Nave Organ

The installation of the Richards Fowkes & Co. Opus 24 is underway!
Watch our progress!

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January 3, 2020
Incarnation: The Wait is Over!

by Dr. Stephan Casurella, Canon Precentor & Director of Music


Our advent of waiting for the arrival of the new cathedral organ—Richards Fowkes & Co. Opus 24—is nearly over! On January 20, its incarnation will begin as a crew unloads two trucks containing casework, structure, windchests, and action components. A third truck bearing pipes will arrive a week later. Initial installation of the organ will take 2-3 weeks. Following installation, every pipe in the organ will be voiced over a nine-month period. As voicing progresses, several new ranks of pipes will become available for use in worship each week. We will hear the organ coming to life in real time as its dynamic range and color palette expand!


During an organ project, as we labor over cost, visual impact, and timing, we can easily begin thinking of the project as precisely that—an “organ project”—and nothing more. With installation on the horizon, however, I find myself more and more excited about the organ’s intended role in our life together. This instrument was born of a spiritual and artistic vision, and its design reflects that vision. I firmly believe the organ will:


  • Thunder to us of the grandeur and majesty of God.
  • Whisper to us of the mystery of God.
  • Gently remind us of the intimate love of God.
  • Encourage us to sing together unabashedly.
  • Challenge us to amend our lives.
  • Challenge us to live out the Gospel.
  • Remind us that beauty matters.
  • Teach future generations of church musicians to cherish similar values.


I look forward to sharing this journey with you, discovering how deeply music can speak to us of God’s love and of our calling to work for justice and peace in the world. If you are able, stop by the cathedral beginning January 20 for a peek at the progress of installation. We are planning to create a time-lapse for those who are not able to see it in person.


Fall 2019
Delivery, Installation, Voicing!
by Dr. Stephan Casurella, Canon Precentor & Director of Music


We are about to enter the most exciting stage of our new nave organ project: delivery, installation, and voicing! More about that in a moment. First, a summary of what has been accomplished since the organ committee’s last update:


General contractor HGC has completed the construction phase of the project which included

  • Structural modifications to the chancel to bear the weight of the organ
  • Reduction in the noise of mechanical systems
  • Updated and expanded lighting capabilities
  • Improved audio/visual equipment
  • Significant acoustical improvements (under the guidance of Threshold Acoustics LLC).
  • Organ builders Richards Fowkes & Co. (RFC) have visited the cathedral to experience the acoustical improvements—important information as they perform preliminary voicing of pipes in the shop
  • Completed the pipework, winding systems, and most of the casework
  • Begun erecting the organ in their shop for the final stages of key action construction and pipe racking.


Members of our organ committee, in consultation with cathedral program and facilities staff, have identified the least-disruptive time for installation to begin, avoiding particularly busy times such as Advent and Christmas.


So, what is the timetable for us to receive the organ?

  • Delivery and installation of the winding system and largest pipes in the last week of October
  • Delivery and installation of the casework the week of January 13
  • Delivery and installation of pipework the week of January 20.


Erecting the organ in the chancel will take two-three weeks from January 13, after which we will begin the nine-month intensive voicing process, during which the builders will adjust each pipe to work perfectly with the other pipes and with the acoustics of the room. However, we won’t have to wait until the end of the voicing process to hear the organ. Several new ranks will become playable each week; therefore, we will enjoy an ever-broadening palette of colors!


The journey to installation of Richards Fowkes & Co. Opus 24 at the cathedral has taken longer than we initially hoped.  This is due, in part, to some changes in the RFC staff of artisans, more restrictive immigration policies that preclude recruiting highly skilled European builders, and the multi-year apprenticeship needed to train new builders. However, its sound will be all the more glorious to our ears as it takes its place in our liturgies and concerts!

Nave Organ Project Members

Julie Kline, Junior Warden, Committee Chair
Gail Greenwell, Dean
Robert Beiring, Director of Boar’s Head
Stephan Casurella, Director of Music
Clark Handy, Vestry
Kathy Mank, Vestry
Mark Reed, Director of Facilities
Matthew Shad, Buildings and Grounds Committee Chair
David Thompson, Buildings and Grounds Committee
Michael Unger, Music Committee


Consultant Team
Ralph Richards, Richards, Fowkes & Co., organ builder
Threshold Acoustics, LLC., Acoustician
HGC Construction, General Contractor
Tony Ravagnani, Architect
Schaefer, Inc., Structural Engineer