How Should a Substitute Organist Tame the Beast?
Written by Donald Moro   
Friday, 14 September 2012 16:31

I am not sure of the creator of the instrument at Three Chopt Presbyterian but as a substitute organist there I am finding it a challenge to tame this tiger!  As you can see, the organ's pipes are contained behind two ear-level screens to the left and right of the sanctuary.  Most of the great pipes are exposed, and the swell is behind shutters. 

This organ was obviously voiced to lead congregational singing because it has all the necessary foundations.  As a solo instrument, however, it is lacking.  There are a few raspy horns, a 1/3 Quint and a 2/3 Quint that is out of tune.  Some of the swell stops are shared on the great so volume control is fun.  The instrument is so powerful that I can probably blow out the stained glass windows if I hit the tutti (I have never done this). 

The previous organist must have liked to "put the pedal to the metal" because her presets were all on the loud side.  I have worked and re-worked the presets to find a combination that leads the congregation while at the same time allows them to hear their own singing.  I certainly have received some comments about how different the organ sounds.

As a substitute I bring my own tastes and style to the service.  But playing on this organ has really challenged my ability to find a combination of stops that I approve of and the congregation approves of!

Last Updated on Friday, 14 September 2012 16:58