The organ is now completed, but we still need your generous donations!
The New Pipe Organ The new pipe organ includes 13 stops, made out of 14 ranks of pipes, or 861 pipes in total. It has a rotating star Zimbelstern. Some pipes from the original organ by Möller are reused in the new organ, but most are new. The instrument has a new, 2 manual console that is movable, but normally positioned on the left side of the church (opposite from where the previous console was located). A new silent blower is in the chamber rather than in the lower level of the church. Most of the pipes are housed in the chamber which is above and to the right of the altar, but some of the pipes are in a case and visible on the right side wall of the chancel area (see Pictures).
The Organ Builder We selected Patrick J. Murphy & Associates of Stowe, Pennsylvania to build our new organ. It is one of the leading organ-building firms in the Northeast, and has done work for a number of Lutheran churches. This project is their first in New York City. The Lutheran Tradition In addition to serving its primary purpose of leading the worship and music of an active Lutheran congregation, it is our hope that the new pipe organ will play a role in securing and strengthening the future place of the pipe organ in the ongoing Lutheran tradition at Grace and in our community. Grace Lutheran Church, through its parish Day School―Astoria Lutheran School―and through its Sunday School, has demonstrated a strong commitment to young people and their development in the Christian faith and life. In these days when fewer young people are being trained to play the organ, our hope is to develop a program that will recruit them to study this marvelous instrument and the long-standing Lutheran organ repertoire that goes with it. there is no other instrument that supports congregational singing and liturgical worship like a real pipe organ, and we hope, in our small way, to contribute to helping it survive and thrive well into the future. Your gift helps making that dream a reality.
The Old Möller-Randolph Organ The original organ at Grace was built in 1932 by the American company, M.P. Möller, and was modified in the late 70s and mid 80s by John Randolph. Under Mr. Randolph, the exposed wall-mounted Great Division was built in 1979 (see Pictures). By the mid-80s, the components in the original 1932 organ chamber had deteriorated drastically and were removed by Mr. Randolph for a two-phase restoration. As many church members who were around in the 80s still recall, the church did not choose to finish the restoration and many pipes that had been removed in order to be restored were not replaced. With certain key elements unavailable, the organ was a compromise in its liturgical function and left the congregation with much to desire. In addition, the organ chamber was not insulated, which caused heat to leak during the winter. Furthermore, the placement of the organ console blocking the door leading to the emergency exit was a violation of the NYC Fire Code that required immediate attention!
The Organ Committee The project was overseen by the organ project committee at Grace, which consists of Robert Dutiel, Daniel Wislocki, Nancy Kito, Henry Lee, Pastor James Klockau, and our special consultant Dr. Walter Hilse.