The firm of, Messrs. Czelusniak et Dugal, Inc., embarked on a small, but very significant, preservation project. They went to Otis, Massachusetts to remove from the former (closed) St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (of 1827) the 1-manual, 4-rank, G-compass pipe organ there, for restoration and then installation in Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), Springfield, Mass., for regular use there by David Pulliam and his music program. The instrument was built in 1833 in New Haven, Connecticut by Franklin S. Whiting,upon commission for this church in Otis, where it has survived (a rough life) ever since. The instrument was restored in 1965 by Richard C. Hamar of Connecticut, who has continued the annual maintenance of the organ ever since. Several years ago, Richard Hamar recovered the bellows-reservoir, so that system is durable as is. We found today that the covering of the underside of the windchest will have to be recovered; but, that is a manageable improvement within our established budget. Mr. Hamar assisted us today with the documentation, disassembly, and removal of the organ – which experience was exceeding valuable to our own time and ministrations. The organ remains quite original and seems to be THE singular example of Whiting’s organ building work. His short history in Barbara Owen’s book concludes with the statement that he “died of fever” in 1834! We are grateful to the Springfield Cathedral, and to Bishop Fisher, for supporting the salvation and preservation of this irreplaceable artifact. Fortunately, the future of the church structure in Otis bodes well, as those interested in purchasing it are looking at it with preservationist plans, as well.
organ keyboard 100
The Cathedral Organ, a 1953 Austin of 53 ranks in 5 divisions, has had extensive tonal work, resulting in an unusually vibrant and dramatic instrument. It features a muscular, Germanic Principal Chorus, English-style ensemble reeds in the Swell and a brilliant French Trompette in the Great, lush strings, and vividly colorful flute stops. Visually, it is highlighted by a unique freestanding 32’ Wood Open Diapason in the north transept. The organ’s effect is enhanced by the reverberant acoustic in which it stands.