Friday, November 14, 2008

A Pipe Organ for St. Thomas FRC.

The organ in the St. Thomas Free Reformed Church was built by Koopman Organ Company of Lucan. The console and many of the pipes (such as the Mixtures IV and III and the Sesquialtera II and other ranks), as well as the blower and windchests originate in the First United Church in Waterloo where Jan Overduin presently is organist. This church has installed a mechanical-action 43 stop instrument built by Gabriel Kney which was formerly in London’s Aeolian Town Hall. Jan Overduin gave the opening recital on our organ and is, in a sense, playing his previous instrument,which has been totally revoiced and reconstituted for its new home in St. Thomas.

Above is a drawing of how the proposed organ would look in our church.


  • The consistory approves the proposal to the congregation to purchase the organ on November 16, 2005. The congregation approves the proposal.
  • The organ is completed in September of 2006.

Three Manual Pipe Organ
June 2006

The specification is as follows:
  • Great
  • 8’ Principal
  • 8’ Spitz Flute
  • 8’ Salicional
  • 4’ Octave
  • 4’ Flute
  • 22/3’ Quint
  • 2’ Super Octave
  • IV Mixture
  • 8’ Trumpet
  • 4’ Clarion
  • Swell to Great
  • Choir to Great

  • Swell
  • 16’Bourdon
  • 8’ Gedeckt
  • 8’ Dulciana
  • 8’ Celeste
  • 4’ Prestant
  • 4’ Rohr Flute
  • 2’ Flautino
  • II Sesquialtera
  • III Plein Jeu
  • 16’Trumpet
  • 8’ Trumpet
  • Tremulant
  • Choir to Swell

  • Choir
  • 8’ Rohr Gedeckt
  • 8’ Salicional
  • 4’ Principal
  • 4’ Stopped Flute
  • 4’ Dulcet
  • 22/3’ Quint
  • 2’ Piccolo
  • 11/3’ Larigot
  • 1’ Sifflet

  • Pedal
  • 16’ Contra Bass
  • 16’ Bourdon
  • 8’ Principal
  • 8’ Flute
  • 51/3’ Quint Bass
  • 4’ Choral Bass
  • 16’ Trumpet
  • 8’ Trumpet
  • Great to Pedal
  • Swell to Pedal
  • Choir to Pedal

Below are some of the music committees suggestions for the organ to Koopman Organ Company; December 2005

Blower and Bellows to be properly silenced. They should be inaudible in the sanctuary.They can be put behind the wooden wall presently in the back of the church. Swell shade movement also to be silent.

Voicing: Blending of stops is very important.

Principal 8’: robust noble principal sound. Base sound of the entire organ.
Spitzflute 8’: warm mellow with lots of body.
IV Mixture not sharp or shrill but bright and light, in balance with the plenum (Principal 8,4, and 2) and not overbearing.

SWELL (swellbox should allow for a large decresendo from fully open to totally closed. Swell should sound distant in comparison with the Great when the swellbox is closed)
Rohrgedekt 8’: Playful with Rohr overtones.
Prestant 4’: Foundation stop of the swell
II Sesquialter: Bright and flashy. Metalic sound.
III Plein Jeu: Higher than IV mixture and slightly softer. Should not sound harsh. Should not be overbearing when used with Rohrgedekt 8’ plus Prestant 4’ plus Flautino 2’. (This combination should be a softer (echo plenum) when compared to the Principal 8,4,2 plus Mixture on the Great.) This allows alternate use for some music.
Trumpet: Bright Baroque sound toward a festival trumpet. Should also blend well if used with swell somewhat closed for accompaniment. With swell open, should be crown on full organ. With swell open should also be excellent bright solo stop.

Tremulant to be adjustable for depth and speed.

8’ Gedekt should have nice speech. Some chiff would be nice. This stop carries the entire choir manual. Should have good body.

16’ Contrabass: (full pressure to produce maximum sound)
Fagotto 16’: should have some bite to it and snarl.
The console is installed.

We thank the Koopman Organ Company for producing an amazing organ surpassing our expectations. The voicing was excellent.

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