The Organ at Trinity
1876, William Johnson & Son, Westfield, Massachusetts;
Restored 2001, J. Allen Farmer, Winston-Salem, North Carolina


Trinity’s organ is a mechanical action instrument of thirty ranks on two manuals.  It is a restoration and expansion of a 19th-century organ by the noted American builder William Johnson.  When the present Nave was competed in 1991, the church worked with the late Alan Laufman of the Organ Clearing House to locate a suitable instrument for its new worship space.  This organ was purchased in 1993, and J. Allen Farmer of Winston-Salem, North Carolina was engaged to execute the restoration and installation.  Work began in 1998, and the project was completed in 2001; the dedicatory recital was given by Stewart Wayne Foster on November 30 of that year.


The original instrument was built in 1876 by William Johnson & Son of Westfield, Massachusetts for the Presbyterian Church of York, Pennsylvania.  In the 1930’s it was sold to First Methodist Church of Dayton, Ohio.  By the early 1990’s, the church had declined severely and the organ was in a state of complete disrepair; it was through this circumstance that the organ came to be acquired by Trinity.  Most of the original pipe work was used in the rebuild, as well as several new stops based upon historical examples, including a Cornet III and  Clarion 4′ on the Great and an expanded pedal division.


The console is new; it includes solid-state combination action and two levels of memory.  Its appearance, however, is in 19th-century style including hand-lettered drawknobs and a flat pedalboard.  Unlike most mechanical action instruments, the console is detached from the case, allowing singers to gather around the organist.  Another unique feature of the console is a third manual which serves as a Swell to Great coupler.


The original Johnson case was not moved with the organ when it was relocated in the 1930’s, but Trinity’s organ committee wanted a façade that would be of the same period and style as the organ.  The result was a magnificent Greek revival case (also located through the Organ Clearing House) built in 1863 by another well-known American builder, Henry Erben of New York City.  It was originally built for a now demolished Catholic church in Baltimore, Maryland and subsequently spent a number of years gathering dust in a New Hampshire barn.  The woodwork of the case is pine, and it is here that the detail and craftsmanship of the restoration are most readily apparent.  The panels have been faux-grained, the columns have been marbleized by hand, and the capitals and façade pipes have been gilded using over 5,000 sheets of 23-karat German gold.

William Johnson & Son (1876/2001), II/30

Great: 58 notes, C-a’’’ (unenclosed)

1.      Double Open Diapason      16′             Original (1-12 stopped wood)

2.      Open Diapason                   8′               Original (1-12 façade)

3.      Viola                                    8′               Original

4.      Melodia Harmonique          8′               Original

5.      Octave                                 4′               Original

6.      Flute d’Amour                     4′               Original

7.      Fifteenth                              2′               Original

8.      Comet III tf                          3′               New (mounted behind façade)

9.      Mixture III                           1 1/3′        Original

10.    Trumpet                               8′               Original

11.    Clarion                                 4′               New

Swell: 58 notes, C-a’’’ (enclosed)

12.    Lieb. Gedeekt                       16′             Original (1-12 offset elec. pulldowns)

13.    Open Diapason                   8′               Original

14.    Salicional                             8′               Original

15.    Quintadena                         8′               Original

16.    Stop’d Diapason                  8′               Original

17.    Vox Celeste                          8′               Original

18.    Violin                                   4′               Original

19.    Piccolo                                 2′               New

20.    Oboe                                    8′               Original

Pedal: 30 notes, C-f’ (unenclosed)

21.    Dbl Open Diap.                 16′             Original

22.    Bourdon                             16′             Original

23.    Gross Quint                       10 2/3       Recycled

24.    Violoncello                        8′               New

25.    Choralbass                         4′               New

26.    Trombone                           16′             New

Tremulent (swell only)

Manual III is a Swell to Great coupling manual
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal

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