I am pleased to announce that Trinity will soon be acquiring a new organ for its music ministry. This instrument has been given in memory of Sebron Hood, our long-serving and well-beloved choirmaster and organist. The organ will be completed sometime in the late fall or early winter of this year.
The new organ will be small positiv (German spelling with no ‘e’) organ, also known as a ‘chest organ’ or a ‘continuo organ.’ While it is a true pipe organ, it is actually completely portable; it sound and its purpose will be quite different from present sanctuary organ. It should be made clear that this new organ is in no way meant to be a replacement for the big organ in the choir loft–which is in fine condition, as anyone who attended our recent Hymn Festival can attest—but it will certainly make a fine companion to its larger brother.The choice of an organ seems a particularly appropriate way in which to memorialize Sebe’s ministry at Trinity. Those who were here during those years will remember that Sebe never got to play a pipe organ, but held forth with an electronic instrument in the old church—the outline of where that instrument was can still be seen in the stonework in the floor of the present choir room. When he died in December of 2010, friends and colleagues from around the country honored his memory with contributions to the church. And just this year, Sebe’s wife Belle Miller and their children Harriette, Sebron III, and Spivey and their families have made a generous gift to make this project possible. I join them in hoping that this organ will be a useful and lasting memorial to a beloved friend.
An extensive investigation took place during the summer and fall of 2011 in which a number or organ builders and professional colleagues from around the country were contacted for their experiences and opinions about various instruments. In the end the builder that consistently received the highest recommendation (and provided the best value for money) was a Dutch firm called Henk Klop Clavecimbelbouw.
The Klop organ will have one keyboard (61 notes, no pedals) and 5 ranks of pipes. The case will be carved from cherry wood, and the keys will be ebony and plum wood. Its dimensions are 44 x 33 x 20 inches, and it will weigh 165 lbs. The organ includes a wooden box for transport and storage box and is guaranteed by the builder for ten years.
While it will be possible it use this organ to lead worship (hymn singing) with a modest congregation in a small space like the chapel, its primary function would be as an accompanying instrument with choral and instrumental ensembles, with secondary utility as a solo instrument playing “hands only” repertoire. Both of these functions apply equally to concert and worship settings. Specific examples included but are not limited to:
- Accompanying the children’s choir (lighter timbre with younger voices)
- Continuo instrument with orchestral ensembles
- Accompanying the adult choir or soloists on certain styles of repertoire
- having an organ in the front of the Nave opens up the possibility of antiphonal ensembles from various places in the church
- Playing a prelude or offertory either in the Nave or Chapel
- Providing music for small weddings or funerals, especially in the chapel
For a better idea of what this organ looks and sounds like, I recommend the following YouTube video.