We are pleased to announce the acquisition of a new organ by renowned builder Paul Fritts. This instrument is a replacement for the organ that served Holy Trinity Lutheran Church for the past 100 years. That instrument, originally an E.M. Skinner, rebuilt by Aeolian Skinner and later extensively rebuilt in the 1970’s by Robert Turner, was an instrument of distinguished history. It had, however, deteriorated to the point that required extensive and expensive repair. The decision was taken by the parish to acquire the Fritts organ as we move forward with plans for an eventual glorious and much larger new instrument. The beautiful Fritts organ has 20 stops with a compass of 58 keys and 30 pedals. It is a tracker instument brilliantly suited to the music of Bach and leading congregational song. The new organ was inaugurated in concert at Holy Trinity on December 6, 2011 with esteemed organ virtuoso Joan Lippincott performing a program of J. S. Bach works.
A brief history of the new Fritts organ…
In 1994, after one year of labor, Paul Fritts & Company completed their 16th opus, an organ of twenty stops, for Bethany Lutheran Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The instrument demonstrates a strong historical approach to Dutch and German organ building dating from 1500 to 1800, the time of peak development when the integral relationship between case design, arrangement of the stops or ranks of pipes, key and stop action, scaling of the pipes, etc., came into full focus. Fritts’ Opus 16 lived at Bethany Lutheran for seventeen years until their doors closed in August, 2011. The organ was then purchased by Paul Fritts and transported to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Manhattan, in October, 2011. At Holy Trinity, the organ, in a free standing case, is placed in the rear gallery of the nave. The case houses the keyboards, pedal board, stop jambs and music desk and a horizontal frame called the impost which supports the upper case, manual wind chests, façade pipes and carvings. The visible front pipes comprise only a small percentage of the total number of pipes in the organ, speaking freely into the nave and forming the foundation of the chorus of pipes within the case. The position of the inside pipes within the case enables their sound to be refined and focused. The wind chests and pipes for the pedal division stand exterior to the case. The instrument is composed of various types of wood. Exterior woods include poplar, white oak, maple, and ebony. The interior woods, including redwood, mahogany, sugar pine and basswood, were chosen for their functional qualities. The artisans of Paul Fritts & Company who crafted the Opus 16 included Paul Fritts, Rob Lange, Rick Frith, Jairo Geronymo, Greg Bahnsen, Joshua McConnaughey, Gordon Porth and Jude Fritts.
Click here to explore the specifics of this instrument on Paul Fritts’ website.