Music

Organ

The Austin Organ at the Universalist Church
Austin Organ Opus 2385
 
Our Austin organ was installed in 1963. It has 46 ranks of pipes with a three-manual console and full AGO regulation pedal board with independent mixtures and reeds on each manual. The instrument is ideal for performing all types of compositions from Palestrina to contemporary works. Several of the stops have French names such as ‘Trompette’, ‘Basson”, and ‘Montre’. There is a wonderful clarity to these stops that is most delightful in the works of French composers such as Vierne, Couperin, and Widor.

Esther Nelson Ellison, organist and choir director for more than 40 years, began the fund drive for the organ in 1960. The cost then was $49,770. In 1988, the instrument was re-leathered. The organ was valued at $270,000 at that time. Today, the instrument would cost well-over $500,000 to replace. The organ’s softest stop is the ‘Flauto Dolce’ – it speaks in a whisper. With everything stop engaged (‘Tutti’) the instrument produces a roar that fills the sanctuary with sound.

The organ is used regularly during worship services, weddings and memorial services.