In December of 2013, the Christ Church Cathedral Vestry voted to commission Richards, Fowkes & Co. to design, build, and install a new organ for the cathedral’s primary worship space. The eclectic 3-manual, 55-stop mechanical action instrument (Opus 24) will stand at the East end of the chancel in front of a solid masonry wall. This wall will be designed to improve acoustics for clarity of the spoken word and for music. The organ will provide strong support for congregational singing, appropriate balances for choral accompaniment, and tonal resources for a wide range of solo repertoire. (See specifications.) Designed according to historic organ building principles, it will be a reliable resource not only for the cathedral but for the entire region for generations to come.
The organ’s case design has been developed over several years after listening to comments from members of the congregation at multiple feedback sessions from 2010 to the present. The builders have worked diligently to create a work of art that is harmonious with the room and reflective of the cathedral’s history and future while taking great care to keep liturgical focus on the cross and altar. For example, you will notice that:
- The case is designed to frame and accentuate the cross (see the virtual walk down the center aisle).
- Angles and curves of the primary chancel arch are incorporated into the case architecture. (See, for example, the 25.4º angle of the window cornices and the ceiling beams.)
- The case incorporates Hebrew letters that spell “alleluia” (hey lamed lamed yud hey).
- Several elements suggest tongues of fire, a reference to the work of the Spirit.
- The square pieces of glass in the cross are echoed in the case design.
Contact us with questions.