Holtkamp Organ Company
JOB 2076 - Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington IL
Installed in 2000

Click on a thumbnail to see
the full-size image
View of the Lutheran Church of The Atonement

The Lutheran Church of The Atonement is located in Barrington, IL, a western suburb of Chicago. The church was founded in 1961. The current sanctuary was completed in 1986 as an addition to the original church. Their organ project began in 1997. Their situation at the outset was an ailing electronic as a service instrument and a rather sprawling space for music. The choir had no rear wall to focus and project their sound. The choir also faced in such a way so that their sound projected into the chancel area rather than towards the congregation.

Our charge in this project was threefold. First, was to design a suitable space for the organ, choir, console, and occasional instrumentalists. (The church uses hand bells on a regular basis. There was not sufficient space in the area newly designated for music for all the hand bells and tables. As a result they were placed in an area near the music space and behind the congregation.) The organ was placed to the left of the chancel area along the wall that gives it the best projection of sound to the congregation. The choir was placed on risers and in a location in which, as much as possible, the organ case can act as its rear sound-reflecting surface. The moveable console was placed directly in front of the choir and organ to ensure excellent visual and aural communication between organist and choir. With this arrangement all musical forces can function as a single musical ensemble in all musical parts of the service: congregational song, choral anthems and service music, and instrumental ensembles.

Second was the tonal design of the organ. There were essentially two factors that determined the specification and scales of the organ. First, the committee requested an all-purpose instrument for leading the congregation, accompanying the choir, and capable of accompanying immature or untrained voices. While this is not unusual, they thought it especially important to have a 8’ mezzo-piano stop in the Great as an additional accompanimental stop. This led us to decide to include in the Great an 8’ Gemshorn scaled specifically for the accompaniment of immature and untrained voices. Second is the fact that the nave of the church was built of a steel frame and covered with a single layer of 5/8” gypsum board. This construction always results in an acoustic that favors the high frequencies with low frequencies that are always weak. This was taken into account in the scaling of the organ. The result is a timber and balance of treble to bass that is very full but not overbearing.

Lastly is the visual design of the organ. The placement of the organ is against the left front wall of the sanctuary. This wall is bordered by a large irregular trapezoidal window to the right and divided near the center by a large beam. We decided that we would divide the organ into two sides, separated by the ceiling beam. The left side would house the Swell. The right side would house the Great and the Pedal. The Great would be situated on the lower level with the Pedal above. The façade design is a balanced asymmetry that draws on the irregular trapezoidal shape of the sanctuary windows. The general arrangement is as follows. To the right of the ceiling beam and in front of the Great and Pedal are two large flats of façade pipes. To the left off the ceiling beam and in front of the Swell is one large flat of façade pipes divided into three separate sections. As a unifying motion, the frames surrounding the façade flats to the right are angled toward the left. The frame surrounding the façade pipes on the left are angled to the right.

This organ was built in summer and fall of 1999. It was installed in January 2000 and voiced in February 2000.

Pedal Organ

16   Subbass 32
16   Pommer Great
8   Octave 32
8   Flute 12
4   Choralbass 32
16   Posaune 32
8   Octave 12
    Midi A  
    Midi B  
 Great Organ

16   Pommer 61
8   Principal 61
8   Gemshorn 61
8   Rohrgedackt 61
4   Octave 61
4   Openflute 61
2 2/3   Nazard 61
2   Doublette 61
1 3/5   Tierce 61
V   Mixture 305
8   Trumpet 61
    Midi E  
    Midi F  
Swell Organ

8   Gamba 61
8   Voix Celeste 56
8   Hohlflute 61
4   Octave Geigen 61
4   Harmonic Flute 61
2   Principal 61
1 1/3   Larigot 61
IV   Fourniture 244
16   Clarinet 61
8   Oboe 61
    Midi C  
    Midi D  

Lutheran Church of the Atonement website





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

About Us
Contact Us