Dauphin Way United Methodist Church Mobile, Alabama Quimby Pipe Organs Inc

Article excerpt

DAUPHIN WAY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH'S new pipe organ is a four-manual and pedal instrument containing 71 ranks of pipes. The pipe organ is designed to fulfill a wide range of musical and liturgical functions. It is not intended to copy any one particular school or period of organbuilding but rather to be capable of playing the wide range of liturgical requirements in worship and music from all periods and national schools. Michael Quimby drew up the tonal specification in consultation with Colleen Morton, the organist of the church, and John Ricketts, the director of music.

The casework is matched to the classical architecture of the church. In particular, the casework of the Antiphonal division is modeled on Greek Revival cases produced in the middle of the 19th century by American organbuilders such as the Hook Brothers of Boston. Tonally, the instrument is unusual in a number of ways. First, it has four enclosed manual divisions. Second, the 32' and 16' reed stops are all full-length. There are no "digital" electronic ranks. The instrument contains certain features of the "symphonic" style of organ, prized in the early 20th cen- tury. Quimby Pipe Organs has played a lead- ing part in reviving and developing this style of instrument over the last decade. For the first time in a Quimby pipe organ, the Dauphin Way United Methodist Church or- gan has revived the use of the Flared Gamba stop, similar to those used in Ernest M. Skin- ner's instruments. There is a matching Flared Gamba Celeste stop, and indeed the instrument contains a total of five Celeste stops, a feature generally confined to instru- ments double its size. Another significant feature is the chorus of trumpets and the or- chestral reeds, including the Tuba, French Horn, English Horn, Oboe, and Clarinet, all voiced by Quimby Pipe Organs. Of special interest are the two contrasting solo reeds of the trumpet family, the Tuba and Harmonic Trumpet, voiced on 20 inches and ten inches of wind pressure, respectively, and con- structed and voiced in our workshop. Unlike many pipe organs of "symphonic" design, each division of the instrument, except for the Solo division, features a complete Diapa- son chorus that is designed to be equally ver- satile in classical, romantic, and symphonic styles of music. A significant feature of the Diapason chorus ranks is the unusually thick metal required to ensure stability of pipe speech, and to achieve the optimum harmonic development. The instrument incorporates 27 ranks from the previous 1956 Reuter organ, revoiced and rescaled to function in the new tonal specification. The fine acoustics of the church significantly enhance the voicing in ways that cannot be achieved in a worship space with no acoustical ambience.

The mechanism features Quimby Pipe Organs' version of the Blackinton slider windchest with pneumatic pallets, allowing the flue pipes of each division to speak to their optimum on common wind channels. There are electro-pneumatic pouch-style windchests for extended ranks and for all the reeds except for the Choir 8' Clarinet. The four-manual and pedal solid-walnut drawknob console, built by Quimby Pipe Organ associates, is in the Aeolian-Skinner style and features the latest in solid-state control systems and accessories.

The dedication recital was played by Ken Cowan on January 13, 2008. Ken Cowan and Lisa Shihoten will play a recital on January 11, 2009, featuring repertoire for violin and organ.

Associates of Quimby Pipe Organs Inc. who made significant contributions to the construction and installation of this instrument were Mark Cline, Bart Colliver, Tim Duchon, Chris Emerson, Charles Ford, Rubin Frels, Eric Johnson, Wes Martin, Brad McGuffey, J. O. Love, Joseph Nielsen, Michael Quimby, Janille Rehkop, Brad Richards, Mike Shields, Jim Schmidt, John Speller, Chirt Touch, and Rathana Touch.