Presbyterian Church USA

 

Our Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ

organ with pipes in background

keyboard area of organ

Our church has a strong tradition of music, and one of its most outstanding features is our pipe organ. Built by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston, MA, this organ replaced the original 1903 Hook and Hastings tracker organ. Work was begun in 1948. The organ was completed in 1952. It is a two manual, 27 rank organ with 24 stops, electro-pneumatic action, and 1620 pipes. All the speaking pipes are located behind a screen. The visible zinc pipes are from the old organ. Following traditional procedure for any fine pipe organ, this Aeolian-Skinner was designed, built and voiced for the acoustics of this church. It is truly a custom made instrument.

Frank B. Campbell at the organ

Frank B. Campbell, circa mid 1950's

The church owes a debt of gratitude to Frank B. Campbell who was the organist from 1914 to 1978. Without his vision, we would not have this fine, historic organ. Frank spent several years studying and planning the organ in collaboration with G. Donald Harrison, president of the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, and Robert Noehren, organist of the University of Michigan.

Susan Reim has served as our church organist since July 1979. Prior to this she served three churches over a ten year period in Atlanta, GA while also pursuing a career as a cellist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Susan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and a Graduate Diploma in violoncello from the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists. For 23 years Susan taught piano and organ at our church. She retired from this field of her music work in 2003. It is now a great source of gratification to know that a number of her former students currently play the piano in their own churches. Several of them teach piano privately, and two of them are public school music teachers.

Click here for a stoplist of the church's Aeolian-Skinner organ

Click here to read of other significant instruments built at the same time as First Presbyterian Church's organ.