History of Op. 711

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Church of the Ascension is the proud owner of notable organ builder E.M. Skinner's Op. 711, built in 1928 in Skinner's Boston workshop. Op. 711 is a large 4 manual instrument in an orchestral style, originally installed in the Masonic Temple of the Auditorium Theater in Rochester. The previous Warren organ at Ascension was rapidly failing, and it was decided in the early 1960's to replace this instrument. Op. 711 conveniently became available, and was purchased by Church of the Ascension in 1966 for $3,000. It was removed from the Auditorium Theater by Roberts Organ Company during that summer. There was insufficient room in the existing chambers, and a second level was built within them to house the greater number of pipes as the organ waited disassembled in semi-trailers. New swell boxes were prepared and installed, and can still be seen protruding from the top of the organ case. The organ was thoroughly cleaned before installation, and was first played in a dedicatory service on June 18th, 1967. A major dedicatory recital was held at 3:00 pm on Sunday November 12, 1967 performed by Charles Brown, then organist and choirmaster. All of this work, encompassing more than $20,000, was generously underwritten by Mrs. Wilhelmina Beach who had been an active member since 1923, in memory of her husband Harry A. Beach. A full list of stops and assists is given below, and a more comprehensive history is available in the church office upon request.

Since its installation, Op. 711 has needed very little work besides regular maintenance. Its 3,500 pipes have sounded out joyfully each Sunday, bringing beauty to worship and joy to many. After nearly 100 years of service to the Auditorium Theater and to Ascension, it is in need of restoration in order to safeguard its future with the church. This restoration will entail removing and cleaning each pipe, cleaning the chambers where the pipes are housed, re-leathering all the wind chests to make them airtight, rebuilding mechanisms related to the key and stop action, and finally putting all of the pieces back together. One estimate for this project is $1,550,000. After this work the organ will have a much cleaner, more transparent sound, and it will be more reliable. This restoration would make Ascension a more desirable location for concerts, and indeed a destination instrument for organ recitals. Already the organ is appreciated by the local community including Eastman students, and was recently featured in the national convention of the Organ Historical Society in 2018. For more information on supporting the organ fund please visit our                           page or contact the church office.

Stoplist

Skinner Organ Company Opus 711 1928

4 manuals, 50 stops, 56 ranks

Moved in 1967 from Masonic Temple, Rochester, New York

GREAT ORGAN

 

16' Double Diapason 61

8' First Diapason 61

8' Second Diapason 61

8' Flute Harmonique 61 *

8' Gemshorn 61 *

4' Octave 61

4' Flute 61 *

2 2/3' Twelfth 61

2' Fifteenth 61

1' Harmonics III 183

8' Tromba 61 *

4' Octave Tromba 61 *

Chimes 25 tubes

 

* enclosed in Choir 8'

PEDAL ORGAN

32' Resultant --

16' Diapason 56

16' Diapason (Gt) --

16' Bourdon 44

16' Salicional (Sw) --

16' Gedeckt (Ch) --

8' Octave (Diap) --

8' Flute (Bdn) --

8' Cello (So) --

8' Still Gedeckt (Ch) --

5 1/3' Octave Quint --

4' Super Octave (Diap) --

16' Ophicleide 56

16' Waldhorn (Sw) --

8' Tromba (Ophic) --

4' Clarion (Ophic) --

Chimes (Gt)

SOLO ORGAN

8' Flauto Mirabilis 73

8' Gamba 73

8' Gamba Celeste 73

4' Concert Flute 73

8' French Horn 73

8' Orchestral Oboe 73

Tremolo

8' Tuba Mirabilis 73

4' Tuba Clarion 73

 

COUPLERS

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Solo to Pedal

Swell to Pedal 4

Choir to Pedal 4

Solo to Pedal 4


Swell to Great

Choir to Great

Solo to Great

Swell to Great 16

Swell to Great 4

Choir to Great 16

Choir to Great 4

Solo to Great 16

Solo to Great 4

Solo to Swell
Swell to Choir

Solo to Choir

Swell to Choir 16

Swell to Choir 4

Solo to Choir 16

Solo to Choir 4

 

Great to Solo
 

Swell 16

Swell 4

Choir 16

Choir 4

Solo 16

Solo 4


 

SWELL ORGAN

16' Contra Salicional 73

8' Diapason 73

8' Rohrflöte 73

8' Salicional 73

8' Voix Celeste 73

8' Aeoline 73

4' Principal 73

4' Flute Triangulaire 73

2' Flautino 61

2' Mixture V 305 (17-19-22) (15-19-22-26-29)

16' Waldhorn 73

8' Trumpet 73

8' Oboe 73

Vox Humana 73

4' Clarion 73

Tremolo

CHOIR ORGAN

16' Bourdon 73

8' Geigen Principal 73

8' Cor de Nuit 73

8' Viole d'Orchestre 73

8' Dulciana 73

8' Unda Maris (TC) 61

4' Flute d'Amour 73

2 2/3' Nazard 61

2' Piccolo 61

1 3/5' Tierce 61

8' English Horn 73

8' Clarinet 73

Tremolo

8' Harp (TC) pf

4' Celesta pf

ADJUSTABLE COMBINATIONS

Solo 6 (thumb)

Swell 8 (thumb)

Great 8 (thumb)

Choir 6 (thumb)

Pedal 8 (toe)

General 6 (thumb & toe)

Coupler Cancel (thumb)

General Cancel (thumb)

Set (thumb)

Pedal Combs on Solo pistons On/Off

Pedal Combs on Swell pistons On/Off

Pedal Combs on Great pistons On/Off

Pedal Combs on Choir pistons On/Off

REVERSIBLES

Solo to Pedal (thumb & toe)

Swell to Pedal (thumb & toe)

Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)

Choir to Pedal (thumb & toe)

Great to Solo (thumb) Solo to Swell (thumb)

Swell to Great (thumb)

Choir to Great (thumb)

Solo to Great (thumb)

Swell to Choir (thumb)

Solo to Choir (thumb)

Sforzando (thumb & toe)

INDICATOR LIGHTS

Choir Swell Shoe - 6

Swell Swell Shoe - 6

Solo Swell Shoe - 6

Crescendo Pedal - 6

Sforzando

EXPRESSION

Balanced Pedal - Choir

Balanced Pedal - Swell

Balanced Pedal - Solo

Crescendo Pedal

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