Austin Organ Company
After a thoughtful search and much prayer, in 2011 First Baptist decided to award the contract for construction of the organ to Austin Organ Company of Hartford, Connecticut.
Austin Organs is the only remaining great name from the grand period of American organ building. Companies like M.P. Möller, Aeolian-Skinner, Kimball and a host of others have closed their doors and passed from living to legend. By good management of a good product, and by moderation in all things, Austin has survived the vicissitudes of economic hardship and perhaps of greater significance: stylistic change, to emerge with the experience that comes from over a century of works of all kinds, styles and sizes, from grand concert organs to small chapel instruments.
Austin Organs are known for avoidance of the extreme. Even Austin organs from the 1920s have a clear, singing quality that lends them to easy renovation and tonal modernization. Austin flutes have always had a lithe quality - articulate, bright, yet with rich fundamental warmth. For decades, Austin had voicers who did nothing else but voice string pipes. The string tone of an Austin organ can be lush and full or edgy and full of sizzle. Reeds are built in the Austin Factory as developed through the generations. From the gentle Vox Humana, to the bright trompette-en-chamade, Austin Reed stops are known for stability of pitch and tone to excitement and color. The needs of the instrument demand creativity and a trained ear.
The Tonal Director for the Austin Organ Company is Michael B. Fazio. An organist, electronic engineer, draftsman cabinetmaker and voicer, perhaps best defined as an Organbuilder. In the business for over 20 years, Mike has voiced, finished and designed many instruments of different styles. It is the “American Classic” style that he feels the Austin company has been moving towards, with the flexibility of creativity and, of course, the particular needs of the installation always foremost in our conception and design.
The American Classic tonal design concept is that an organ should be able to play music of nearly any period without severe limitations imposed by instruments built in a particular national school of tonal design. This is an idealistic approach, of course, but with this concept as a goal, Austin is encouraged to keep its designs versatile and eclectic. The balance is absolutely key. Austin takes particular pride in building organs with singing, warm choruses, all the voices which have to be combined and carefully voiced so that they form a cohesive ensemble.
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this week in worship
SUNDAY - Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost
August 24, 2014
Sermon Title:Naming What Has Been; Claiming What Is To Be"
Text: Isaiah 51:1-6
Rev. Dr. Stan Hastey preaching
Lawrence P. Schreiber, Organist-Choirmaster
Joseph Bonnet (1884-1944)
"To the Members of Christ's Body"
Peter Cutts (1969)
Erik Routley (1917-1987)
The Chancel Choir
"Improvisation on a Gregorian Theme"
Flor Peeters (1903-1986)
Noel Rawsthorne (B. 1929)