Cathedral Pipe Organs

The Ernest M. Skinner Sanctuary Organ was installed in 1927. Its pipework is located above the passage between the sacristy and the sanctuary, and is concealed behind an ornamental wooden screen. The three-manual console is located behind the main altar. Control of the Gallery Organ is possible by means of duplicate gallery combination buttons.

The Gallery Organ was built by the Æolian-Skinner Organ Company in 1963, under the direction of Joseph Whiteford. The pipework is housed in cases on both sides of the rose window. The left side contains the Swell division, enclosed in an expression box. The unenclosed Great is located over the Swell. The case on the right side contains the Choir division in its own expression box. The three-manual console is provided with stop controls for both the Gallery and Sanctuary Organs. A thirty-two level combination action by Solid State Logic was installed in 1991.

Combined, the two organs total seventy-one ranks, eighty stops, and contain 4,560 pipes.

Dr. Kim Kasling, Professor of Music and University Organist at the College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University and Director of Liturgical Music Studies, SOUNDS OFF! on the pleasures of playing on the newly restored sanctuary organ.

The Cathedral is under contract with Quimby Pipe Organs of Warrensburg, Missouri, for a comprehensive renovation of both organs. The work includes:

  • New wiring and solid state switching
  • Two identical four-manual consoles with complete complements of stops, couplers and pistons to control both organs
  • Restoration and releathering of gallery organ windchest mechanisms
  • Complete cleaning and restoration of all existing pipework
  • Tonal reworking of the gallery Choir division, including a new 3-rank Mixture and an English Horn stop
  • A new gallery Bombarde division, to be located above the existing Choir box and playable from the fourth manual: Open Diapason 8', Flute Harmonique 8', Octave 4', Twelfth 2 2/3', Super Octave 2', Mixture IV, Trompette Harmonique 16' and 8', and a Trompette Heroique modeled on the State Trumpet at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City
  • A new gallery Pedal 32' Bombarde with full-length resonators and a Pedal 4-rank Mixture

Specifications

Specifications for the for the sanctuary organ (Skinner Organ Co., Opus 518, 1927) and the gallery organ (Æolian-Skinner Organ Co., Opus 1398, 1963) are available at the Quimby Pipe Organs website.