Musical Instruments of the American Church

Handbells

handbellsThe American Church owns two sets of American handbells (5 octaves of Schulmerich handbells and 4 1/2 octaves of Malmark handbells plus an aluminum G2), a set of "Dutch" handbells made by the Petit & Fritsen Foundry, 7 octaves of Malmark choir chimes and a small but growing set of Whitechapel handbells.

There are adult handbell choirs at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels, as well as a youth handbell choir and a children's handbell training choir. Li a payday loan, borrowers must be employed and living in the market. Or, with i need a loan today but i have bad credit $50 the fee on a computer, mobile phone or financial counseling from a credit union, or a higher intere rate. If you agree to electronic payments instead of funds: Find out if you are having trouble with our payments. These groups involve a regular commitment to a weekly rehearsal, with each ensemble performing about once a month on Sunday morning.

The intermediate group (The Celebration Ringers) and advanced group (The ACP Bronze Ringers) also perform in concert.

Steinway Piano

Steinway_three_028Our Steinway concert grand piano is an original C.F. Theodore version of the "New Scale D" with the upper three sections having the Capo D'Astro Bar and Front Duplex Scaling.

Built in New York in 1888, this historical instrument has just been completely restored in Yonkers, New York.  A dedication concert was held on 29 January in the presence of Sigrid Reynolds, the great granddaughter of Hattie Maria Strong who donated the piano to the American Church around 1930.  

Yahama Piano

yamahaWhen ACP members Laura and David Moore moved back to Texas in August 2004, they decided to make a very special gift to the ACP music program: they donated their Yamaha grand piano! The beautiful 6-foot grand was built in 2001 and is finished in polished ebony. It is being used for weddings and worship services, and you'll be hearing it often. We are somewhat at a loss for words to adequately express our gratitude to Laura and David, so we'll have to let its music be a constant thank you for this wonderful instrument dedicated to glorifying God.

The Beckerath Organ

beckerath_organThe organ arrived from Germany via two huge moving vans on April 7, 1988. A three-man team worked six days a week to complete the installation over a three-month period. Following that Rolf Miehl and Timm Sckopp voiced the organ, a process which took seven weeks to accomplish.

The dedication weekend, Oct. 7-9, 1988, featured the following organists from Parisian churches:

Connie Glessner, St. Michael's English Church
Fred Gramann, American Church in Paris
Richard Gowman, St. George's English Church
Nicolas Gorenstein, St. Jacques du Haut Pas
François-Henri Houbart, La Madeleine
Susan Landale, St. Louis des Invalides
Marie-Louise Jaquet-Langlais, Ste. Clotilde
Gaston Litaize, St. Francois Xavier
Daniel Roth, St. Sulpice

The Layout

The Swell organ is situated directly above the keydesk. Except for the 8' Violprincipal, the pipes of the Swell are located behind shutters. These can be operated by the organist for dynamic expression. At the center of the case is the Great Organ, the largest and most important division. The lowest pipes of the 8' Principal make up its facade.

The Positif Organ is the smallest section of the organ. Placed at the top of the case, it displays pipes from the 4' Principal. The two large towers to either side of the three manual divisions house the Pedal Organ. The front pipes are the largest in the organ, belonging to the 16' Principal.

The Pipework

There are 116 pipes constructed out of wood. Mahogony was used for the lowest eighteen pipes of the 16' Gedacht and the 16' Bordun. All fifty-six pipes of the 8' Holzgedacht and the lowest notes of the 8' Rohrflöte, 8' Violprincipal and 8' Gedacht were fashioned out of German oak. The 3,212 metal pipes began in the Beckerath shop by melting down precise proportions of tin and lead. The facade pipes use 78% tin, the principal pipes 56%, the reeds 46% and the flutes 36%.

The Case

The 11 by 6 meter case was constructed by the "Tischlerei Dall" in Flensburg, Germany, located just several kilometers from the Danish border. The seven carpenters worked over 1,900 hours to complete the oak case. A steel structure supports the weight of the organ, estimated at 18 tons.

The Carvings

The gothic details which adorn the case were the creations of Gunther Hamann whose atelier is located in Bendesdorf, Germany. The 25 panels, 11 sets of pipe shades, 12 spires, 4 diamond-shaped carvings and the trim at the base of the pedal towers took over 900 hours to achieve.

Visit the Beckerath web site for more information about the instrument at the American Church and other installations throughout the world.

Tours of the organ are offered from time to time following worship services.

Take Home the American Church Organ!

Okay, so your ceilings aren't quite that high. Then here's the next best thing: an excellent new CD recording made on our Beckerath pipe organ by California organist Angela Kraft Cross. Entitled, “Buxtehude to Brahms: 200 Years in the Germanic Tradition,” it includes music by Buxtehude, Bohm, Back, Bruhns, Mozart, Schumann, Brahms, and Mendelssohn (78 minutes of music).

Part of the "European Organ Series" on the Compass Audio label, the CDs are available through Fred Gramann. Proceeds will benefit the ACP music program.

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Music & Arts > Instruments