SPECIFICATIONS
for
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Appleton, Wisconsin

The four manual instrument is located in the balcony behind a new casework built by
local craftsman Dwayne "Doc" Saultzbaugh, and consists of 49 ranks, 2,946 pipes and Harp.

The new instrument features a creative eclectic tonal design with clear
principal choruses, colorful flutes and strong symphonic elements.

The core of the instrument is historic pipes from the original Sole organ as well as a treasure trove of colorful reeds,
strings, and Harp from Möller Opus 6007 (1931) which was purchased from First Baptist Church, Elmira, New York for
inclusion in this project. The original voicing of this fine example of Richard O. Whitelegg's work
as Tonal Director and reed voicer of the Möller Organ Company has been preserved.

The new instrument, Opus 57, was completed in late 2016 with the installation of the new organ case.
A service of dedication was on October 23, 2016 with the first dedication recital, performed by
organ consultant, John D. Schwandt on February 19, 2017.

 

GREAT (Manual II - Unenclosed)

16
  Contra Diapason
24
pipes *
8
  Principal
61
pipes
8
  Rohrfloete
61
pipes
4
  Octave
61
pipes
4
  Nachthorn
61
pipes
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
pipes
2
  Fifteenth
61
pipes
1 3/5
  Seventeenth
61
pipes
IV
  Mixture (1 1/3')
244
pipes
   

* Extension of Pedal Choralbass

CHOIR (Manual I - Expressive)

16
  Gemshorn
12
pipes
8
  Harmonic Flute
49
pipes*
8
  English Diapason
61
pipes
8
  Quintadena
61
pipes
8
  Gemshorn
61
pipes
8
  Gemshorn Celeste
61
pipes 
4
  Gemshorn
12
pipes 
16
  Bass Clarinet
12
pipes
8
  Tromba
61
pipes
8
  Tuba
Solo
8
  Clarinet
61
pipes
  Tremulant
  Harp
Solo
  Chimes
prepared
  Choir 16
  Choir Off
 
 
  Choir 4
 
 

* 1-12 Common with Gemshorn,

SWELL (Manual III - Expressive)

16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
24
pipes
8
  Open Diapason
61
pipes
8
  Bourdon
61
pipes
8
  Viola
61
pipes
8
  Viola Celeste
61
pipes
4
  Principal
61
pipes
4
  Koppelfloete
61
pipes
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
pipes
2
  Flautino
61
pipes
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
pipes
IV-V
  Plein Jeu (2')
296
pipes
16
  Contra-Oboe
12
pipes
8
  Trumpet
61
pipes
8
  Oboe
61
pipes
4
  Clarion
12
pipes
8
  Vox Humana
61
pipes
    Vox Tremulant
    Tremulant
    Swell 16    
  Swell Off    
  Swell 4    

SOLO I (Manual IV - Expressive)

8
  Diapason
29
pipes**
8
  Flauto Mirabilis
49
pipes*
8
  Gamba
61
pipes
8
  Gamba Celeste
61
pipes
4
  Hohlpfeife
61
pipes
8
  French Horn
61
pipes
16
  Tuba Profunda
12
pipes
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
61
pipes
4
  Tuba Clarion
12
pipes
    Tremulant
    Solo 16    
  Solo Off    
  Solo 4    

Tuba not affected by Tremulant
**1-32 Common with Pedal Diapason 8'

* 1-24 Common with Pedal Open Wood Diapason 16'

SOLO II (Manual IV - Borrows)

16
  Gemshorns II
Choir
8
  Gemshorns II  
Choir
4
  Gemshorns II  
Choir
8
  Koppelfloete   Swell
4
  Rohrfloete   Great
2
  Gemshorn   Choir
8
  Tromba  
Choir
8
  Trompette  
Swell
8
  Oboe  
Swell
8
  Clarinet  
Choir
16
  Vox Humana  
Swell
8
  Vox Humana  
Swell*
    Harp
61
notes
    Chimes
prepared

* Draws Vox Tremulant
Solo II is not affacted by couplers
Zimbelstern on blind reversible

PEDAL

32
  Contrabass  
resultant
32
  Contra Bourdon
resultant
16
  Open Wood Diapason
 24
pipes*
16
  Contra Diapason
Great
16
  Subbass
32
pipes
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
 
Swell 
16
  Gemshorn
Choir
8
  Diapason
32
pipes 
8
  Bourdon
32
pipes
8
  Lieblich Gedeckt  
Swell
8
  Gemshorn
Choir
4
  Choral Bass
44
pipes
4
  Nachthorn
32
pipes
V
  Mixture (2 2/3')
 36
pipes
32
  Contra Tuba
12
pipes (Solo)
32
  Contra Fagotto
resultant 
16
  Tuba Profunda
Solo
16
  Contra-Oboe
 
Swell
16
  Bass Clarinet
 
Choir
8
  Tromba
 
Choir
8
  Trompette
 
Swell
4
  Tromba Clarion
 
Choir
4
  Clarinet
Choir 
  Chimes
 
prepared
  Pedal Divide
 
  Pedal Silent
 

*25-32 from Solo Flauto Mirabilis 

COUPLERS

Great to Pedal 8
Swell to Pedal 8
Swell to Pedal 4
Choir to Pedal 8
Solo to Pedal 8
Solo to Pedal 4
Swell to Great 16
Swell to Great 8
Swell to Great 4
Choir to Great 16
Choir to Great 8
Choir to Great 4
Solo to Great 16
Solo to Great 8
Solo to Great 4
 
Swell to Choir 16
Swell to Choir 8
Swell to Choir 4
Solo to Choir 16
Solo to Choir 8
Solo ot Choir 4
Swell to Solo 16
Swell to Solo 8
Swell to Solo 4
Great to Solo 8
All Swells to Swell

 

Hidden MIDI Control Panel with lighted pistons

MIDI on Solo 1, 2, 3
MIDI on Swell 1, 2, 3
MIDI on Great 1, 2, 3
MIDI on Choir 1, 2, 3
MIDI on Pedal 1, 2, 3

 

From the organ builder…

The organ that preceded the new instrument began its life in 1903: A two manual, 19-rank, 19-stop tubular Pneumatic instrument built by John H. Sole of Fremont, Ohio. Tonally that instrument was typical of many late nineteenth and early twentieth century instruments, with broad foundations, a well developed Principal chorus on the Great, colorful flutes and reeds typical to the period. Overall build quality of the pipework was quite good. It is speculated that the physical layout was also good and provided adequate tonal egress based on other Sole instruments of the period. Sadly the tubular mechanism was not as robust and was failing by mid-century.

In 1946 Harry McGaw (a former employee of W. W. Kimball of Chicago who relocated to Green Bay, Wisconsin after Kimball ceased its pipe organ production in 1942), completed the rebuild of the instrument, enlarging it by only one rank, but redistributing the resources over three manuals and 36 stops. McGaw, was not so much an organ builder, but an assembler of parts supplied by others. The physical layout of the organ was changed to accommodate the new supply house windchests that occupied considerably more room. A supply house console was also provided. The entire instrument, save one pedal rank, was enclosed in long narrow expression chambers to regulate the volume, sadly with minimal tone openings at their front. This necessitated very loud and harsh voicing of the pipework to create enough sonic energy to escape the confines of its enclosure, adequate in the sanctuary, but unpleasantly loud for the choir singers sitting directly in front of the organ. Much of the Sole pipework was retained, though in some cases repurposed for the new specification. Several ranks were changed to add softer String and Celeste sounds to the organ.

The organ was minimally repaired and modified in 1980 by J. C. Taylor & Co. with the addition of higher pitched pipes to add brilliance to the ensemble, while deleting redundant string sounds, ultimately resulting in an instrument of 22 ranks. The organ was further repaired and modified in the mid 1990’s.

By the turn of the 21st century it was evident that the organ’s mechanism was worn out and that a major mechanical and electrical rebuilding would be required. The issues with tonal egress also needed to be addressed.

The organ committee of Zion Lutheran Church in conjunction with their consultant, Dr. John Schwandt, was determined to do something special for both the church and the community at large. In 2006 proposals were sought from several builders. It was acknowledged that funds for such a project were limited, but the sights were set high. Russell & Co. was selected to build a new organ for the church with the intent of utilizing, as much as possible, the best pipework from the old organ. This was both in the spirit of valuing, honoring, and building on the past and also recycling for the future. In other words, a green solution that was compatible with the faith and tradition of Zion Lutheran Church.

During the course of continuing discussions on organ design and cost, though 2007 and 2008, a unique and substantial symphonic organ built by M.P. Möller in 1931 (Opus 6007) became available, located in Elmira, NY. The availability of this instrument changed the direction of the project, leading to a final proposal for a grand instrument founded in the symphonic tradition for Zion Church and the Fox Valley.

Finally afforded the opportunity to have the instrument of their dreams at a small fraction of what a new organ of similar disposition would cost, the organ committee moved ahead with the project. Ultimately a contract was signed in mid 2009 providing for the purchase, removal and storage of the Möller instrument and the rebuilding of the console to be temporarily hooked up to the Sole/McGaw organ while fund raising continued. In 2011, Zion was able to proceed with authorizing the remainder of the contract for organ work, with the intention of erecting the original Sole organ case in front until funds could be found for a new organ case in gothic style. Renovation of the organ space, structural reinforcement of the floor in the organ chamber and construction of the organ began shortly thereafter.

The symphonic organ is all about warmth, color and blend, with a smoothness and luxury of tone not appreciated for many years. While powerful, the tone lacks harshness, an attribute typical of far too many organs built in recent times. At the same time this instrument goes beyond the confines of a purely symphonic instrument and is capable of performing a wide variety of both liturgical and concert music from all period of history.

The Great and Swell divisions have well-developed and blended choruses with an emphasis on foundation tone. In the Great, the original Sole chorus of Principals (8’, 4’ 2 2/3’, and 2’) was reinstated to their rightful place. The pipes of the 8’ and 4’ stops were rebuilt for a cleaner tone. The other ranks were revoiced to the power and tone as they might have been in the early 20th century. A new Mixture stop of four ranks was added to complete the chorus and add a crowning brilliance to the organ, well suited to the music of Bach and the Lutheran liturgy. The Choir and Solo divisions are more orchestral in nature, full of colorful reed and string ranks. An organ Harp, a percussion stop similar to a vibraphone, crowns the instrument at the top of the upper Solo division. The pedal division is rich and smooth, providing a solid underpinning for the instrument.

Installation of the organ commenced in March 2013, with the first sounds heard in October of that year. In the following year several challenges were presented along the way, from staffing issues at both Zion and Russell & Co., a rogue interpretation of the electrical code as applicable to pipe organs by the City of Appleton and the State of Wisconsin, and to corrosion discovered in much of the Möller pipework. Several thousand additional hours were required to remedy the corrosion issue. Several months of additional work was required to resolve the issues with the code interpretation. This event lead to the national code-writing panel to amend the National Electric Code as related to the Pipe Organ so that this kind of rogue interpretation would be unlikely to happen again. Special thanks to Scott Mahnke of McMahon Associates for his professional engineering help in dealing with the City and State Inspectors and to Art Schleuter (A E Schleuter Pipe Organs) who sits on the code writing panel for his work in having the code clarified and amended on an emergency basis to the benefit of all churches and organ builders.

As the instrument neared final completion at the end of 2015, Zion Church was able to commission a design for a new gothic inspired organ case and solicit bids for its construction. Local craftsman Dwayne “Doc” Saultzbaugh of Wautoma, Wisconsin was commissioned by Zion to construct the case according to plans developed by Charles Ford of Quimby Pipe Organ Builders (QPO) in conjunction with Stephen Russell. QPO donated the largest façade pipes (salvaged from another instrument in Dallas, Texas) for the project as well as pipes for the bottom octave of the 32’ Tuba. The smaller façade pipes in the outer two sections are from the original Sole organ façade. The case and final pipework was installed in the fall of 2016.

Those at Russell & Company who have worked on the building of this instrument are:

*Stephen Russell
*J. Carole Russell
Jason Ballard
Jonathan Ortloff
*Larry Nevin (part time)
Steve Charbonneau
*Erik Johansson (part time)
*Paul Elliott
*Mayu Allen

*Present staff

Special thanks go to Don Schwandt for preparation of working drawings of the church balcony, and to the Organ Committee for shepherding this challenging project through to completion.

Our thanks also go to the countless volunteers from Zion Lutheran Church and the community who assisted with the removal of the organs in Elmira, NY and at Zion, and assisted with reconstruction of the organ chamber and setting up the major components of the organ.

It has been a privilege to see this fine organ unfold from its original conception in our shop drawings to its completion in this historic church sanctuary. We expect it to bring much joy to the congregation, community and musicians alike.

Stephen J. Russell

From the organ consultant…

The role of organ consultant from 2005-2017 represents a culmination of passion for and experience with music at Zion Lutheran Church. My formative years developing faith and musical skills were cultivated at Zion and in the Fox Valley. Being called upon to serve my home congregation in this professional capacity was a humbling privilege. Through this service, I desired to give something back to the community that helped plant the seed leading to my life’s calling teaching and making music on the pipe organ.

Organ consultants should primarily serve to provide general organ education and thereby enable church committees to make informed decisions about what is best for the congregation’s worship and community life. After much study and listening with the Zion organ committee, three qualified organ builders were nominated to submit proposals. Following lengthy interaction with each builder and consequent evaluation of each proposal, the committee unanimously decided to award the contract to Russell & Co. in 2009. I could not have hoped for a better match of builder with committee. It has been a great joy and delight to watch this project unfold with the intelligent and thoughtful collaboration between Russell & Co. and all the involved people from Zion and the community. The visual and aural beauty of this organ is a testament to their collective vision and the consummate craft practiced by all of the involved artisans.

The pipe organ, while not the only possible instrument for the Church, has remained throughout time perhaps the single most suitable instrument to lead corporate worship because of its ability to sustain tones at wide levels of dynamics and pitch. A well-designed and constructed church pipe organ should enable an organist to creatively and expressively accomplish musical leadership, often interpreting music of many different styles. The question of precisely how to build these “one-person orchestras” is the subject of many ongoing debates between organ builders, performers, and academics. Situations still occur when churches become subjected to exclusive academic pursuits regarding pipe organ design. Many well-intentioned colleagues remain effectively entrenched with an apparent need to “pigeon-hole” organs into a specific style or period, considerations that are, in truth, entirely arbitrary. Simply put, the Church needs more beautiful organs; organs that are beautiful to the eye and ear, inspire beautiful music making, never inflict aural pain on listeners (or choirs directly in front of the pipes as was the case at Zion in years past), and next to the Word, draw congregants closer to the Divine Presence. After all, the great organ builders of the past were not striving to replicate someone else’s work, but to create organs well suited to the spaces in which they were installed and that also reflect the religious and cultural identity of their particular time and place. With this philosophy in mind and avoiding stylistic bias, I recommended design considerations of the new organ for Zion to include ample variety of expressive tonal color from all pipe families (Principal, Flute, String, and Reed), all sounding with rich and warm tone. From this general premise, a dialogue began with Stephen Russell culminating with the organ you see and hear today.

Like many of the most revered pipe organs in history, Op. 57 is comprised of parts of the past and the present, diverse elements in every aspect. For example, the pipes of Op. 57 originate from numerous sources: Zion’s 1903 Sole/1946 McGaw organ, the 1931 Möller from Elmira, select ranks by Kimball, Estey, Gilbert, Skinner, Wurlitzer, as well as newly built pipes by Stephen Russell. Strengthened by their diversity, all these pipes now sing harmoniously in a chorus of abundant color, warm tone, as well as clarity. In previous periods of organ building, color, warmth, and clarity were thought to be mutually exclusive attributes. This organ proves that these attributes can co-exist. The eclectic nature of the design, refined voicing of the pipes, mechanical speed and reliability of the new electro-pneumatic windchests exemplify an organ which will enable many contrasting organists to play whatever inspired music they may choose for both the worshipping community at Zion and concert audiences, limited only by their imagination (not by the instrument). The sonic beauty and flexibility of this pipe organ can perhaps best be summarized by a Zion parishioner who spoke to me some years ago following revoicing work on the old organ in an effort to change some of the harsh sound. While I regretfully forgot this dear soul’s name, I will never forget his compliment saying that the organ sounded more reminiscent of the 1946 version and decried the work done in the 1980’s saying in his distinct Wisconsin accent “dey took da melody out-a-dem pipes!” Although this man is probably now singing with the choirs of angels, he’d be happy to know the “melody” has been put back into Zion’s pipes! Of special note are some of the original façade pipes from the 1903 Sole organ, silent since the 1946 rebuild, sing sweetly once again. Through the foresight and tenacity of the organ committee, along with driving encouragement from the late Mary Kay Easty, Zion now has the largest and finest pipe organ in its history. The tonal colors and overall design of this organ are unique to the Fox Valley, another facet of the organ committee’s vision. The Zion organ committee and supporting members of the congregation are to be congratulated for so well investing in their future!

Being part of a long process that has ultimately yielded an instrument of great artistic merit that will serve to inspire the current and future generations has been deeply satisfying. Two words best describe all the persons involved with this project: steadfast faith. At every point during the nearly twelve years of work together, all have practiced and exemplified steadfast faith, even in the face of significant challenges that threatened to derail the progress of this monumental project numerous times. It was the passionate belief in the importance of this instrument and the shared faith in God’s grace and presence that carried everyone through the difficult moments. In the end, both the sight and sound of this organ have surpassed all expectations. Now is a time for rejoicing and gratitude!

Once Russell Op. 57 is seen and heard, I have high hopes that the present and future congregation of Zion Lutheran Church as well as the Wisconsin Fox Valley community will embrace this graceful instrument as a blessed gift, to be shared with all who gather in this sanctuary. Praise God from whom all blessing flow!

John D. Schwandt