Magazine article The American Organist

Mikell Chapel the Cathedral of St. Philip

Magazine article The American Organist

Mikell Chapel the Cathedral of St. Philip

Article excerpt




A small instrument in a busy Episcopal cathedral chapel carries a heavy load of musical responsibility. In one day it may have to serve a small family funeral, a wedding filled to capacity, a rehearsal, and a service. In Mikeli Chapel there is daily Morning Prayer and on Sunday two morning Masses and a Spanish-language Mass. It is the main practice organ and often used in small musical programs and student recitals. A variety of tonal color is important, but even more so is expression control, especially in a small instrument. We like to have everything under expression with the possible exception of a 16' independent Pedal stop. In some cases, however, there is no way to place Great and Swell side by side, so the Great must be unexpressive. For this instrument and several others we have adapted E.M. Skinner's characteristically practical as well as artistic solution-a luxuriously complete Swell organ with just one or two stops in the Great and Pedal plus borrows from the Swell. One way to get variety from a limited number of stops is to avoid repetition of tone colors. Also, 70% of the voices are at 8' pitch and below, where tonal color counts most. Finally, the Swell includes our double expression system for the higher-pressure Trumpet and Gambas, giving the Swell an extended dynamic range.

Chapel (Pedal Sub Bass on wall above console)

The Mikeli Chapel was served by an electronic organ for many years, but had a chamber prepared for a future pipe organ. …

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