Wesley United Methodist Church
Middletown

In April 2005, Wesley United Methodist Church in Middletown installed and dedicated a new three-manual and pedal, drawknob digital organ by Walker Technical Company of Zionsville, PA. The organ replaces a two-manual Saville electronic of 42 stops from 1967. The new organ has 51 pipe voices equaling 65 ranks in four divisions, with chimes, harp, zimbelstern, MIDI synth module, MIDI sequencer, piston sequencer, seven stereo amplifiers and 93 speakers.

Wesley’s organist and music director Walt Stiller designed the stoplist and console appointments in consultation with Walker and Gundling Organ Co. The tonal concept and stoplist does not copy, but is influenced by Werkprinzip organ design, and the original Cavaille-Coll Cesar Franck had at Ste. Clotilde in Paris in 1859, a moderate-sized organ of 46 stops, 14 of which were reeds. The Walker has a wonderfully bright, bold, clean, transparent German plenum on the Great and Pedal, distinctive fiery French reeds in the Swell, and a Choir (Positiv) that can balance, contrast, or rival the Great or Swell divisions. A magnificent English Tuba and a Spanish-like chamade at the rear of the nave crown the ensemble. Stoplist and voicing preclude the need for sub- or super-couplers.

Swell reeds and Pedal Bombarde were sampled from the Skinner at Girard College in Philadelphia, the Pedal 32’ Contra Fagotto from St. Bart’s in New York City, and the Great Trumpet 8’ from the Moller at Immanuel Lutheran in Lancaster which Pierce Getz consulted.

Console appointments include manual general pistons 1-12, with general toe pistons 13-20 laid out to resemble Franck’s ventils above the pedalboard. There are each six manual divisional pistons, four pedal divisionals; a Great/Pedal expression (to Choir-shoe) on-off piston, and a Great/Choir Transfer coupler for French literature. Divisional pistons operate couplers to those divisions, and a ‘combons on’ piston allows pedal stops and couplers to operate with manual division pistons. There are 192 levels of memory.

The decision to ‘go digital’ was primarily due to the musically unfavorable acoustic at Wesley Church. We did not think a pipe organ installation would be successful in the room. The Walker instrument has Lexicon reverberation set to mimic the room as it might sound without 100% carpeting, pew cushions and ceiling tile. The same care was given to setting the reverb as was given the voicing since the reverb unit does nothing for choir and congregational singing.

            This instrument begs to be heard and played. Digital reproduction is spectacular, but we still prefer a well-designed pipe organ in a friendly acoustical environment.

Specifications

Walker Digital Organ, installed April, 2005

51 Pipe Voices, 65 Equivalent Ranks, 12 duplexed/borrowed

 

Great (11 independent voices; 4 borrows)

16’

Bourdon (ext. 8’ Bourdon)

8’

Principal

8’

Bourdon

8’

Harmonic Flute

4’

Octave

4’

Nachthorn

2 2/3

Quint

2’

Superoctave

1 3/5

Seventeenth

IV

Mixture (1 1/3’)

16’

Contra Bassoon (ext. 8’ Bassoon)

8’

Trumpet

8’

Bassoon

8’

Tuba Magna (choir)

8’

Wesley Trumpet (swell)

 

Tremulant

 

Chimes

 

Swell (16 independent voices)

16’

Contre Viole

8’

Prestant

8’

Rohrflute

8’

Viole de Gamba

8’

Voix Celeste

4’

Principal

4’

Flute Ouverte

2’

Octavin

III

Cornet (12-15-17)

IV

Plein Jeu (2’)

16’

Bombarde

8’

Trompette

8’

Hautbois

8’

Voix Humaine

4’

Clairon

8’

Wesley Trumpet

 

Tremulant

 

Choir (11 independent voices; 1 borrow)

16’

Spitzflote (ext. 8’ Spitzflote)

8’

Italian Principal

8’

Spitzflote

II

Unda Maris

4’

Octave

4’

Koppelflote

2’

Gemshorn

1 1/3

Larigot

III

Cymbale (2/3’)

8’

Petite Trompette

8’

Cromorne

8’

Tuba Magna

 

Tremulant

 

Harp

 

Zimbelstern

       

Pedal (13 independent voices; 7 borrows)

32’

Contre Bourdon

16’

Principal

16’

Bourdon

16’

Contre Viole (swell)

16’

Spitzflote (choir)

10 2/3

Quint

8’

Octave

8’

Gedackt

8’

Spitzflote (choir)

4’

Choral Bass

4’

Gedackt (ext. 8’ Gedackt)

2’

Flute

IV

Mixture (2 2/3’)

32’

Contre Fagotto

16’

Bombarde

16’

Fagotto

8’

Trumpet

8’

Fagotto (ext. 16’ Fagotto)

8’

Tuba Magna (choir)

4’

Bassoon (great)

 

Coupler Tabs

         8’  Great to Pedal

     8’  Swell to Pedal

     8’  Choir to Pedal

      8’  Swell to Great

     8’  Choir to Great

      8’  Swell to Choir

            Great/Choir Transfer

 

Thumb Pistons (lighted when activated)

Generals 1-12

Great A-F, Great MIDI A, B

Swell A-F, Swell MIDI A, B

Choir A-F, Choir MIDI A, B

Pedal A-B, Pedal MIDI A, B

Transposer

Zimbelstern

Great/Choir on Choir Expression Shoe

Tutti

Pedal Combinations On (completely independent, no duplication)

 

Thumb Pistons (not lighted when activated)

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Swell to Great

Choir to Great

Choir to Swell

Setter

General Cancel

Previous/Next (piston sequencer on each division)

 

Toe Studs

Pedal C-D

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Previous/Next (piston sequencer)

Tutti

Generals 13-20

 

Indicator Lights

Great/Pedal Expression

Choir Expression

Swell Expression

Crescendo

Tutti

 

Expression Shoes

Choir (Great/Pedal)

Swell

Crescendo

 

Link to Church website

Back to Area Organs

Home Page