Casavant Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec was selected by the Organ Advisory Committee in 2021 to build our new pipe organ. The company was founded in 1879, and has hand crafted organs throughout the world, including one for the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Strait Cultural Arts Center in Fuzhou (China), the Maison Symphonique de Montréal, and churches, schools, and symphonic halls worldwide. Over the years, Casavant has built or refurbished over 4,000 organs, using traditional methods passed down through generations.
A discussion about the organ with Music Director Dr. Joseph Causby
About Our Organ
Casavant has made a design for our new pipe organ customized to our space. Though the number of pipes in the Casavant organ will be only slightly larger than that of the existing organ, the selection, sizing, and positioning of those pipes will be very different. Of particular importance, Casavant’s design distributes the organ around the room, with components in the existing organ chamber on the left side of the chancel, in a new organ chamber to be constructed on the right side of the chancel, and in a new chamber to be constructed at the back of the nave, above the tower room, with an opening into the worship space (the Antiphonal division).
Renderings of the new organ chambers
This arrangement, together with more appropriate sizing of pipes and placement of pipes in the chambers, will ensure that the organ can deliver the right amount and kind of sound to the nave to support congregational singing. Though the stoplist was designed around the liturgical role of accompanying singing, the organ will also be able to play most of the organ solo literature with authenticity, allowing recitals and organ instruction. Training young organists both within the parish and from UNC is an important additional mission for our instrument, and this organ should fulfill that mission well.
The organ project will fund not only the building and installation of the organ, but the many structural needs to accommodate it, namely the construction of the two new organ chambers. The right chancel chamber will require the movement of a staircase in the Battle building and a redesign of the space adjacent to the chancel to provide proper support for the instrument and negotiate various needs, such as moving HVAC equipment and building a new acolyte closet.
Finally, the project includes a maintenance endowment for the new instrument of at least $100,000 to ensure its longevity, with routine maintenance expected in regular intervals.