St. Cecilia Organ
In many churches the organ has held a place of honor. It is the church’s instrumental voice, proclaiming the word in music and supporting the ongoing song of praise offered by the people of God. The St. Cecilia Organ of the Church of the Transfiguration is integrally wed to the liturgy and to the art, as it surrounds the listener with sound. The pipes are suspended in mahogany cases over the two side aisles, a unique design. Built by Nelson Barden & Associates of Boston, MA, it is a restoration and expansion of components from eighteen twentieth-century organs of the E.M. Skinner Organ Company.
The organ’s unique surround-sound configuration allows its sounds to be specifically directed as to accompany the various liturgical actions taking place on the floor, as well as giving tremendous flexibility in concert. Consistent with the artwork in the Church, the rich variety of sounds and voices it can create give it the ability to “speak” a multitude of musical languages in prayer and praise to God. Restored by Nelson Barden of Boston, the organ is comprised of parts of eighteen different E.M. Skinner organs. Now completed the organ includes 185 ranks, 11,964 pipes and is the only surround-sound organ of this type in the world.
The organ’s Divisions include the North and South Great, Swell, Antiphonal, Choir, Processional, String, Solo, Echo, and Pedal Divisions. The main part of the organ is located at the east end of the Church in three sections. The Great and Choir Divisions of the organ are on the north side, the Swell Division on the south. The Processional Division of the organ is located one hundred feet away at the west end of the nave, and includes stops such as the French Horn, Orchestral Flute, Tuba Mirabilis, and the Trumpet Militaire. The Echo Division, also at the west end, includes the softest sounds of the organ.