From prelude to postlude, the pipe organ leads the liturgy of the Episcopal Church. It draws the congregation into song with grand tones. With just a few pipes, it leads a delicate canticle at Morning Prayer or a meditative Sanctus at the Eucharist. An air-breathing instrument, the pipe organ's music humbles yet exalts us.
Martin Pasi of Pasi Organ Builders has designed designed and built the Opus 17 especially for optimal sound in the Trinity space. Everything to make all the parts in the organ, from casting the pipes to building the casework to carving the bone for the keys, was done in Mr. Pasi's shop. Opus 17 has 3 divisions, the Great (lower keyboard) Swell (upper keyboard; volume of this division is regulated by opening and closing swell louvers) and Pedal. There are a total of 27 stops (plus the Zimbelstern, a surprise gift to Trinity by Martin Pasi). Our organ has a mechanical action (keys directly connected to the pipes, like piano keys are to the hammers) with detached console, allowing for the organist to conduct the choir from the keyboard. The blower and bellows are located in the attic of the Sacristy, and are essentially silent. Mechanical (tracker) action provides the most sensitive, stable, maintenance free design, and has been used by the virtuoso builders of the great organs of Europe, many of which have survived for centuries and are still in use today.
Builder: Pasi Organ Builders, Roy, Washington
Dedication: May 2006
1 3/5' Terz
1 1/3' Mixture IV
8' Chamade (treble)
1 3/5' Tierce
1' Mixture IV
8' Octave *
8' Trumpet *
* borrows from Great
- Normal Couplers
- 58 note manual keyboards
- 30 note pedalboard
- Suspended, mechanical key-action, self-compensating for seasonal changes
- Electric stop-action with solid state combination system
Trinity first began to study the possibility of a pipe organ in 1994, when a group of interested parishioners began to look into the possibility of a small pipe organ in the original Sanctuary (now the Chapel). After the fire of 1998, the concept of a pipe organ as the foundation for Trinity's music program continued to develop as part of the Vestry's plans to rebuild Trinity Church, and the Pipe Organ Committee was formed to look into this in a more formal way. Knowing that the acquisition of a the pipe organ would not be possible until some time after the challenges of rebuilding the Church were met, the Committee recommended installing a Walker electronic organ for interim use in the new sanctuary. This instrument would eventually be moved to the Chapel to replace the Allen electronic organ that was lost in the fire.
Design and Fundraising
After completion of the new sanctuary in 2000, the Pipe Organ Committee began its work in earnest. Martin Pasi of Pasi Organ Builders was selected as the designer and builder of our two-manual-plus-pedal mechanical tracker action organ. A contract to build the organ was signed in September of 2001, anticipating delivery in mid-2007; this long lead time, necessitated by Pasi Organs' many commitments, was later shortened to delivery in early 2006. A capital campaign went into full swing in September of 2004 and raised all of the funds necessary to complete the project.
Birth of Opus 17
Tim Harrell and several parishioners traveled to Pasi's shop in Roy Washington for the initial playing of the partially assembled organ on Thanksgiving Day, 2005, after which the organ was disassembled and packed up for transport to Trinity. The semitrailer truck arrived in Solebury on January 30, 2006, and the final on-site assembly of Pasi Opus 17 by Martin and his crew began. By Sunday, February 12, only a few stops were available, but organist Tim Harrell was able to began using the organ in the liturgical services. By March 26, nearly all the pipes were installed and voiced, and the organ was completed in time for Easter services in April. Inaugural concerts and the formal dedication were held in May.