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Organ Recital Series of the Fall 2009.
Holy Trinity’s newly rebuilt pipe organ is the work of today’s, October 4, 2009, recitalist Peter Walker of Walker Pipe Organs in Brattleboro, Vermont. It replaces the church’s original 1915 Hall organ. The new instrument is located on the liturgical east wall behind the Altar and above the nineteenth-century triptych that has become part of the new case. The instrument incorporates 3 1/2 ranks of pipes from the old organ along with the bench and the pedal board. The original facade pipes have been retained and utilized in the design of the new facade along with oak from the original case. The number of speaking stops has increased from 10 to 19 adding pipe work by Aeolian-Skinner, Estey, and Austin, as well as from the venerable Vermont organ pipe makers, Anderson Brothers. The new low-profile terraced oak console and electro-mechanical wind chests are controlled by a new solid-state control system.
In designing the new organ, the idea was to create an instrument that was more versatile than the old one. The end result, while leaning toward the romantic, does very well with all periods of the literature as well as providing solid accompaniment for hymn singing and choir anthems. Each division has its own Principal chorus including mixtures. Two reeds were included for additional color. The Pedal division is complete from the 32' Contra Bourdon through the Pedal mixture. The two string stops create a lush sound that, when used with the Hall Geigen, form a wonderful English Swell. The Great has an 8' Principal as well as the old Hall Diapason re-voiced as the new 8' Montre to allow the organist to choose according to the literature being played.
Peter Walker is a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He has served as organist and choir master at churches around the country and worked for organ builders in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont before establishing Walker Pipe Organs in 2004. He and his wife Beth Carl live in Brattleboro.
On October 18, 2009, we welcome Mark Howe, Organist and Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington, as the second to perform in our three part Organ Recital Series. At the Cathedral since 1999, Mark has served as musician in Episcopal parishes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Litchfield, Connecticut; Evanston, Illinois; and Poughkeepsie, New York. He has also taught at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and New York University.
As a recitalist, Mark has performed in the northeastern states, the Chicago area, France, and Belgium. His Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in organ are from Westminster Choir College and Yale University respectively, and he holds a Ph.D. in musicology from New York University. His organ teachers were Harriette Slack Richardson, William Hays and Thomas Murray.
At St. Paul’s, Mark has been active in the Cathedral Arts concert series in addition to his normal duties as organist and trainer/director of children’s and adult choirs. He has also acted as Guest Conductor of the Burlington Choral Society and given lecture-recitals at the University of Vermont. Mark was the person who first suggested that we speak with Peter Walker about rebuilding our organ, and we thank him for his brilliant suggestion.
More pictures of the reception after the recital: