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Not Your Grandmother's Pipe Organ

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

Our new organ, being built by Norman Goad of NEG Keyboard      Services (a pipe organ service and installation company) will be    a landmark instrument once finished. 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 rarely seen on pipe organs such as: Walnut/Maple drawknobs (stops)

with inlaid name plates, matching walnut sharps (normally black plastic keys), and historic E.M. Skinner dimensional and 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 to be made along with many mechanical additions and repairs in these chambers. 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 largest chamber is almost finished with approximately 1/4 of the instrument playable.

When the instrument is finished it will be 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.

SAVE THE DATE - and Plan a Glorious Night Out!

We are bursting at the seams with excitement to announce our Dedication Concert for our new organ, which was possible through a designated, generous gift from the Allison family.

On Saturday, November 17 at 5 p.m. we will host Ken Cowan, one of North America's finest concert organists for our debut concert of our organ. A Canadian native, Ken holds a Master's degree from Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He has numerous and critically-acclaimed CDs and is a member of the Shepherd School of Music keyboard faculty at Rice University.

After the concert, join us for a wonderful reception. It will surely be a night to remember!

“Cowan was at his most dazzling in transcriptions of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Overtureand Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1. Sounds shifted, swelled and diminished in apparently limitless variety, all while Cowan dispatched dizzying arrays of notes.”

- Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

“COWAN GIVES MAJESTIC LIFE TO PIPE ORGAN”

- Kalamazoo Gazette

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.”