Goulding & Wood Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana

The American Organist, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Goulding & Wood Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana


Thirty years ago, John Goulding and Thomas Wood began a collaboration that, like all new businesses, had no guarantee of success. They each brought different skills to the partnership, but they shared a vision to provide churches with organs of the highest quality. As it turns out, their collaboration not only succeeded, it thrived. The firm is now in its second generation of leadership and continues to find new ways to serve the vast community of organists across the country, thanks to the hard work and skill of all those involved. This year we celebrate our 30th anniversary, and we hope that the model of partnership and collaboration, essential in music making, is also the key to a successful company. From the beginning, we have focused on listening to the needs of congregations, recognizing that every aspect of our instruments must be seen in terms of how they might best bolster worship and musical liturgy. Just as music is a form of communication, so, too, is each of our instruments, embodying a desire that the organ's music enrich the lives of those who hear it. This partnership approach is mirrored in the interactions between organbuilder and congregation, the needs of liturgy and the demands of performance, the voice of the organ and that of the congregation, chest action and tonal design, and even interactions between pipes on a common key channel. Our commitment remains the same today as it was 30 years ago: provide institutions with instruments of uncompromising beauty that fulfill their needs and inspire further collaborations.

One of the distinctive characteristics of our instruments is the use of our unique electropneumatic slider and pallet windchest design. This action is desirable specifically because it fosters cohesion in the musical ensembles of pipes in the organ, allowing them to sing together as a choir even as they lead a congregation. These windchests also are remarkably reliable. We understand that musicians have enough issues to deal with. They do not need the organ's mechanical reliability to be yet another distraction. In both design and the meticulous execution by our exacting craftsmen, our instruments have a Íiroven track record of trouble-free use, alowing us to offer a ten-year warranty with absolute confidence. This attention to detail is maintained through all phases of construction, ably overseen by Mark Goulding, including installations that combine efficiency with camaraderie. Frequently our installation crews return home to Indianapolis to find notes from churches expressing gratitude for the positive experience the church had in watching the team build the organ onsite. We believe that when a committee glaces its trust in our firm, they should know om the outset that they have made a good decision for their congregation.

Musically, our instruments have always taken the natural model of the human ear as their cue. People crave fundamental reinforcement, and many buildings do little to satisfy that. At the same time, brilliance and clarity give the complete ensemble personality, vitality, and definition. Brandon Woods, who has voiced every organ in its entirety since the very early years of the company, fully comÍirenends the parameters of sound that make or an enjoyable listening experience, and he can identify the acoustical needs of a building with unerring accuracy. Rather than attempting historical or nationalistic approaches to the musical ensemble, our instruments develop a musical identity autonomously. Instead of copying another instrument, another builder, another trend, these choruses sing with integrity, lavishing the organs with an indulgent sense of being a unique musical instrument. Over the years, our tonal design has grown to embrace broader scales, a more sumptuous variety of colors, and even increased power; yet through all of this, the goal is to create a musical presence that invites and encourages an active participation, through listening and singing, from the people with whom it interacts. …

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