Organs

Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church, Ancaster ON

Wallace & Co. Opus 78 (2018)

The church was built in 1994 in a modern style, with a good acoustic and seating for 500. Initially the church had an electronic instrument, and the David Wallace company of Maine was commissioned to build a new organ in 2017. It was designed to support strong congregational singing, as well as offer a wide range of stops. These include an 8′ trumpet (Gt), 8′ Sw Oboe, and a 16′ Pedal Trombone. The action is all mechanical, both keys and stops, and the Swell division is under expression. The result is an historically informed 21st century tracker organ designed with the demands of the modern organist in mind. The instrument was dedicated at a major combined service in October 2018.

Address: 575 Shaver Road, Ancaster ON, L9G 3K9

Website:  ancasterchurch.on.ca

Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, Guelph ON

Casavant Frères, Opus 796 (1919) – III/51, Expanded (2014) Vanderzee

Built in Saint-Hyacinthe, PQ just before the retirement of the founding brothers, the organ presented genuine European 19th century voices. The 2014 expansion added three digital stops, plus a few ranks of pipes, and modernized the console, which now has 250 memory levels and a full range of pistons, giving maximum flexibility to the organist. The instrument is very well suited to romantic music, with a wide range of sonorities, plus the ability to crescendo from very quiet to a thrilling climax, capped by blazing reeds such as trumpets. There is a fine spectrum of solo stops which can blend together to offer a wide tonal palette.

Website: basilicaofourlady.com

Baylor University’s Markham Organ Studio, Waco TX

Létourneau Opus 34 (1993) – III/30

This fine mechanical action instrument is in regular use by Baylor organ students and faculty, and is voiced to match the room. It is unchanged since its installation in 1993.

Website: baylor.edu/music/index.php?id=955612

Cathedral Church of St. James, Toronto ON

Samuel R. Warren (1888), Rebuilt as Casavant Opus 1530 (1936, 1966), Expanded (1976, 1979, 1999, 2001) – IV/87

The present Gothic Revival Cathedral from 1853 replaced two earlier wooden churches destroyed by fire. The organ was built originally in 1888 by the Samuel R. Warren Company of Montréal, Québec, and then expanded and maintained through the first three quarters of the 20th century by Casavant Frères of St. Hyacinthe, Québec. The solid-state console was built by J.W. Walker of England in 1979. Additions were done in 1976 by L.I. Phelps and Associates and in 1999 by Andrew Mead. There is a large, colourful antiphonal division on the rear wall of the Cathedral.

Website: stjamescathedral.on.ca

Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton ON

Casavant Opus 321 (1908, 1982, 1999) – IV/80

Built in 1908 in Beaux-Arts style by John M. Lyle, the Paris-trained architect, the imposing building is symmetrical and well-proportioned. Its most distinctive features – semi-circular stairwells to balconies at the ends of each transept, an elegant, open-arch tower and a tapering, octagonal spire – offset the flat wall surfaces and create a striking external profile. The organ has four manuals plus a floating Echo division. Installed in 1908 as the second complete Casavant organ in Hamilton, it is generally considered the finest in the city. Tonal revisions were carried out by Alan T. Jackson, of Toronto, in 1982 and 1999. The console was rebuilt in 2008, with 250 memory levels, MIDI, and recording playback.

Address: 165 Charlton Avenue W (at Caroline), Hamilton ON, L8P 2C8

Website: cpchamilton.ca

 

Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton ON

Casavant Opus 1048 (1924), Revised 1962 and 1998

The Anglican Cathedral of Christ’s Church was founded in 1842 and the present building erected in High Victorian Gothic style in 1876. Casavant Op. 1048 was installed in 1924, and there were tonal alterations and a new console installed by J. G. Dubé for Casavant in 1962. The Choir division was revised by Alan T. Jackson for Casavant in 1998. The present organ is III/58, with a fine tonal range. Action is all EP, and expression pedals are provided for Sw, Ch and Crescendo.

Website: cathedralhamilton.ca

Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto ON

Breckles & Matthews (1905) – III/27, Rebuilt by Casavant (1980) – III/51, Renovated (2017) John G. Struve Company

Healey Willan was organist from 1921 to 1968. During his extraordinary tenure the Tuba was installed, and the console moved up to the choir gallery. Under his successor, Giles Bryant, the organ was rebuilt and expanded from 28 stops to 51. In 1980 the organ was rededicated as the Healey Willan Memorial Organ. The console and action were rebuilt in 2017 and extensive tonal improvements were made.

Website:  stmarymagdalene.ca

Church of the Resurrection, New York City NY

Casavant Opus 665 (1916), Rebuilt by Organ Clearing House (2009) III/50

Resurrection’s organ is a rebuilt vintage Casavant (1916) pipe organ originally installed in the cavernous basement chapel of the Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Lewiston, Maine. The organ campaign, begun in 2005 and completed in 2007, resulted in donations from parishioners, school families, and the Friends of the Resurrection across the country and around the world. Work on the organ began in 2007; the first services with the new organ were held at Christmas 2009.

In addition to the 1916 pipes by Casavant, the organ contains a French Horn by E. M. Skinner originally in a church upstate in the 1920s, a pedal Bourdon in the chancel chamber originally built by E. M. Skinner for his organ of 1924 at Resurrection, three ranks of pipes from the McManis organ of 1962 which have been rebuilt, and several new ranks of pipes built as replicas of unique stops of the period in which the bulk of this organ was built, including the Tuba Mirabilis & Flûte Harmonique.

Website:  resurrectionnyc.org/

CIOC Bach-Mobile, Montreal QC

Hauptwerk

In the fall of 2020, with funding from the Conseil des arts de Montréal, CIOC acquired a digital organ and trailer, christened the “Bach-Mobile.” The console is a Hauptwerk organ, which can be set up to give the sounds of different organs that have been electronically sampled. The trailer has its own power supply and the sound is heard through speakers mounted on the trailer, or it can be recorded directly for higher quality. The trailer can readily be moved around the Montreal area to give pop-up outdoor concerts, which always attract a crowd, completely transforming the concept of an organ concert! Thanks to the talents of the CIOC team and film crew, the Bach-Mobile videos were a huge success, garnering nearly 16,000 views in October 2020 alone.

Website: ciocm.org/en

Coventry Cathedral, Coventry UK

Harrison & Harrison (1959), Renovated (1986) – IV/74

The 1950’s arguments in favour of romantic or neo-classical style meant much controversy before the specification of the organ as it stands – the work of Sidney Campbell in conjunction with Cuthbert Harrison – was agreed in 1959. The organ is therefore something of a compromise, but in a busy cathedral where many demands are placed upon it – recitals, daily services, major events with capacity congregation – it fulfills its role admirably and is held in high regard.

Website:  coventrycathedral.org.uk/wpsite

Holy Family Church, Toronto ON

Gabriel Kney (1970) / Gober Organs (2001) – III/55

The organ was originally built in the 1970’s by Gabriel Kney & Co. for a large music room in a London ON residence. Following the destruction by fire of the previous church, together with its Brunzema organ, this residence organ was acquired by the church and placed in storage until the new building was completed in 2001. The Rückpositiv case remains unchanged. Gober Organs designed and built an entirely new Great façade case and pipes whose design echoes the Rückpositiv. Virtually every rank of pipes was increased in scale and tonally modified. The result is a warm and intensely colourful tone, which is in harmony with the elegant appearance of the façade and worthy of the rich acoustics of the new church.

Website:  oratory-toronto.org/holy-family-parish

St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, New York City NY

Aeolian-Skinner Opus 275 (1918, 1935), Renovated (2005) – V/168

Today’s splendid instrument, the largest in New York, was originally built by Ernest M. Skinner in 1918, and has been expanded several times, until its final rebuild in 1971 by Aeolian-Skinner. The organ comprises 168 stops, 225 ranks and 12,422 pipes and is tonally unchanged since 1971. During the Spring of 2006, a new, movable five-manual console was installed, complete with electronic memory aids. Most pipes are located in the Chancel, and the Celestial division is located high in the dome.

Website:  stbarts.org

St. Basil’s Church – St. Michael’s College, Toronto ON

Casavant Opus 800/2578 (1919/1981), Revised 1962, 1981, 2017

St. Basil’s Church, built in 1856, is the founding church of the Congregation of St. Basil in Toronto, the college church of St. Michael’s College, and a parish church serving a large local congregation. Prior to 1919 there was a Warren organ in the gallery, which obscured the rose window. The 2017 improvements included tonal enhancements to give greater clarity to the sound and installing 250 memory levels.

Website:  stbasiltoronto.org

St. Clement Parish at Église Sainte-Anne, Ottawa ON

Casavant Opus 701 (1914, 1988) – III/43

Église Sainte-Anne was founded in 1872, and became St. Clement in 2012. The organ was built by Casavant in 1914, and improved in 1917. Major renovations were carried out in 1988 by Casavant, including adding electronic memory levels. The instrument is mounted in the west end gallery, and speaks straight down the length of the church, which is in the Romanesque style, projecting simplicity and piety.

Website:  stclement-ottawa.org/en/home

St. Joseph’s Church, Hamilton ON

Casavant Opus 1780 (1945), Expanded (2005) – II/29

Founded in 1894, on the then lightly-populated Western edge of the city, St. Joseph’s is today the heart of a busy and popular area of Hamilton. The renovated interior is light and spacious, with the organ and choir loft in the west end gallery. The large two manual Casavant instrument speaks well into the church.

Website: stjosephhamilton.church

South Main Baptist Church, Houston TX

Nichols & Simpson, Inc. (2017) – IV/64

The original Kilgen organ, installed in 1935, needed repairs and enhancement, so was replaced in 2017 by today’s Nichols & Simpson IV/64, which re-used the best pipes from its predecessor, and added a few digital stops. The String division is floating and expressive, with seven ranks of strings, and unusually, tubas at 8 and 16’.

Website:  smbc.org/

West End Christian Reformed Church, Edmonton AB

Létourneau Opus 23 (1991) – II/35

This classic mechanical action instrument is ideally positioned at the front of the church, where it is easy to have an adjacent piano. The current building was erected in 1991, with the organ included in the design from the beginning. There is a good acoustic, and the organ is voiced to support enthusiastic hymn singing, as well as including some unusual stops and delicate effects.

Website:  westendcrc.ca

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Organ Festival Canada: Hamilton 2021 also gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Summer Jobs Program
and the Member of Parliament for Hamilton West - Ancaster - Dundas, the Honourable Filomena Tassi.

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