Cleveland, OH - Trinity Cathedral, the Episcopal Church in downtown Cleveland and the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, has installed a vintage Muller/Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ for use in its worship services and other musical programs.
“This project is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for the cathedral, its members and the musical community in northeast Ohio,” explained Todd Wilson, director of music at Trinity. “It’s size and scope, the musical variety and the story of this organ make it one of the most noteworthy musical projects in Cleveland this year.”
The story began in 2011 when a classic Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ was purchase by Trinity. Aeolian-Skinner was the premier pipe organ builder in the U.S. during the early and middle decades of the 20thcentury. The organ was originally built for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia in 1953. It was designed by Aeolian-Skinner’s renowned tonal director, G. Donald Harrison. Then, in 2013, the Diocese of Ohio donated additional pipes from the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Cleveland, which housed a 1916 E.M. Skinner organ prior to its closing.
Since then, the organ and components have been in storage at the Muller Pipe Organ Co. while funds were raised to restore, renovate and install it. When those funds were raised, the restoration began at the Muller shop, located near Columbus, Ohio. The organ is a hybrid of elements, combining tonal resources from both instruments along with new sounds and components. Its four-manual (keyboard) console has been completely renovated, including new keyboards, new pedalboard, interior woodwork and a dolly enabling the console to be moved to different locations in the cathedral’s chancel depending on the occasion.
The new organ will pair with the cathedral’s existing Flentrop organ, built in 1977 by the Flentrop Orgelbouw B.V. organ company in the Netherlands.
“We look forward to celebrating the new organ and its unique combination with our superb Flentrop organ, in a variety of services and concerts,” said Wilson. “The warmth, beauty and color of the Muller/Aeolian-Skinner, in contrast to the European Baroque sound of the Flentrop, will enrich our worship services and outreach to the music community in northeast Ohio for years to come. It also gives us the option to play two-organ compositions.”
The organ will be blessed and dedicated in a service of Choral Evensong taking place Sunday, Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. On Oct. 6 at 12 p.m., as part of its BrowBag concert series, Music & Art at Trinity Cathedral will present an organ spectacular featuring the new organ and the playing of Wilson and Associate Organist Nicole Keller. Please note that proof of COVID vaccination is required to attend this free concert in person. It will be livestreamed at facebook.com/musicandartattrinitycathedral and trinitycleveland.org.
(Copyright, iHeartMedia, 2021)
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