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St. John’s Church to get new pipe organ

on Monday, 10 January 2022. Posted in Local News

An artist’s rendering of what the new Opus 1338 pipe organ will look like in the sanctuary of St. John’s Church. Inaugural organ recitals are anticipated for the fall.

Florence will become home to a Mississippi pipe organ early this year.

St. John’s Anglican Church on South Dargan St. recently purchased an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. The organ was formerly in First United Methodist Church, Starkville, Miss..

Built in 1956 as Opus 1338, the organ was constructed by an eminent American firm which began as the Skinner Organ Co. in 1901. The firm closed in 1972. The American Classic Organ Co., respected worldwide for its ability to play literature from many national and period styles, was made popular in its early days because of the work of this company.

St. John’s Church has contracted with Lincoln Pipe Organs of Lincolnton, N.C., for the building of a new pipe organ with Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1338 as the nucleus of the instrument.

The church is currently undergoing preparations in its historic 1889 church building to prepare for the new instrument, which is expected to be playable by Easter Sunday.

St. John’ s Minister of Music and organist Jim Hepler said when he arrived at the church in 2013, its 1939 Möller pipe organ was examined by two organ companies. The examinations found the instrument to be failing. Plans have been underway for several years for the building of a new instrument. Five ranks of the old instrument will find a home in the new organ.

Daniel Angerstein, of Angerstein Organ Works, Ltd., Hendersonville, N.C., has been engaged by Lincoln Organs to perform the voicing and tonal finishing of the new instrument. Angerstein is highly regarded for his work in this area.

The new instrument will be supplemented by digital voices built by the Walter Technical Co., a world leader in digitally recorded pipe voices. Hepler explained that while two divisions of the organ, the great and the swell, are almost exclusively pipe, the choir division will be exclusively digital. Approximately half of the voices in the pedal organ will be pipe, and the other half digital.

The exposed pipes of the great organ will grace the east wall on either side of the altar and stained glass windows. The swell organ will be in the current organ chamber on the south wall of the chancel.

The inaugural organ recitals will be held in the fall.

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