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St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, McKinney, Texas

The stunning new building at St. Michael, which is at least 10 times the size of the old building, is a musician’s dream:  traditional cruciform plan, all hard surfaces (no carpet), organ and choir high at the west end of the nave.  Our work involved moving the parish’s old organ to the new building, separating the pipes into two sections to fit around the new window, building new enclosures and oak casework, rebuilding the console to conform more closely to AGO standards, adding several ranks of pipes, and rescaling and revoicing the old pipes to suit the new location and acoustics.

 Traditions and experience have their own value.  The organ in St. Michael’s old building, by Herman Boettcher & Sons, showed the same fine attention to woodworking detail, use of quality new components, and clever and economical reuse of old material as some of the organs of Otto Hofmann, one of my mentors and models.   Mr. Hofmann, a peer of Mr. Boettcher and a founding member and past president of the International Society of Organbuilders, turned to Dirk. Flentrop in Holland, another founding member of the ISO, something like 50 years ago for assistance in design and sourcing of pipes while building the pioneering mechanical action organ in Albany, Texas.

New stoplist:

—GREAT—                   

  • Bourdon           16   
  • Principal            8   
  • Geigen              8    
  • Chimneyflute      8   
  • Dulciana            8   
  • Octave               4   
  • Koppelflute         4   
  • Nazard         2 2/3  
  • Super Octave     2   
  • Blockflute          2  
  • Tierce          1 3/5   
  • Mixture III               
  • Trumpet             8   
  • Tremulant               
  • Great to Great 4  
  • Swell to Great 8  
  • Swell to Great 4  
  • Chimes              
  • Zimbelstern 

            
—SWELL—

  • Principal        8    
  • Bourdon         8   
  • Salicional       8   
  • Celeste          8   
  • Principal        4   
  • Flute              4   
  • Flute              2   
  • Quint        1 1/3   
  • Bassoon      16    
  • Trumpet         8      
  • Oboe             8      
  • Clarion           4  
  • Tremulant       
  • Swell to Swell 4

 

—PEDAL—

  • Subbass          16   
  • Bourdon           16   
  • Principal            8   
  • Bourdon             8   
  • Octave               4   
  • Flute                 4   
  • Trumpet           16   
  • Trumpet             8   
  • Trumpet             4   
  • Great to Pedal    
  • Swell to Pedal     
  • Swell to Pedal 4  

Summary:  1,127 pipes

                           17 ranks (sets of pipes)

Sources:        New pipes built by to our specifications by Firma Jacq. Stinkens in Holland.

                            New switching system and stop controls by Peterson Electro-Musical Products, as used previously by Boettcher.

                           Console from an earlier Kilgen organ; new Peterson switching system and key and stop controls.

                           Old pipes from various earlier organs.  Open wood Melodia pipes built by Pilcher were stoppered by Boettcher to make the Swell Gedeckt.  Our firm increased the scale (diameter) and revoiced many of the old pipes to fit the size and acoustics of the new location.

The pipes are in the west end second floor choir loft in two cases we built, one on each side of the central window.  We reused the previous blower, wind chests, and many pipes.  The Great Principal chorus (Principal 8’ + Octave 4’-Super Octave 2’ + Mixture III) is on chests cantilevered out from the cases, as in the old building. 

Since this is such a small organ for such a large room, we used unusual pipe scales (diameters) and voicing.  Wind pressure is 4½” (114 mm) water column.