Holtkamp Organ Company
2101 - Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Apple Valley MN

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Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church organ
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church interior
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church organ cons...

The tale of how every pipe organ comes to be is unique.  It can be short and direct.  It can also be long and circuitous.  The tale of the new Holtkamp organ at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, MN is of the long and circuitous type.  It began early in 2004 when we received a telephone call from the Director of Music, Mark Ertl, requesting locations of Holtkamp organs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.   For the next three years the Shepherd of the Valley Organ Committee visited many pipe organs and through their process selected The Holtkamp Organ Company as the builder of their new organ.  By the end of 2007, with valuable input from the Organ Committee, Mark Ertl, Jim Jordan, organist, and John Ferguson, organ consultant, we developed a final specification for the new organ.  The visual design of the new instrument had been submitted and accepted.  The Organ Committee had received from Holtkamp a complete list of work to be done prior to the arrival of the new organ, and had preliminary costs for this work in hand.  With this information they were fully prepared with all their information and associated costs, and were ready to present to the church council and ask for their blessing.

Then, as we all know, the national economy went into a tail spin.  Investments went south.  Incomes dwindled and in some cases, disappeared.  While the church and church council maintained their interest in an organ project, it was financially and politically impossible to follow through and complete the project given the circumstances at the time. 

In early summer 2010 it came to the attention of the Organ Committee that Macalester College, in Saint Paul, MN was planning the total rebuilding of the performance hall at the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center.  In order to provide more stage space in the rebuilt hall, the organ loft was being eliminated, and the organ with it.  The organ was a three manual, 43 stop 1966 Aeolian-Skinner.  There were many members of Shepherd of the Valley who attended Macalester College.  They felt a natural connection to the organ and were excited by the idea of having it at Shepherd of the Valley.  Following from this initial impulse, the Organ Committee proposed that Shepherd of the Valley purchase the Macalester organ.  The church leadership saw as this as an opportunity to utilize the Macalester organ as a rallying point for the organ project.  This in turn gave rise to growing enthusiasm in the congregation for the project.  The church purchased the Macalester organ late in 2010.

It was clear from the outset that, if the Macalester organ was used at Shepherd of the Valley, there would be significant challenges in terms of pipe scaling and acoustics.  The performance hall at Macalester College had a volume of 160,000 cubic feet.  This was roughly half the size worship space at Shepherd of the Valley.  As was the case with many organs from the 1960s, the scales in the Macalester Aeolian-Skinner were very small in all stops from 32' up through the beginning of the 2' range.  The sound of the organ in its original home was very mild.  At Shepherd of the Valley, a space nearly twice its size, it would be a squeak and a whimper. 

Because of this, early in the project it was decided not to use the Macalester organ in its 1966 specification.  The approach that we chose was to ‘repurpose’ selected parts of the organ to have an effect equal to that of a new Holtkamp organ.  In following through on the concept, we picked and chose Aeolian-Skinner stops and applied them to the Holtkamp specification, increasing the scale of the Aeolian-Skinner flue stops to match those of Holtkamp design, and fill the much larger acoustical space at Shepherd of the Valley with levels of sound to effectively lead a congregation of one thousand with authority.  All flue stops were increased at least two scales.  Depending on function and location, some flue stops were increased as much as 10 scales.  Reed stops were either used as is or not used at all.

There are other parts of the Macalester organ that were repurposed for Shepherd of the Valley.  We used four of the original chests; the two main chests in the Swell and the two main chests in the Choir.  All four chests were restored.  We used five of the original bellows, which were also restored.  We also used the original blower, which was rebuilt and refinished. 

The original Aeolian-Skinner console was significantly deteriorated.  It was missing the console case on the back and both sides.  Because of this it was decided to build a new console.  It is of traditional Holtkamp drawknob design.  The console case is constructed of red oak and finished to match the church pews.  The keyboards are bone and ebony.  The pedalboard is of maple with rosewood sharps.  The drawknobs are Pau Fero with ivory plastic inserts.  The drawknob solenoids and coupler rail are provided by Harris Precision Products.  The combination action was provided by Solid State Organ Systems.  It has 100 levels of memory and internal record/playback.

The visual design of the organ at Shepherd of the Valley is a new take on the very well known Holtkamp designs, primarily from the 1950’s and 1960’s, which make use of exposed pipework.  Its debt is not to the use of whole divisions as architectural elements of organ design, but to the balanced asymmetry which characterized such designs.  This is in keeping with the architecture of worship space at Shepherd of the Valley, built in 1996, which is characterized by clean lines and balanced asymmetry.

The organ is placed in the organ loft at the south end of the room.  A photo of the organ loft, pre-pipe organ, is provided.  The highest part of the loft is on the far left side.  This is where we positioned the Swell and Choir.  With these two divisions stacked one on top of each other we established the primary architectural anchor of the organ design.  In composing the remainder of the design we placed façade pipes in a series of cascading layers, streaming from left to right.  To the far right are the bass pipes of the 16' Bourdon and 16' Violone, which together balance the visual weight of the stacked Swell and Choir.  The result is a design which is colorful, playful, and well integrated physically and architecturally into the worship space.

The beginning of this project was a long and circuitous path, punctuated by good fortune and the seizing of opportunities as they arose.  The Aeolian-Skinner was transformed, evolved, from concert to worship, dark wood to bright white, and mild and bright to full and embracing.  Through its success, it has been a vehicle for congregational growth, and a significant addition to the quality of worship at Shepherd of the Valley.

Key Action: Pitman
Stop Action: Pitman
Unit Chests: Electropneumatic
Compass: Manuals 61
  Pedal 32

  32' Violone Bass (12 electronic tones) 0
  32' Bourdon Bass (12 electronic tones) 0
1. 16' Diapason   32
  16' Violone   Great
2. 16' Bourdon   32
  16' Lieblich Gedackt   Swell
  16' Antiphonal Bass (Prepared for) 12
  8' Octave   12
  8' Violone   Great
  8' Octave Bourdon   12
3. 8' Nachthorn   32
  8' Lieblich Gedackt   Swell
4. 4' Choralbass   32
  4' Nachthorn   12
  2' Nachthorn   12
5. IV Mixture 2 2/3' (Prepared for) 128
  32' Trombone Bass (12 electronic tones) 0
6. 16' Trombone   32
  16' Double Trumpet (Prepared for) Great
  16' Bassoon   Swell
  16' Cromorne   Choir
7. 8' Trompette (Prepared for) 32
  8' Trombone   12
  8' Bassoon   Swell
  4' Trompette (Prepared for) 12
  4' Clairon   Great
    Antiphonal on Pedal (Prepared for)
  8' Tuba Harmonique   Great
  8' Reformation Trumpet (Prepared for) Antiphonal

8. 16' Violone   61
9. 8' Diapason   61
  8' Violone   12
10. 8' Dulciana   61
  8' Nachthorn   17
11. 8' Rohrbourdon   61
12. 4' Octave   61
13. 4' Openflute   61
14. II Sesquialtera   122
15. 2' Fifteenth   61
16. V Mixture 2'   305
  16' Double Trumpet   12
17. 8' Trumpet   61
  4' Clarion   12
    Great 16'
    Great Unison Off
    Antiphonal on Great (Prepared for)
  16' Tuba Harmonique   0
18. 8' Tuba Harmonique   61
  8' Reformation Trumpet (Prepared for) Antiphonal

19. 16' Lieblich Gedackt   61
20. 8' Geigen Diapason   61
21. 8' Spitz Viol   61
22. 8' Viol Celeste   61
23. 8' Hohlflute   61
  8' Lieblich Gedackt   12
24. 4' Octave Geigen   61
25. 4' Traverse Flute   61
26. 2' Zauberflute   61
27. III-IV Plein Jeu 2 2/3'   232
28. 16' Basson   61
29. 8' Trompette   61
30. 8' Hautbois   61
  Swell 16'
  Swell Unison Off
  Swell 4'
  Antiphonal on Swell (Prepared for)
  16' Tuba Harmonique   Great
  16' Reformation Trumpet (Prepared for) Antiphonal
  16' Double Trumpet (Prepared for) Great
  8' Tuba Harmonique   Great
  8' Reformation Trumpet (Prepared for) Antiphonal
  8' Trumpet   Great

31. 8' Viola Pomposa   61
32. 8' Viola Celeste   61
33. 8' Bourdon   61
34. 8' Flauto Dolce   61
35. 8' Flute Celeste g8   54
36. 4' Octave   61
37. 4' Rohrflute   61
38. 2 2/3' Nazard   61
39. 2' Doublette   61
40 1 3/5' Tierce   61
41. IV Scharf 1'   244
42. 16' Cromorne   61
43. 8' English Horn   61
  8' Cromorne   12
    Choir 16'
    Choir Unison Off
    Choir 4'
    Antiphonal on Choir (Prepared for)
  16' Tuba Harmonique   Great
  8' Tuba Harmonique   Great
  8' Reformation Trumpet (Prepared for) Antiphonal

44. 8' Gemshorn 61
45. 8' Stopped Flute 61
46. 4' Octave 61
  4' Flute 12
  2' Gemshorn 24
47. 8' Reformation Trumpet 61

Great to Pedal 8' Reversible by Piston & Toe Stud
Swell to Pedal 8' Reversible by Piston & Toe Stud
Swell to Pedal 4'
Choir to Pedal 8' Reversible by Piston & Toe Stud
Choir to Pedal 4'
Swell to Great 16'
Swell to Great 8' Reversible by Piston & Toe Stud
Swell to Great 4'
Choir to Great 16'
Choir to Great 8' Reversible by Piston & Toe Stud
Choir to Great 4'
Swell to Choir 16'
Swell to Choir 8' Reversible by Piston & Toe Stud
Swell to Choir 4'
Choir to Swell 8'
All Swells to Swell
Manual Transfer

Generals 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 Piston & Toe Stud
Pedal 1-2-3-4-5-6 Toe Stud
Great 1-2-3-4-5-6 Piston
Swell 1-2-3-4-5-6 Piston
Choir 1-2-3-4-5-6 Piston
Antiphonal 1-2-3-4 Piston Prepared for)
Full Organ Reversible Piston and Toe Stud
Set Piston
Cancel Piston
Next Pistons (3) and Toe Stud
Previous Pistons (2) and Toe Stud
Zimbelstern Toe Stud

Custom Designed English Style Drawknob Console
Manual Natural Keys – Bone
Manual Sharp Keys – Ebony
Pedal Natural Keys – Maple
Pedal Sharp Keys – Rosewood
Drawknobs – Pau Fero
Organ Bench with Adjusting Crank Mechanism
Music Rack Light
Pedalboard Light
Swell Expression Pedal
Choir Expression Pedal
Crescendo Pedal
Full Organ Indicator Light
Electrical Control System with 99 Levels of Memory
    MIDI Playback
Existing Electric Blower
Swell Motor: one 16 stage Whiffletree
Choir Motor: one 16 stage Whiffletree
Keyed Start/ Stop Switch Located on Console

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

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