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Prior Pipe Organ

Click to enlarge.Installed as Opus 11682 of the M.P. Möller Organ Company of Hagerstown, MD, in 1986, the Cathedral’s former pipe organ was the result of the generosity of many donors from the parish and across the Diocese of Birmingham. Consisting of four manuals and 55 ranks of pipes, its design, featuring Möller’s largest free-standing case, wasenhanced by the Cathedral’s wonderful acoustics. One of Möller’s later works, it was unique in that even though it is clearly of 20th Century design, it incorporated some characteristics of Baroque organs (the organ was fully encased with discrete divisions therein—each with a complete principal chorus and low wind pressures) that were rare in Möller’s oeuvre. A product of collaboration by music director Stephan Calvert, consultant Joe Schreiber, and voiced by Donald Gillett, the former principal and tonal director of the Aeolian-Skinner firm, it was designed to play most of the organ repertoire with authority. As is typical of the “American Classic” style, it attempted to meld the various European national organbuilding influences into a cohesive whole. A chancel division in a portable, free-standing case was installed at the same time (playable from the gallery console or its own keyboards), but was sold in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s during the tenure of the late Calvert Shenk. Otherwise, the organ was unchanged since its installation. Visit its entry in the OHS Database for more information.