Cathedral Organ Restoration

 

Repair, Renovate, Restore

The St. Francis Cathedral Pipe Organ was installed in 1983.
 

The Original Pipe Organ

  • The organ is played at over 400 Masses and numerous rehearsals each year.
  • It serves the Cathedral Parish on a weekly basis, and the Diocese for Priest & Deacon Ordinations, Chrism Mass, and other special functions.
  • The pipe organ accompanies a multitude of choirs, cantors, and instrumentalists.
  • Original specifications: 1,889 pipes, 25 voices, 31 ranks, and 3 manuals (keyboards). 
    • Click to see current organ specifications.

The issues that prompted the 2018 restoration

  • In the 1980s, when our organ was custom built, a change in zinc manufacturing affected the pipe organ industry, resulting in weakened metal pipes.  As a result, MANY of our pipes needed to be replaced and many others repaired.
  • 34 years of dust and incense necessitated the removal and cleaning of all pipes.
  • The original organ design allowed for pipe work that was never installed.  As a result, the organ had one string stop and was missing other stops that would be standard in an instrument serving a cathedral.
  • The pedalboard was completely worn from use.
  • The electrical system was in need of modernization, as technology had vastly changed.

The Restoration Plan

  • The Console was completely rebuilt, upgraded, and modernized.
  • The Windchests and bellows were completely re-leathered, providing 30-40 years of reliable service.
  • The pipework and all related parts were completely cleaned, and all compromised internal zinc pipes repaired or replaced.
  • The Trumpet and Oboe pipes were completely replaced to correct the physical failure of the original zinc pipework, providing vastly-improved tonal resources and superior tuning stability.
  • New pipe racking and supports were put in place to ensure stability.
  • The tonal pallet was completed with new and updated voices to install grandeur and clarity. 
  • There are now 2,270 pipes, 32 voices, 36 ranks, and 3 manuals (keyboards).
  • Work began June 2018 and was completed by the end of October 2018.
  • The restored pipe organ was blessed by Most Rev. James F. Checchio, Bishop of Metuchen, at the Thanksgiving morning mass. November 22, 2018.
  • Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Zamorski - Rector
  • Thomas A. DeLessio, Director of Music and Organist
  • William R. Berg, Organ Consultant
  • George Trapp, Finance Council Chairman

The Damage

Outdated Wiring Collapsing Trumpet Pipes Bending Pipes
Outdated Wiring
 
Collapsing Trumpet Pipes
 
Other Collapsing Pipes
 
Pipes with Strings
Damaged Pipe
Support System
 
More Damaged
Pipe Supports
Even More Damaged
Pipe Supports
Loose stoppers Worn Pedals
Loose Stoppers
 
Worn Pedals
 
Windchests
     
  Restoration Begins  
   
     
 

Thank you to all donors!
Click to see list

 

Organ Specifications

Online Giving

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