Christ Church Cathedral

Cathedral Nave Organ

A large donation put the cathedral  in a position to move forward with the much needed new organ for the nave. The decision to act on this purchase was made in consultation with the vestry, as well as the music committee and the building and grounds committee. Any needed modifications of the nave to accommodate the organ are now under study by professional acousticians, architects and other experts. These plans will be shared with the congregation and the larger community as they are developed.


In October 2015, a Third Century Vision Renovations (3CVR) committee was created to lead and manage the renovation projects identified for the Centennial Chapel, the cathedral garden, and the main nave. These renovation projects are a part of Christ Church Cathedral’s Third Century Vision, marking the 200th anniversary of the church community and setting a path for the future. As the 3CVR committee continues to devote much of its time to the ongoing renovation project of the Centennial Chapel and cathedral garden, a second committee has been charged with steering the main nave renovation project.


The committee will meet to discuss and consider focus group input from the congregation, approve vendors for the project, review and vet designs, receive status updates from vendors, and will consult with specialist when necessary when challenges are identified. The committee will also be responsible for keeping Vestry and other appropriate parties updated on the status and progress of the nave renovation and organ installation.


About the Organ

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.

Watch a film about Richards, Fowkes & Co.


Feel free to contact us with any questions.


Nave Organ Project Members

Gail Greenwell, Dean

Stephan Casurella, Director of Music

Mark Reed, Director of Facilities

Mark Priest, Cathedral Administrator

Julie Kline, Committee Chair

Bob Beiring, Director of Boar’s Head

Dave Thompson, Buildings and Grounds Committee Member

Matthew Shad, Buildings and Grounds Committee Chair

Harold Byers, Music Committee Member

Clark Handy, Cathedral Member

Kathy Mank, Vestry


Consultant Team

Ralph Richards, Richards and Fowkes & Co., organ builder

Threshold Acoustics, LLC., Acoustician

HGC Construction, General Contractor

Tony Ravagnani, Architect

Schaefer, Inc., Structural Engineer

Cathedral members and friends will receive further updates on this 3CV project in future electronic mailings.