Garland Pipe Organs



Dan Garland, President & Tonal Director


Builder’s Notes on All Saints Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, Texas

All Saints Episcopal Church is an active and important church in Fort Worth. They have a long tradition of excellent music and worship. The building was built in several phases the main church being the last completed in the early 50’s. For me it is a typical Episcopal Church in that it is a stately Gothic building with stunning stained glass and slate floors. Exquisite wood carvings are found throughout the church. When the church was built there were provisions for a pipe organ and an instrument of approximately 30 ranks was installed. Although there were organ chambers, the tone openings unfortunately consisted of small portals found at the top of the chamber. The organ was literally behind a concrete wall. In the All Saints picture if one looks at the case on the right side near the top and sees limestone arched patterns extending from the far point of the organ case to the rear wall behind the Altar, those are open into the organ chamber and before the new casework was installed that same pattern of openings connected with the same pattern next to the front of the organ case. The area where the current cases are installed was 12” thick concrete walls with no openings. The organ was below the original openings and had to speak up and over to have any egress into the room. The instrument was not successful.

Through the years numerous changes and additions were made to the instrument but it remained behind a concrete wall. In 1995 Frederick Grimes became Organist and Choirmaster for All Saints. A native of Hillsboro, Texas he had been in New York City for many years at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. He carried on the tradition started by John Weaver of having a major Bach choral work performed every Sunday afternoon of the academic year. The church was full for every performance. Before that position he had been the Assistant Organist and Choirmaster at The Saint Thomas Church under William Self. Needless to say he brought much experience and new ideas to All Saints. One of his first goals was to install a much needed new pipe organ. He understood that major changes with the organ chambers would be required for a new instrument.

Rick designed an extensive stop list and then began working with our firm on plans for the new instrument. The size of the instrument was to be approximately 80 ranks. The most difficult challenge was to solve the problem of inadequate tone openings. He and the parish also had a strong desire for a portion of the instrument to be visible with new casework in the Chancel. After much study we decided to expose four gothic cases in the Chancel, two on each side. In order to do this and also increase the tone openings two 10’ X 10’ sections of the wall on the right side of the Chancel were removed. The wall was 12” thick and made of brick and concrete block. This difficult task was completed by members of our firm. Two of the gothic cases encompassing the Great division would be in front of these openings. The Swell division located in the original Swell chamber would now have adequate tonal egress into the Chancel through these Great cases. On the right side of the Chancel the case located near the Nave would house the Great Principal chorus and Krummhorn. The case near the Altar would house the Great flutes, Cornet, and Trumpet. Pipework directly behind the cases include the Pedal 16’ Violone, 16’ Bombarde, 16’ Subbass, and Great 8’ Erzhaler.

The church insisted that there be two matching cases on the opposite wall of the Chancel. Due to the fact that behind the walls on the left side were closets for the Business Office the cases had to be installed on the concrete wall with no opening behind them. The only penetration of this wall were 1” holes for the steel all thread to secure the steel brackets that bore the weight of the cases and several 4” holes for windlines. The blower and reservoir for these cases were located in the closet of the Business Office. These cases located on the left side of the chancel house the entire Positive division and the Solo 8’ Principal. The main windchests are 11 ½” wide and 8’ long.

The Positive Principal chorus is in the case near the Nave and the Positive flutes, mutations, and Solo Principal are in the case near the Altar. Unlike the Great cases where one can gain tuning access from behind the Positive tuning must be completed from the front through the facade pipes. Fortunately there are no reeds on the Positive side. Organbuilding is not an exact science and on occasion we encounter unusual situations. While designing the new organ the Great Principal chorus was scaled generously to provide adequate fundamental in the room. I scaled the Positive Principal chorus several pipes smaller knowing that it would serve as a secondary Principal chorus and needed to be less aggressive than the Great. The Great chorus was located in the casework on the right side in front of the 10’ X 10’ openings. There was no back on the case because it would defeat the purpose of the new openings. Unlike the Great the Positive was literally hung on the wall and the Principal chorus has a concrete wall directly behind it. Even though it was scaled significantly smaller than the Great the Positive chorus was considerably louder than the Great in the room. The Great chorus could speak both forward to the room and backward into the chamber. The Positive chorus could only go one way, directly into the room. Lesson learned. I contacted our pipe maker and requested a new chorus for the Positive smaller than that of the original to be delivered as quickly as possible. Fortunately the new pipes arrived well before the official opening of the instrument.

This is an unusual instrument with an unusual stop list. Both are a result of a difficult room and lack of space. There are complete Great, Swell, Pedal, and Antiphonal divisions. The instrument has only two expressive divisions, the Swell and the Antiphonal. Space did not allow for a Choir division so it is derived from the Swell with some stops speaking at different pitches than in the Swell. There are no Sub or Super couplers within a division or between divisions. All divisions can be played on any keyboard by way of couplers. The Antiphonal division resides on manual V. The Solo division resides on manual IV. The Solo consists of a large Principal chorus in the Chancel case on the left nearest the Altar. It includes a reed chorus installed unenclosed behind the Great, a Hooded Tuba and Doppelflute located in the Swell, the Antiphonal Trumpet en Chamade, and various borrowed solo stops from other divisions. Due to the absence of Super couplers all String stops and Celestes play at 8’ and 4’.

The Antiphonal division is located in the rear of the room high above the main entrance in casework surrounding a large rose window. With the exception of the Trumpet en Chamade and the 8’ Pedal Octave (located in the facade) the entire division is expressive. It has a complete Principal and Reed chorus. Also enclosed is a large scale 8’ Harmonic Flute, a Flute Cornet decompose, and a Gemshorn and Gemshorn Celeste. It works well in organ literature as a dialogue with the Chancel organ but of most importance it aids the congregation with the singing of hymns and other choral responses in the many weekly services at All Saints.

The Great, Swell, and Antiphonal all contain large scale metal Harmonic flutes open to C1. The largest of these is the Great which is located in the Great case and has sufficient volume to play above other ensembles.

The action of the instrument is electro-mechanical with the exception of the high pressure Hooded Tuba and large Pedal stops. The drop sill five manual console was built by Robert Turner. The organ was completely assembled in our shop and then transported to the church for installation. The instrument was opened by Gerre Hancock with a full house in November of 2001. Since that time the instrument has been featured by recitalists from around the world. To see and hear this instrument is indeed a thrilling experience.

— Dan Garland
(also see stoplist)