Events in February
Two Events! Sunday Recital, Monday Regular Meeting with Lecture
Organist Frederick Hohman returns to his hometown to give the dedicatory recital at Third Baptist Church. Fred studied organ with our long-time member of the Guild, Charles Cordeal, Director of Music and Organist of Mary, Queen of Peace in Webster Groves. Hohman served as Assistant Organist at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves for a few years in the early 1970s. While at Emmanuel, he gave recitals in July 1973, January 1974 and August 1974, receiving at least two reviews in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by various writers working under chief music critic at that time, Mr. Frank Peters. His parents still reside in Saint Charles. On Monday, he will present a lecture on transcribed organ music to the members of the guild.
The following article was given to me by Brent Johnson, organist at Third Baptist Church. When I asked Brent for some information about the organ and the rebuild, I had no idea I would get this in return! I would like to thank Brent for doing this on such short notice.
The first organ in Third Baptist was built by Kilgen in 1920. The funds were raised on Mother's Day in one collection, and the organ, called the Mother's Memorial organ, was at the time the largest in St. Louis at 60 ranks. In 1929 a fire started in the organ blower and spread upward, destroying the organ and burning most of the sanctuary. The sanctuary was rebuilt, and in 1930, Kilgen again planned a 60-rank organ, although only 30 ranks were initially installed. In 1949 Möller completed the instrument in a much different fashion than originally planned by Kilgen, although reusing many Kilgen pipes and windchests, and in the following year, also installed a new 4-manual pneumatic console. In the 1990s that console was electrified and made mobile, and at one point in the past, a Kimball Tibia, salvaged from the organ that once accompanied movies in the St. Louis Theatre down the street (now called Powell Hall) was added to the organ.
In 2007, a committee was formed to find a builder to releather the instrument that was still playing, although with many increasing problems. Only one builder actually returned a bid to releather the organ. The others all stated that building new windchests was the cheaper option, given the size and configuration of the instrument. In addition, each of these builders added a list of potential changes and additions that they would consider if they were to take on such a job. The committee considered all of the options, and then approached the builders asking for bids for new windchests for the existing organ and the addition of the following stops: 8' Tuba, 8' Great Stopped Flute, 8' Choir Viola Celeste, 8' Swell Flauto Dolce (to pair with an already existing Flauto Celeste), 8' Swell Trumpet, 8' Positiv Dulzian, and a 16' Great Double Trumpet. In addition, the 4' Swell Triangle Flute would be moved to the Antiphonal and a new 4' Night Horn would be added in its place. All of the pneumatic expression shade motors would be replaced, all pipework repaired, and all of the 16, 8, and 4 foot ranks would be restored to 73 notes where piecemeal attempts at replacement of the pneumatic relays over the years had shortened them to 61 notes. The congregation was asked to approve the plan, and fundraising began, although most of the project was supported by the Third Baptist Foundation.
The committee chose the Bogue organ company of Downer's Grove, Illinois. The Bogues have a great deal of experience with Kilgen and Möller instruments, and their bid also allowed the church to afford a new 4-manual console, built by Jim Schmidt of Alhambra, Illinois. Pipes were removed from the south chamber and work began in the Bogue shop. Unfortunately, all work on the pipes stopped when Dan Bogue, the president of the company, suffered a stroke. Dan recovered and completed the revoicing of the pipework, but was unable to return to work at his former pace. Dan's son Aaron took over, but with the loss of manpower and experience, decided their company would be restructuring, and would be unable to complete the project. The console was completed and delivered, and put to use immediately. A substantial Hauptwerk system was installed with speakers in the pipe chambers to approximate a similar 60-rank organ and served the church in the interim. Once again the committee went through the process of selecting a builder. The project was made all the more complicated by the fact that the organ now resided in two places, and in fact, the second selection process took much longer than the first time around. In the end, the committee chose the Reuter organ company to complete the project, primarily for their ability to start almost immediately. The first step was moving all of the parts in Downer's Grove to the Reuter factory, followed by the removal of the remaining pipes in the north and antiphonal organ chamber. In the summer of 2012, completed parts began arriving at the church. The Great, Choir, Positiv, and partial Pedal stops housed in the south chamber were installed first. In October, the second load arrived containing the Swell, Antiphonal, and the rest of the Pedal to all be installed in the north and antiphonal chambers. Workers from Reuter were present every day for 7 weeks completing the installation and tonal finishing. The organ was used in worship for the first time on November 18th.
The completed organ is 71 ranks with a total of 4911 pipes. Very few tonal changes were made to the instrument, although the changes to the position of the pipework and updating of the expression shades has given the instrument improved clarity and power. The church was careful to respect choices made by those who played a part in the unique nature of this organ. Names such as Gus Brummer, Harry Hoffman, and Fred Pillsbury were mentioned often. The antiphonal pipework dates from the original 1920 organ, a testament to the potential payoff in service that the investment in a pipe organ can return. It is the congregation's hope that the pipes will continue to speak for at least another 90 years.
— Stephen Eros, Sub-Dean
Monday, April 22, 2013
Program: Presentation and Discussion of Choral Literature and Techniques by Trent Patterson and Webster University Chamber Singers
Location: St. Mark's EpiscopalChurch
4714 Clifton Ave
Saint Louis, MO 63109 314-832-3588
Host: Robert Mullgardt firstname.lastname@example.org 636-861-3434
Time: 6:30 PM dinner
7:30 PM Program
Monday, May 20, 2013 "Annual Meeting Banquet"
Installation of Officers
Dinner 6:30 PM
Program 7:30 PM Trinity Presbyterian Church 6800 Washington Ave, University City, MO 63130