Pictured above: Buzard Organ Company's Keith Williams and Plymouth Organists: Jayna Latva (1991-1996), Larry Wheelock (2015-present), and Ingrid Pierson (1996-2008).
2018 Organ Renovation
BRIEF HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH'S ORGAN
The current Plymouth Church organ is the culmination of an installation that was begun in 1983 as the Opus 8 of the Hammes-Foxe Organ Company from Butler, WI. The plan was for a 16 stop, 32 rank instrument, approximately half of which was installed initially at a cost of $80,000.
The remainder of the initial specification was installed (with some adjustments) by the Foley-Biggers Organ Company for $40,000, in time for the 150th anniversary of Plymouth Church in 1991.
The recent update by the Buzard Organ Company from Champaign (IL) was completed in 2018 at a cost of $150,000, including one additional pipe rank, a new blower of double the old capacity, a state-of-the art memory system, extensive mechanical and electrical changes, re-arrangement of the resources for better tuning access, and significant tonal improvements. All ranks are ‘straight’; there are no borrows with the exception of the 16-8 Violone and the Untersatz derived from the Subbass. The instruments now offers 33 ranks, 31 speaking-stops, and 2 percussions.
The initial installation was dedicated on February 4, 1984, with an all Bach program performed by Roger Sherman, who also designed the instrument. This pipe organ replaced a 1955 Allen vacuum tube instrument, which in turn had replaced a pipe organ that had been installed with the completion of the current building in 1914.
Video of the organ renovation from its departure, to its busy summer at the Buzard Organ Builders , to its triumphant return and rededication.