Garland Pipe Organs



Dan Garland, President & Tonal Director


Builder’s Notes on University Christian Church, Fort Worth, Texas

University Christian Church, a congregation of approximately 5000, is located on the campus of Texas Christian University. It is one of the largest Disciples of Christ congregations in the nation. The building is of Spanish gothic design and was completed in 1929. From 1935 to 1957 the instrument in the Sanctuary was built by the Hammond Organ Company. In 1957 it was replaced with a 41 rank pipe organ. In the late 1960’s the congregation had outgrown the seating capacity of the Sanctuary so plans were made to enlarge the room. The original was left intact and enlarged by adding length and transepts. The new divided Chancel contained the relocated pipe organ installed on both sides as was the Sanctuary choir. The entire instrument was behind fabric screens with no exposed pipework. None of the organ spoke directly down the axis of the Nave. The acoustic of the room was not good thus the organ and choir did not project well down the long Nave.

In 2001 plans were made to complete a major renovation of the Chancel including a new pipe organ. Plans included a new brick floor, a reflective ceiling, modifications to the Pulpit and Lectern, new lighting, and improvements to the Chancel walls creating additional strength to reflect sound out of the Chancel to the Nave. Every effort was made to improve the acoustic of the room.

The entire instrument was removed and transported to our shop. With the exception of several offset windchests and reservoirs all mechanical components were discarded. The action is electro-mechanical with large Pedal pipework being electro-pneumatic. Portions of the pipework from the original organ were incorporated into the new instrument. All existing pipework was revoiced and in many cases rescaled. The new four manual drop sill console was built by Robert Turner. The entire instrument was built in our shop and then dismantled for reinstallation in the church. The new Great division was moved from the side chambers to areas on either side of the baptistery allowing it to speak directly to the Nave. All Mixtures and chorus reeds were replaced. A new Solo division was added including a high pressure Hooded Tuba, an English Horn, an Orchestral Oboe, a wood Harmonic Flute, a large set of strings, a generous scaled Diapason, and a VI Grand Mixture. All divisions have a complete principal and reed chorus.
A 16’ Open Wood was added to the Pedal. With the new placement of the Great and improvements to all other divisions and with the help of the enhanced acoustic the instrument now has a bold presence throughout the Sanctuary.

New Gothic casework was placed in front of the unenclosed Great on both sides of the baptistery. This casework contains the Great 16’ Violone and portions of the Great 8’ Principal.
The instrument is mutli-plex with a solid state multi level combination. The console is on an elevator and can be raised and moved within the Chancel.

This instrument has proven to be an important addition to the music program at University Christian Church as well as the musical community in Fort Worth.

— Dan Garland
(also see stoplist)