Garland Pipe Organs



Dan Garland, President & Tonal Director


Builder’s Notes on Peace Lutheran Church, Hurst, Texas

Peace Lutheran is a large Missouri synod church located in the mid-cities area near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The church has been in the same location since its organization but they are now in their third Sanctuary. The church had never had a pipe organ. In 1997 a Contract was signed with my firm for an entirely new pipe organ which was to be installed at that time in the second Sanctuary. This is a large and active congregation and we were advised that the new organ could not reduce the seating capacity of the existing room. This was going to be a challenge. There were no organ chambers or other area in which a pipe organ could be installed. We made the decision that the only solution was to build a shelf above the congregation on a side wall of the church. The church was in the shape of a partial pie with the ceiling being low at the rear of the room and ascending to a high point above the Pulpit and Communion Table. We designed a shelf that was 42’ long and 6’ wide. The shelf was supported on the back side by the existing exterior wall and the front was supported by a long wooden pre-fab beam with only one support in the middle. We did this without decreasing the seating capacity even by one seat. The ceiling height at the left end of the platform was 5’ and at the right 16’. The space looked like a piece of pie on its side.

As one faced the organ the Swell was on the left, the expressive Great in the middle on two levels, and the unenclosed Great and Pedal on the extreme right on two levels. We kept the ensemble portions of the divisions on one level for tuning stability and placed Strings, Pedal, and Solo stops on the upper level. The entire instrument was expressive with the exception of the Great Principal chorus and Pedal. The overall shape of the facade casework followed that of the organ and contained the Pedal 16’ Principal and portions of the Great 8’ Principal. The pipework in facade incorporates both copper and tin pipework. The organist had what was probably the most unfortunate seat in the room being under the platform at the Swell end. This was necessary due to the location of the choir. The console was moveable and was placed in the front of the church for recitals and other special events.

Both the Swell and Great have complete Principal choruses with a variety of strings, flute, and mutations. A high pressure Hooded Tuba is installed in the upper Great expression chamber along with a Doppelflute and a set of Flauto Dolces. The Choir is derived from other divisions to increase registration possibilities for the performer. The action is electro-mechanical.

As we were completing weeks of final voicing the Choir Director informed me that in several years, ground would be broken for a new Sanctuary and the instrument would have to me moved. She later told me that I turned ashen white. This instrument was extremely difficult to design, build and install and the thought of moving it in the near future was hard to comprehend. In 1992 we signed a second Contract to move and enlarge the instrument for the new Sanctuary.

The new room was much larger than the previous and again was shaped in the form of a partial pie. The Pulpit and Communion Table were at the front and the congregation spread out in a semi-circle. The choir was again at the rear of the room with the organ above. The new room had no ceiling height restrictions. The organ was moved intact into the new room with the original facade being placed on the left and a new mirror facade was built and placed next to it on the right. The new case contains the 16’ Great Violone and a portion of a new Great 8’ Diapason. The remainder of these stops are unenclosed directly behind the facade. Future plans call for a complete Choir division to be placed behind the second facade.

— Dan Garland
(also see stoplist)