Hershey Theatre
Hershey, PA

Aeolian-Skinner, Opus 876 1932-1933

60 independent voices, 69 ranks, 4,789 pipes

Berger & Shaffer releathered and restored in 1983

A. Thompson-Allen Co. restored the console in 1987

Specifications

Great (enclosed)

16’

Diapason

73 pipes

8’

First Diapason

73 pipes

8’

Second Diapason

73 pipes

8’

Third Diapason

73 pipes

8’

Harmonic Flute

73 pipes

8’

Clarabella

73 pipes

8’

Gemshorn

73 pipes

4’

Octave

73 pipes

4’

Waldflute

73 pipes

2 2/3

Twelfth

61 pipes

2’

Fifteenth

61 pipes

V

Mixture (2’)

305 pipes

16’

Ophicleide

73 pipes

8’

Tromba

73 pipes

4’

Clarion

73 pipes

 

Tremolo

 

 

Chimes (from solo)

 

 

Harp (from choir)

 

 

Celeste (from choir)

 

 

Fanfare

 

 

Swell (enclosed)

16’

Bourdon

73 pipes

8’

Diapason

73 pipes

8’

Salicional

73 pipes

8’

Vox Celeste

73 pipes

8’

Viole d’Orchestre

73 pipes

8’

Viole Celeste

73 pipes

8’

Gedeckt

73 pipes

8’

Spitz Flute

73 pipes

8’

Flute Celeste (TC)

61 pipes

4’

Octave

73 pipes

4’

Harmonic Flute

73 pipes

2’

Piccolo

61 pipes

III

Mixture (2 2/3’)

183 pipes

IV

Mixture (2’)

244 pipes

16’

Posaune

73 pipes

8’

French Trumpet

73 pipes

8’

Cornopean

73 pipes

8’

Oboe

73 pipes

8’

Vox Humana

73 pipes

4’

Clarion

73 pipes

 

Tremolo

 

 

Chimes (from solo)

 

 

Harp (from choir)

 

 

Celeste (from choir)

 

 

Fanfare

 

 

Choir (enclosed)

 

16’

Contra Gemshorn

97 pipes

8’

Diapason

73 pipes

8’

Gemshorn (from 16’)

 

8’

Gamba

73 pipes

8’

Gamba Celeste

73 pipes

8’

Concert Flute

73 pipes

8’

Dulciana

73 pipes

8’

Unda Maris (TC)

61 pipes

4’

Flute d’amore

73 pipes

2 2/3

Nazard (from Gemshorn)

 

2’

Piccolo (from Gemshorn)

 

1 3/5

Tierce (from Gemshorn)

 

1 1/7

Septième (from Gemshorn)

 

V

Mixture (draws five pitches)[1]

 

8’

Clarinet

73 pipes

8’

Musette

73 pipes

8’

Orchestral Oboe

73 pipes

 

Tremolo

 

 

Harp

 

 

Celeste

 

 

Chimes (from solo)

 

 

Fanfare

 


[1] Specification states this, but in reality it draws the 2 2/3’ 1 3/5’ 1 1/7’ and adds a 1 1/3’ - it must have been changed from the original

 

 

Fanfare (Enclosed, Floating)

16’

Contra Post Horn

85 pipes

8’

English Post Horn (from 16’)

 

8’

Harmonic Trumpet

73 pipes

8’

Trumpet Militaire

73 pipes

4’

Clarion

73 pipes

 

Tremolo

 

 

Solo (Enclosed)

8’

Orchestral Flute

73 pipes

8’

‘Cello

73 pipes

8’

‘Cello Celeste

73 pipes

8’

English Horn

73 pipes

8’

French Horn

73 pipes

 

Tremolo

 

8’

Tuba

73 pipes

 

Chimes (Deagan)

25 bells

 

Harp (from choir)

 

 

Celeste (from choir)

 

 

Pedal (Unenclosed)

32’

Resultant (quints Bourdon on the Diapason 1-12)

 

16’

Diapason

56 pipes

16’

Violone

32 pipes

16’

Bourdon

56 pipes

16’

Second Diapason (from Great)

 

16’

Contra Gemshorn (from Choir)

 

16’

Lieblich Gedeckt  (from Swell)

 

8’

Octave (from Diapason)

 

8’

Flute (from Bourdon)

 

8’

Gemshorn (from Choir)

 

8’

Gedeckt  (from Swell)

 

4’

Super Octave (from Diapason)

 

4’

Flute (from Bourdon)

 

32’

Bombarde (ext. Trombone)

12 pipes

16’

Trombone

56 pipes

16’

Posaune (from Swell)

 

8’

Tromba (from Trombone)

 

4’

Clarion (from Trombone)

 

 

Chimes plays at 4’ (from Solo)

 

 

Couplers 

Great to Pedal  8’ & 4’

Swell to Pedal  8’ & 4’

Choir to Pedal  8’ & 4’

Solo to Pedal  8’ & 4’

Fanfare to Pedal  8’ & 4’

Great to Great 16’, 4’, Unison Off

Swell to Swell 16’, 4’, Unison Off

Choir to Choir 16’, 4’, Unison Off

Solo to Solo 16’, 4’, Unison Off

Swell to Great 16’, 8’, 4’

Swell to Choir 16’, 8’, 4’

Choir to Great 16’, 8’, 4’

Solo to Great 16’, 8’, 4’

Solo to Swell 8’

Solo to Choir 16’, 8’, 4’

 

Combinations (double-touch divisional pistons engage corresponding Pedal combinations)

General 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

thumb and toe

Great 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

thumb

Swell 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

thumb

Choir 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

thumb

Solo 1-2-3-4-5-6-7

thumb

Pedal 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

single-touch thumb and toe

Fanfare 1-2-3-4

single-touch thumb

General Cancel

Two thumb (one below choir manual on right, one on piston row)

Divisional Cancel

thumb (one per division)

Combination set

thumb

Great to Pedal Reversible

thumb and toe

Swell to Pedal Reversible

thumb and toe

Choir to Pedal Reversible

thumb and toe

Solo to Pedal Reversible

thumb and toe

Sforzando

thumb and toe with indicator light

 

Accessories

Great, Swell, Choir and Solo expression shoes

Register Crescendo shoe with indicator light

Crescendo check 1-2-3-4-5     five-step shoe break with indicator

Crescendo check cancel

Fanfare expression       inter-canceling pistons

            Great-Swell-Choir-Solo-Off

All Swells to Swell        thumb and toe with indicator light

Chimes Dampers on / off          inter-canceling pistons

Celesta Dampers on / off          inter-canceling pistons

 Entrepreneur and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey realized the importance of providing opportunities for recreation and entertainment for his workers and residents of the community he had created. One of his earliest dreams was the construction of a community building, housing a large, well-equipped legitimate theatre, built for the benefit of the people in the area.

In 1915, plans were developed for a community building. The building was scheduled to be constructed in 1916 but the arrival of World War I stalled the plan. The Hershey Community Building and Theatre would not be constructed until 1929. The Community Building and Theatre were constructed during the Great Depression as part of Hershey’s great building campaign. The Community Building and Theatre were built following the original 1915 plans. When completed, the building solidly stood in the center of town, spanning the block between Chocolate and Caracas Avenues, and bordered on the West by Cocoa Avenue.

Behind the French doors of the front balconies are the 4,789 pipes and 25 bells of the theatre’s historic Aeolian-Skinner organ. This 69-rank instrument was designed in Boston by Ernest M. Skinner in 1931, and was finished by G. Donald Harrison, following Mr. Hershey’s exact specifications.  A restoration of the organ, completed in 1983, entailed totally dismantling the organ and its components; releathering, cleaning all the pipes; and repairing the electrical contacts.  Then the great instrument was meticulously reassembled, re-voiced, and tuned.  The whole process took approximately two years. This work was done by Berger & Shaffer. Later in 1987, A. Thompson-Allen Co. restored the console. The organ console has four manuals: Choir, Great, Swell, and Solo, plus a floating Fanfare.  The console sits on a hydraulic lift, which stops two stories below stage level, and raises to the level of the orchestra pit.  It also is mounted on a turntable which enables the organist to turn 90 degrees, either fully facing the stage or turning to a right angle.

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