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Specifications of the Bigelow Organ, Opus 16
Provo, Utah Central Stake Center

Two Manuals and Pedal:  13 stops

 

 

 

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MANUAL (58 notes)

I*

II**

Pedal (30 Notes)

Subbass

---

---

16'

Quintadena

16'

---

16'

Praestant

8'

---

8'

Chimney Flute

8'

8'

---

Quintadena (trans)

---

---

16'

Gamba

8'

8'

---

Celeste (TC)

8'

8'

---

Octave

4'

4'

---

Conical Flute

4'

4'

---

Octave

2'

2'

---

Nazard/

2 2/3'

---

---

     Cornet (TC)

---

III

---

Mixture/

IV

---

---

     Quint

---

1 1/3'

---

Dulcian

---

16'

16'

Trumpet

8'

8'

---

Trumpet (trans)

---

---

8'

 

*Stops are registered on Manual I by moving the stop knob toward the organist.

**Stops are registered on Manual II by moving stop knob away from the organist.

 

Additional Features

  • Couplers: I/Ped., II/Ped, II/I
  • Cymbelstern
  • Vogelsang (Nightingale)
  • Tremulant
  • Case of solid white oak 19' tall, with mouldings and pipe shade carvings
  • Mechanical key and stop action
  • Exterior bellows with silent electric blower
  • Mechanical swell shades affect all manual stops except the Praestant 8' (the façade pipes are from this stop)
  • Keys of bone and ebony
  • Werckmeister III temperament

 

 

 

Background Information

by DeeAnn Stone

 

    

In early 1987, I began playing the Bigelow Opus 16 tracker organ. Because this organ has been a great blessing in my life by providing me with many opportunities to serve and grow in my calling as ward organist, I would like to tell you a little bit about the history of the organ.

In late 1985, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contracted M. L. Bigelow & Co. of American Fork, Utah build this German Baroque-style organ, patterned after the type that Johann Sebastian Bach played. The effort to have the organ installed was spearheaded by then President Douglas E. Bush (counselor in the stake presidency and Brigham Young University organ faculty member), with whom I became acquainted in 1973 when he was our ward organist in the Provo 5th Ward. In a 1995 newsletter, Highpoints, published by the M. L. Bigelow & Co., Dr. Bush states that the purpose for installing this type of organ was to "serve the musical needs of the Church, enhance the cultural life of the community, and continue the Church's pioneer legacy of providing beauty for future generations."

In order to raise funds to build the organ, members of the stake donated whatever they could by having yard sales, making and selling quilts, etc. I remember members of our ward bishopric wearing red ties to church every week until our ward quota had been met. Members of the stake and others, under the supervision of a local violin maker, also contributed their time and talents by carving the beautiful floral design in oak for the pipe shades.

During this time, I was busy raising my children, never dreaming I would be called to play the organ. I hadn't touched an organ for six years having had only a 6-week organ course sponsored by the stake and taught by Geoff Meyers in March 1981. A few months before the organ was installed, I remember being asked to come over to the church to "audition" for our choir director. Soon after that, Bishop Jack Nelson called me into to his office and asked me to serve as ward organist. Since I loved playing the hymns and felt I could handle playing the piano for Sacrament Meeting until the organ was finished, I accepted the call thinking I would be released after the organ was installed and the "real" organist would be called. I wasn't released for 15 years.

 

Soon, the magnitude of my responsibility to play the new organ became overwhelming. I was ready to quit before I even got started. As a result of many sleepless nights praying and fretting, I gained the support I needed through the help of Carol Dean, the organist for the other ward in our building and an organ student of Doug Bush's. She offered to give me free organ lessons, since I was her first "guinea pig" to try her teaching skills on. So, my journey to learn to play the organ began. From those early days, I have had many enriching experiences and am deeply grateful to Doug Bush for his vision and desire to have such a beautiful organ installed in our building; to Carol for her patience, instruction, and friendship; and to Mike Bigelow and his employees for building such a wonderful instrument. Most of all I'm grateful to the Lord for guiding me and helping me to grow and learn. To repay Him, I have tried throughout the years to serve Him the best I can through the music I play.

My own growth and struggles are but a small part of the legacy this organ. In addition to providing beautiful and uplifting music for worship services, this organ has been the center of many recitals and concerts for the stake and community, plus being used to accompany our stake choir for an Easter program on TV after LDS General Conference. Many audio tape and CD recordings have also been made using this organ. According to the Highpoints article quoted earlier, by 1995, organists from 38 states and 14 foreign countries had visited the organ because of its uniqueness in an LDS meeting house. This organ has truly blessed the lives of many people.

 

Because of my opportunity to play this organ and to have Carol Dean as my organ teacher, I became affiliated with the Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, where I served as newsletter editor and now maintain the chapter website.  Being a member of AGO helped me tremendously to gain confidence to play the organ and to meet many talented and wonderful people.  Through my association with those in my chapter, I was able to get help compiling the information for this website.  A special thanks to Claire Rogers and Carol Dean for their assistance.

 

 

 

© DeeAnn D. Stone

 

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