To celebrate 300th anniversary of the First Congregational Church of Chatham, the congregation is enlarging the church to provide additional meeting and office spaces and install a new three-manual organ with 29 independent stops and 25 ranks of pipes and electronically operated slider-and-pallets windchests.
The new organ at the historic First Congregational Church of Chatham will have 25 ranks of pipes over three manuals and pedal, for a total of 1501 pipes made of metal or wood. The organ will be installed in a new chamber that will be located in a new extension to the church building. The church has made a new large tone opening between this new extension and the existing wall of the church.
At this point, the organ is prepared for the addition of six more ranks of pipes, to be contained in an enclosure with louvers that can be opened and closed from the organ console to control the volume. These prepared ranks of pipes will be especially useful for accompaniment, and will add unique colors to the organ.
The new organ replaces a smaller Casavant organ that was installed in 1970. Pipework from this instrument is retained in the new organ. The organ is planned to be installed in the fall of 2020, as part of the 300th anniversary celebration of the church.
"Designing a 29-stop organ on three manuals represents an interesting challenge, as every stop needs to play its role effectively. Here, as the organ is used regularly for choral concerts, some 70 percent of the tonal resources will be under expression, including the solo Herald Trumpet 8ft and the Pedal Posaune 16ft. 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 are designing the new instrument.
"We are proud to be providing engineering support for this important project and looking forward to seeing and hearing the results of Casavant's efforts!" says John Bologna, Coastal Engineering Company President/CEO.