The instrument is located in a new chamber structure which was designed by Coastal Engineering as part of a major construction project to update and expand the church facilities for the tercentennial celebrations.
The new organ at the historic First Congregational Church of Chatham was built “to exact specifications” of the church’s space, says the Rev. Joseph Marchio, the church’s pastor, director of music and organist. It has 25 ranks of pipes over three manuals and pedal, for a total of 1501 pipes made of metal or wood. The total weight of the organ is 12,000 pounds, with some single pieces weighing in at 800 pounds. The thousands of pieces that make up the organ arrived in Chatham on a 53-foot truck. Of the 1,501 pipes, about 850 were reconditioned while the remainder are new. Added will be stops such as an oboe, three or four flutes, and a herald trumpet.
The organ is being installed in a new chamber located in a new extension to the church building. Coastal Engineering has worked with the church to design a new large tone opening between this new extension and the existing wall of the church. "The "caged rage" effect will be quite astounding in this historic church!" says Simon Couture, Vice President of Casavant Frères, Canada's old-established instrument builders who have designed the new instrument.
To learn more about the project, please read this Cape Cod Chronicle article.
Photo credit: Rev. Joseph Marchio