Holtkamp Organ Company
JOB 2074 - Mt. Union College - Alliance, Ohio Dewald Chapel, Myers Sanctuary
Installation 1998

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MT UNION COLLEGE - Alliance, Ohio

OPUS 2074 - Mt. Union College - Alliance, Ohio
Dewald Chapel, Myers Sanctuary

Mount Union College is a private liberal arts college located in Alliance, Ohio which is in the north central part of the state. It was founded in 1846. It has maintained an affiliation with the Methodist Church since the Civil War. Its current student population is 2200.

In 1997 Mount Union began the process of designing and building a new campus chapel. They engaged as architects The Collaborative of Toledo, Ohio. When the first conceptual drawings were complete we received a call from the college organist, Dr. Victoria Harris, regarding a new pipe organ for the chapel. The organ was to be used both as the primary liturgical instrument for the new chapel and as the primary teaching instrument for the Department of Music. The clear preference of Dr. Harris and Dr. Harold Kolenbrander, College President, was for an instrument with mechanical key action and electro-pneumatic stop action. This fusion of actions provides a combination of touch sensitivity and flexibility of stop controls that is ideal for the wide range of requirements that the new organ would have to fill.

It was clear from the outset that the size of the chapel would be a significant factor in the size of the new organ. Seating two hundred, it requires for an instrument that is more a chamber instrument than a concert instrument. It was also clear that the shape of the chapel would result in an acoustic experience that had warmth due to the volume of the space, and brightness and detail of sound due to the intimacy of the floor plan.

With these things in mind we began the development of a specification for the new organ. The prototype specification was twelve stops over two manuals. During the following months we gradually expanded the size of the organ to its final size of seventeen stops and twenty-one ranks. Our primary concerns were diversity of timber and balance of divisions.

During this process the visual design was progressing. After preliminary discussions with the architect we agreed that the placement of the organ should be in the center of the chancel area. The space in which the organ would be placed is very high. It gave rise to a design that is very high and narrow, with the Swell on the lowest chest level, the Great on the middle chest level and the Pedal on the upper chest level. With chests placed in this fashion we achieved excellent projection of sound from all divisions.

The height of the façade also had effects on the specification. Because of the height of the organ visual design we needed open 16’ pipes to fill the façade. As a result a decision was made to change the Pedal 16’ from a Subass (very traditional in the Holtkamp lexicon) to a 16’ Violone. The height of the Violone was exactly what was needed to eloquently fill the façade. It was also a wonderful addition to the specification.

The organ was constructed in the summer and fall of 1998, installed in December 1998 and voiced in January 1999.

 Pedal Organ

16   Violone 32
8   Flute Principal 32
4   Choralbass 32
16   Posaune 32
Great Organ

8   Principal 61
8   Rohrflute 61
4   Octave 61
4   Koppelflute 61
IV   Mixture 244
8   Trumpet 61
Swell Organ

8   Gamba 61
8   Voix Celeste 56
8   Bourdon 61
4   Openflute 61
2   Principal 61
1 1/3   Larigot 61
8   Oboe 61


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2909 Meyer Avenue | Cleveland, Ohio 44109 | Tel. 216.741.5180 | Fax 216.741.0678

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