zephyr blower, located two floors below. The 2, 369 pipes are arranges in 43 ranks (rows) and are made of tin-lead alloy, zinc, brass, poplar and mahogany.

- from the program for the Inaugural Recital, May 8, 1981, played by Douglas R. Major of Washington National Cathedral.


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Trinity Church, Newtown, Connecticut