First Church of Christ, Scientist

First Church of Christ, Scientist

Knoxville, Tennessee (1994)

first-church01The first organ for the First Church of Christ, Scientist was purchased in 1927. It was a 9-rank electro-pneumatic organ unified to 15 stops and was purchased as opus 1376 from Henry Pilchers Sons of Louisville, Kentucky. The Pilcher organ served until the congregation moved to the present structure in the 1970’s. At this time, the old Pilcher was considerably altered and a Moller console was part of the rebuild.

The present organ began its life as George S. Hutchings opus 442, built about 1898 for Blaney Memorial Baptist Church of Dorchester Lower Mills, Massachusetts. It was originally built as a two manual mechanical-action (tracker) organ.

The Hutchings was electrified and altered in the 1930’s by William Laws of Beverly, Massachusetts, and continued to serve Blaney Memorial Church until it was removed by the Organ Clearing House of Harrisville, New Hampshire in the 1980’s. The Organ Clearing House made the organ available for sale, and it was purchased by First Church of Christ, Scientist in 1994. Shortly thereafter, rebuilding work was begun in the B.Rule & Company shop.

The rebuilding of the organ involved wholesale changes both in physical layout and voicing to ensure that the old Hutchings could be tailored to meet the needs of this church and the intimate auditorium. The Laws electro-pneumatic stop-actions and pull-downs were retained and rebuilt, and one stop was added to each of the two slider chests.

Through judicious rescaling and revoicing, it was possible to re-use much of the old Pilcher pipework.

This pipework was combined carefully with the Hutchings pipework and with other old quality pipework re-located through the Organ Clearing House. The remaining pipework was provided either by B.Rule & Company or built new by Paul Byron of Maine. The very intentional result is an organ which speaks in an authentic 19th century voice, a tonal style which works well for the musical requirements of the Christian Science Church.

The organ case is new and was designed and built by B. Rule & Company. Its clean lines harmonizes with the church interior. All case pipes are speaking pipes.

 

Great

Swell

8 Open Diapason 8 Gedeckt
8 Dulciana 8 Gamba
8 Chimney Flute (wd) 8 TC Celeste
4 Octave 4 Harmonic Flute
2 Fifteenth 4 Principal
Mixture III 8 Oboe
Cornet III

Pedal

16 Bourdon

Accessories

8 Principal Swell to Great
8 Bourdon Swell to Great 16
4 Principal Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Tremolo (Sw)
Skills

Posted on

August 30, 2015