The Visser-Rowland Organ
About This Organ
The organ contains approximately 2,500 board feet of oak, 1,500 board feet of poplar, and 1,200 linear feet of laminates. Besides the large quantities of those woods mentioned, smaller portions of beech, maple, cocobolo, satinwood, and others were also used. One thousand three hundred, twenty-eight pipes are found in the instrument. They range in size from 1/4 inch to 9 feet tall. When played, the organ will produce a frequency range from 64 to 14,000 cycles and from 15 to 110 decibels.
The tonal design of the organ was developed in consultation with Dr. Michael L. Corzine of Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Our goal was to develop an organ able to fulfill the worship needs of First United Methodist and an instrument which would be a gift to God from the congregation.
All of us at Visser-Roland Associates have tried very hard to make this instrument worthy of the church's goals. We hope it will stand for many years to fulfill the mission of the First United Methodist Church of Bainbridge, Georgia.
Pieter A. Visser
President, Visser-Rowland Associates, Inc.
March 22, 1987
Statement of Dedication
The completed organ stands today as a tribute to those whose gifts of money, time and effort enabled the church to acquire it. All gifts have been acknowledged by the church.
In recognition of long and continued interest and support, the Trustees unanimously voted to dedicate the new organ to the Glory of God, and to the memories of Ruth Forrester (Church Organist, 1963-1980), Reuben M. Reynolds, Sr. (Chairman of Trustees, 1953-1980) and in honor of Mrs. Annie B. Reynolds.
Our prayer is that this organ will serve generations to come and enrich these lives as they endeavor to worship and glorify God.
Wesley W. Catledge, Jr., Chairmand of Music Committee
Bill J. Jones, Chairman of Board of Trustees
March 22, 1987
Sanctuary Organ: Remember when… On October 2, 1986, the following was posted in our bulletin: Our New Organ is being built by Visser-Rowland Associates in Houston, Texas. It will have mechanical key action (as opposed to electric). This type of action is also referred to as tracker action. When a key is depressed, a long “attachment” (the tracker) pulls the valve open and the pipes for that key sound. The only electricity used in the process is that which is required to run the blower for the wind.
Sanctuary Organ: Remember when… On October 9, 1986, the following was posted in our bulletin: Our New Organ will not have a console on the floor as we have now. Instead, the organist will play from the key desk which will be connected directly to the case in the choir loft. This is necessary because of the tracker action (explained in last week’s bulletin). There will be three rows of keys or manuals, the keys being made of wood. A standard pedal board will also be included.
Sanctuary Organ: Remember when… On October 16, 1986, the following was posted in our bulletin: Our New Organ will have three divisions (most pipe organs have at least three). A division is simply a section of pipes in the organ case. Each division can contain hundreds of pipes. The first division is the Hauptwerk or Great, and is played from the middle manual. The second division is the Brustwerk or Swell, and is played from the top manual. The bottom manual is known as the coupler manual, which means that it plays both the Great and Swell at the same time. The third division is the Pedal. All three divisions together, this organ will have 1,328 pipes.
Sanctuary Organ: Remember when… On October 23, 1986, the following was posted in our bulletin: Our New Organ will have twenty-five ranks of pipes. A rank is a row of like pipes which produces one type of sound. Some ranks are pitched high, some low. Principals, flutes, strings, mixtures, and reeds are some of the main categories of ranks. By playing a combination of ranks at the same time, the organist creates the desired quality and volume.
Sanctuary Organ: Remember when… On October 30, 1986, the following was posted in our bulletin: Our New Organ will have three divisions as explained earlier. Of these, one – the Brustwerk or Swell – will be expressive. This means that the organist will be able to control the volume of the Swell. This is done by means of vertical shutters. The organist can open and close these shutters with a certain pedal, adjusting the loudness. These shutters are visible on some organs but will not be on this one.
Sanctuary Organ: Remember when… On November 6, 1986, the following was posted in our bulletin: Our New Organ- At right is a list of stops for the Hauptwerk or Great. The number by the name of each stop indicates how low or high it sounds. An eight foot rank’s lowest pipe will be about eight feet tall. Four foot ranks sound an octave higher than eight foot ranks. Stops with fractions are called mutations, meaning they sound a different pitch from that which is played (a C might sound as a G). Stops with roman numerals are called mixtures because they use three or four ranks.
Manual II – Hauptwert
1. Prinzipal 8’
2. Rohrflote 8’
3. Oktav 4’
4. Nachthorn 4’
5. Superoktav 2’
6a. Nasat 2-2/3’
6b. Sesquialter 1-3/5’
7. Mixtur IV
8. Trompete 8’
Sanctuary Organ: Remember when… On November 13, 1986, the following was posted in our bulletin: Our New Organ- At right is a list of stops for the Brustwerk or Swell and the Pedal. The celeste effect is created by playing the Celeste stop, and the Gemshorn stop at the same time. The Celeste is tuned slightly higher, causing vibrations which give a fuller sound when played with the Gemshorn. The pipes of the organ are made of 20-75% tin, depending on the rank. The pedal Subbass is made of wood. The great Trompete is made of copper.
Manual II – Brustwerk (Expressive)
9. Gemshornl 8’
10. Celeste 8’
11. Prinzipal 4’
12. Rohrflote 4’
13. Flachflote 2’
14. Larigot 1-1/3’
15. Scharff III
16. Krummhorn 8’
17. Subbass 16’
18. Prinzipal 8’
19. Choralbass 4’
20. Fagott 16’