Our Schantz Organ (From The Builder)
With its distinguished tradition of music making, Naples United Church of Christ has honored the Schantz firm with the commission to build a pipe organ for its sanctuary. The new three-manual, fifty-eight rank Schantz pipe organ was designed and constructed especially for the parish. The organ, placed in a shallow chamber above the chancel area and also on functionally exposed windchests within the chancel, takes full advantage of its placement on the central axis of the building to effortlessly produce tone. The organ has been designed and constructed to meet the diverse musical requirements of the music ministry, dynamically support and encourage the liturgy and hymnody of the church, and accompany various styles of choral music, while effectively rendering organ literature of all periods.
The grandeur and beauty of a pipe organ combines the discipline of many diverse crafts to produce an instrument which is visually beautiful, mechanically sound and musically pleasing. Designing a new organ is often spoken of as a marriage between musical considerations and physical parameters. The specification of the organ was a collaborative effort between Jeffrey Dexter, Vice-president and Tonal Director of the Schantz firm, Dr. Becky Weese, Director of Music/Organist of Naples United Church of Christ, Joanne Schulte, former organist and friend of Naples United Church of Christ, and Linwood Lunde, area representative of the Schantz firm. Mr. Dexter determined the technical parameters of the pipe construction (scaling) and together with Kerry Bunn completed the on-site tonal finishing - the final adjustment of each pipe to assure that the many distinctive colors of sound will combine to form an elegant and cohesive ensemble. The organ's prospect and physical layout is the work of Eric Gastier, Vice-president -- Design and Engineering and Staff Architect of the Schantz firm. In addition to the organ's visual impact and ability to create musically satisfying sounds, great attention was paid to providing ready access to all portions of the organ's interior for ease of maintenance.
Each of the organ's 3,359 pipes is actually an individual windblown instrument designed, crafted and voiced especially for this building. Organized into fifty-eight ranks or sets of pipes, the pipes are made from an assortment of materials including zinc, lead, tin and wood. The majority of the pipes, however, are made from a tin-lead alloy, which is cast, cut, shaped and soldered by the pipe makers in the Schantz workshop. The largest pipe in this instrument is sixteen feet in length and over seven inches in diameter. By contrast, the smallest pipes are no larger than a common pencil.
The organ's four divisions - Great, Swell, Choir and Pedal -- are actually complete organs within themselves. The Great and Pedal form the backbone of the ensemble, and are located both on the exposed windchests and at the sides of the main organ chamber where they can carry and project sound into the nave. The Swell and Choir, with their variety of accompanimental and solo sounds, are placed behind expression louvers to allow further control of dynamics. The Choir Organ is home to the most dramatic voice of the organ - the telling English-style Festival Trumpet on 12" wind pressure as well as the instrument's softest voice - the ethereal Flute celeste.
The moveable three-manual, English-style drawknob console in the chancel is made of red oak, with cherry stop jambs, rosewood drawknobs and keys of bone and rosewood. It features all of the modern conveniences for aiding the player including a solid-state combination action with ninety-nine levels of memory and a record/playback system.
Perhaps the most unique feature of this organ comes from the fact that it is actually two instruments in one. Taking advantage of the organ chamber's relationship to the chapel (located behind the chancel of the sanctuary), an independent set of expression louvers for the Swell and Choir divisions speak into the chapel. In addition, a separate two-manual drawknob console controls resources of the Choir, Swell and selected Pedal stops - thereby offering the noble (and dynamically controlled) sounds of the pipe organ in the chapel setting.
Having been completed during our firm's 131st year, the Naples organ challenged us again to create an instrument that represents the art of organ building in its highest form. This organ embodies the efforts of well over one hundred lay persons, craftspeople, artisans and musicians.
From the stately tone of the Principal chorus, to the softest whisper of the flute celeste and the declamatory shouts of the Festival Trumpet, this organ now joins a tradition centuries old - that of calling the faithful to worship and stirring amongst them that which inspired the likes of Bach, Luther, Watts and Wesley. The men and women who are the Schantz Organ Company are honored and privileged to have been a part of this historic process, and are most proud to have been selected as organ builder for this prestigious instrument. With you we look forward to the many avenues in which this organ will lead well into the future.
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