A REVIEW OF THE NAVE ORGAN PROJECT
These are exciting times at Christ Church Cathedral! Early in 2018, after the Holtkamp organ had been removed by the capable technicians of Muller Pipe Organ Co. for rebuilding and installation at a church in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, we began preparations for our new organ. With delivery of Richards, Fowkes & Co. Opus 24 projected for spring of 2019, we need to complete room modifications by February 1, 2019, so that the dust (literally!) has time to settle.
In the coming months, we will see:
- The creation of a support structure in the church’s lower level to bear the weight of the new organ;
- New chamfered (angled) side chancel walls to project the sound of speech and music into the nave;
- Modifications to the gallery formerly occupied by the Holtkamp (two bays walled off, the other two converted into a small balcony) so that sound does not get trapped;
- Reinforcement of the ceiling to prevent absorption of bass sounds;
- Replacement of the current east wall with a solid masonry wall to improve the projection of speech and music.
As we make these preparations, we are taking the opportunity to improve other aspects of the worship space to increase versatility and clarify the spoken word. These improvements include:
- An extended chancel floor to increase seating capacity;
- Conversion of one chancel ramp into steps to maximize space for chancel seating and liturgical flow;
- Installation of new, easy-to-move communion rails that utilize the needlepoint cushions previously used in the chapel;
- Removal of redundant doors near the front of the nave;
- Installation of a new electric winch system for the cross;
- Upgrades to existing lighting and addition of LED bulbs to save money, reduce heat, and increase versatility of lighting effects;
- Upgrades to existing audio-visual systems to clarify speech and increase the quality of online A/V streaming;
- Replacement of pews in the west gallery with chairs to increase seating flexibility for choir and orchestra during the Boar’s Head Festival;
- Installation of diffusive tiles on certain areas of the nave walls and ceiling to prevent acoustical flutter so that speech is clearer;
- New side walls in the west gallery to prevent acoustical flutter and project sound into the nave.
These improvements can be seen in beautiful renderings created by the architects.
Thanks to the thoughtful planning of our contractors, we are worshiping in the nave every Sunday throughout the renovation! Just as in a home remodel project, however, the nave and areas around it will not always look as tidy as we prefer. See our regular updates on construction progress, including information on areas of the cathedral closed due to construction, in the side bar to the left.
We are grateful for your prayers and patience as we undertake this adventure, anticipating a glorious new organ in a beautiful worship space that will allow us to make an even more joyful noise to the Lord!
Julie Kline, Chairperson
Nave Organ Committee