Sanctuary Organ Project
In honor and in celebration of the church’s 225th Anniversary, we invite you to contribute to the Sanctuary Organ Project for the enhancement of our worship in the years ahead.
As we celebrate the 225th Anniversary of First Presbyterian Church, we remember the Lord’s faithfulness to us over the past two-and-a-quarter centuries and consider the future with the expectation of the Lord’s continued work. We are the benefactors of what God has established in the generations before us. We desire to be good stewards of what we have inherited and, in turn, to pass it on to the next generation. We will seek to maintain and improve upon the treasure given to us so that those who come after us will also know its value.
One of the distinctives of our congregation is the way we worship: Spirit-filled, Gospel-centered, and directed by God’s Word. Our worship is marked by joy, reverence, earnest conviction, and seriousness of purpose. Hand-in-hand with these convictions is our particular style of worship in preaching, sacraments, and song.
The core musical instrument of our worship services is the pipe organ. It supports congregational singing, accompanies the choirs, and helps us prepare for and exit worship in the form of preludes and postlude. Like automobiles and appliances, organ require routine maintenance and, over time, large-scale maintenance and improvements become necessary. In 2015 the first stage of maintenance and improvement to our Sanctuary organ was begun with the installation of a new console. However, there is still work to be done.
An important opportunity is before us to complete the organ project and fulfill a vision that began with previous organist Ron Miller. The new console is the control-half of what is needed to get a better sound out of our instrument. The other half is the pipework that has yet to be purchased and installed. Once the project is completed with the installation of new pipes and maintenance to the existing pipes, the organ will be outfitted to help lead our worship in an enhanced way for generations to come.
The Sanctuary Organ of First Presbyterian Church was installed in 1983 by the Casavant Frères organ building company of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The instrument consists of 3397 pipes, four manual keyboards, a full pedalboard, and a comprehensive array of stops and pistons at the organ console. These components come together to form an instrument capable of producing a wide variety of sounds well-suited for the organ’s roles of accompanying singing and providing music that spans the entirety of expressive range from intimate to majestic.
The organ plays a vital role in the life of First Presbyterian Church. Every Sunday it serves as the main instrument in our three Lord’s Day worship services, leading congregational singing, accompanying the choir and soloists, and providing preludes and postludes. In addition to these weekly services it also provides music for weddings, funerals, concerts, and special services throughout the year. On a daily basis it facilitates preparation for upcoming services and training of the next generation of organists in the Organ Scholars program.
Smith Chapel houses a 4-rank Möller pipe organ, installed in 1964.
Thomas A. Russell, Organist and Assistant Director of Music
Ronald E. Miller (1971-2015)
Fred H. Parker (1927-1971)
Ida H. Folk (1888-1926)