Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Trinity Episcopal Church

Aeolian-Skinner organ, Op. 1240 (1951) in Trinity Episcopal Church (Bethlehem, PA)
Trinity Episcopal Church (Bethlehem, PA)
Aeolian-Skinner organ, Op. 1240 (1951) in Trinity Episcopal Church (Bethlehem, PA)
Trinity Episcopal Church (Bethlehem, PA)
Builder:        Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Inc.
   Year:        1951
   Opus:        1240
No. manuals:    3
No. stops:      30
No. ranks:      25
No. pipes:      1,599
                GREAT ORGAN                          SWELL ORGAN
             8' Principal           61            8' Rohrflöte           68
             8' Bourdon             61            8' Viole de Gamba      68
             4' Octave              61            8' Viole Celeste (TC)  56
             4' Flute Harmonique    61            4' Spitzflöte          68
            II  Grave Mixture      122 a        III  Plein Jeu          183
                                                 16' Contre Hautbois     68
                CHOIR ORGAN                       8' Trompette           68
             8' Cor de Nuit         68            4' Clairon             68
             8' Gemshorn            68 b             Tremulant
             8' Dulciana            68
             8' Unda Maris (TC)     56               PEDAL ORGAN
             4' Koppelflöte         68           32' Resultant           --
         2 2/3' Nazard              61           16' Contre Basse        32
             2' Blockflöte          61           16' Rohrbourdon         12 SW
             8' Cromorne            61            8' Octave              12
                Tremulant                         8' Rohrflöte           SW
                                                  4' Choralbass          12
                                                 16' Contre Hautbois     SW
                                                  8' Contre Hautbois     SW
                                                  4' Contre Hautbois     SW

             a  changed to IV Fourniture, 1972
             a  changed to 1 3/5' Tierce, 1972



Source: Allen Kinzey

Notes: The following information is from the church website:

"The Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ was built in Boston 1954-55. When the construction of a new organ for Trinity Church was initially proposed, a two-manual organ was projected. However, in the process of negotiating a contract for an organ that would suit the needs of Trinity Church, the specifications grew, and ultimately an organ of three manuals was built. Bill Zeuch, who was vice-president of Aeolan-Skinner, originally designed the organ. The original conract to build the organ at a cost of $28,430 was signed in August 1951. To accommodate such an instrument, structural changes were necessary in the chancel area of the church. Aeolian-Skinner, at the time with a two-year backlog, was willing to accept the church's request for a three-year payment period during which time funding for structural changes could be arranged and implemented.

In March of 1954, the church authorized the engineering and production to commence. The cost of the organ was increased to $30,793 and installation took place in the fall of 1955. Mr. Zeuch had retired and the project was taken over by G. Donald Harrison. Harrison proposed modifications to the original specifications. A Swell Rohrflöte replaced the originally proposed Stopped Diapason because this type of tone blends better with the strings and gives a quasi-Principal effect in the Swell. And a 4' Spitzflöte replaced the originally proposed Flute Triangulaire, because as the only 4' flue stop in the Swell, it is a hybrid stop acting both as a flute and as a Principal. In the Choir, an 8' Cor de Nuit was selected to replace a Concert Flute for the purpose of blending with the mutations and the Cromorne. In the Pedal, the 16' Rohrbourdon was extended from the Swell instead of having an independent 16' Bourdon of 32 pipes. This allowed the stop to be under expression for accompanying the strings of the instrument. The 8' Rohrflöte was also borrowed from the Swell for soft work. A 4' Choralbass was added to give the Pedal organ a 4' flue stop which Harrison felt was extremely important in carrying the impact of the Pedal Organ.

In 1971, Mr. Arthur Birchall, for many years a leading finisher with Aeolian-Skinner, was in Bethlehem working on an installation for another builder. In visiting Trinity Church and the organ on which he had a part in its construction, he agreed with the feasibility of modifying the Great to provide a 4-rank Fourniture in place of the 2-rank Grave Mixture and install a 1 3/5' Tierce in place of the 8' Gemshorn in the Choir organ. The pipes were crafted by a former Aeolian-Skinner pipemaker who worked with Mr. Harrison prior to the dissolution of the company. The installation was completed by Mr. Birchall in the Fall of 1972 with splended results.

In 1979 the combination action in the console began to need attention. In the spring of 1986 the need for re-leathering the chests became more and more obvious. A contract was ultimately awarded to John Hendriksen, who had joined Aeolian-Skinner in the early 1950s. The work commenced in the spring of 1987 and was completed in the summer. In 1993 all reeds of the organ were cleaned, repaired and re-regulated by Mr. Hendriksen.

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