Gifts to Glorify the Lord (GtGtL)

History of St. Timothy's Tracker Organ

organ-3577The nameplate on this organ reads “James D. Moore Worcester, Massachusetts 1870” and is the only known example of his work remaining.  The pipe work and case appear to have been built by the William Johnson Pipe Organ Company.  A date of 1863 is found inside the great wind chest.

In October 1968, James Baird along with William T. Jones and two of Mr. Jones’ sons, Steven Jones and Dwight Deale, traveled to Barre Massachusetts to get the organ, which had been donated by the First Unitarian Church.  The Barre church was to be razed for a parking lot.  The Board of Trustees of the First Unitarian Church preferred to donate the organ to a church that would restore and use it rather than allow it to be broken up and sold for parts.   It took Jim, assisted by Scott Boyd and other members of the church, more than a year to completely refurbish the organ, not only as an historic instrument but also one which could fully support the worship services in what is now Henry Hall. 

The organ was blessed by the Rt. Reverend Robert Hall on his visit in January 1970 and was formally dedicated at a concert given by David Lowry of Winthrop College, South Carolina on October 12, 1971.  It was disassembled from Henry Hall and reassembled in the new sanctuary by Jim Baird and his sons, Ronnie and Steven, assisted by parishioners, to be rededicated by the Rt. Reverend David H. Lewis at the November, 1982 dedication of the addition to the building. 

History of the Gifts to Glorify the Lord Campaign

A committee evolved over the years 2002 to 2007 as to the future of the Moore pipe organ with the result in a 2007 study extensively evaluating the organ status and issues.  Kirby Smith Associates, Inc. of Quarryville, PA was hired to survey the parish support level and launch a campaign late in 2010 extending into 2011.  During that time it was decided to incorporate the Reserve Fund into the Organ Capital Campaign.  The Capital Campaign ran for 3 years from June 2011 to May 2014 to finance a new organ and sanctuary improvements and a reserve fund.

Three renarthex-filled-with-pipe-organ-partsplacement proposals were received  in 2012 with an average cost of $500,000. Although over $350,000 for the pipe organ and $70,000 for the reserve fund was raised by mid-2014 this was a funding shortfall resulting in the committee seeking lower cost alternatives to replacement.

The committee met with organ consultants about the feasibility of restoring this historic instrument and all agreed that it was a reasonable solution to replacing the organ.  A Request for Proposal was issued and the vestry contracted with J.Allen Farmer, Inc. of Winston-Salem, N.C. to renovate and augment our 1870 J.D. Moore pipe organ.   The organ was meticulously disassembled, packed and transported to Winston-Salem, N.C. in February 2015.  

During 2015-2016 the committee researched and designed a new floor plan that changed thepit-with-tile pit that would move the organ up and forward to enhance visibility for the music director and choir as well as upgrade to a hard surface flooring of porcelain tile for the main sanctuary that would improve acoustics of the worship space.  New altar carpet and electrical improvements were also planned.  Nuance Inc. of Sterling, VA was contracted to do the work in August 2016 and completed the first phase including painting the entire sanctuary.  New doors with glass inserts separating the narthex from the sanctuary are ordered and the final construction steps will be completed shortly.

Meanwhile J.Allen Farmer Inc. has been busy preserving the historical, fully functional portions of the organ and augmenting the existing 7-8 ranks to 24 inside the existing case.  An Ohio firm was contracted to construct the new pipe work.  They also built a new adjustable bench which allows the organist flexible seating.     farmer-v1bench

The committee is currently reviewing designs and colors for final approval by the vestry with which  J.A. Farmer will use to refinish the case and facade. 

Plans are for the Moore pipe organ to be returned and installed by J. A. Farmer before the end of 2016.