Packer Memorial Church
Lehigh University

Austin Pipe Organ Company - Opus 2172 - Built 1952
Austin Pipe Organ Company - Rebuilt 1998
3 Manuals, 60 Ranks

  Great   Swell   Positiv *
16'   Violone 16'   Contra Salicional 8'   Spitz Geigen
8'   Diapason 8'   Geigen Diapason 8'   Holz Gedackt
8'   Diapason Conique 8'   Melodia 8'   Erzahler
8'   Harmonic Flute 8'   Gambe 8'   Erzahler Celeste
8'   Gemshorn 8'   Gambe Celeste (8'c) 4'   Principal
4'   Octave 8'   Salicional 4'   Klein Gedackt
4'   Principal 8'   Salicional Celeste (4'c)                 2'   Octave
4'   Quintaton 4'   Fugara 1 1/3'   Sifflote
2 2/3'   Octave Quint 4'   Chimney Flute 1'   Sifflote
2'   Super Octave 2'   Flageolet   Sesquialtera II
2'   Fifteenth   Sesquialtera II   Zimbel II
    Mixture III   Mixture II 16'   Rankett
    Mixture II 16'   Bass Clarinet 8'   Krummhorn
    Cymbale III 8'   Tuba (Ch) 8'   Trumpet en Chamade
16'   Double Trumpet * 8'   Trumpet    
8'   Trumpet * 8'   Clarinet    
8'   Tuba (Ch) 8'   English Horn    
8'   French Horn (Ch) 8'   Vox Humana    
8'   Trumpet en Chamade *                 16'   Bassoon *    
8'   Oboe *        
4'   Clarion        
  Choir   Pedal    
8'   Viola 32'   Contra Bass *    
8'   Concert Flute 32'   Contra Gedackt *    
8'   Bourdon 16'   Open Diapason    
8'   Dolce 16'   Gedackt    
8'   Dolce Celeste (4'c) 16'   Lieblich Bourdon (Ch)    
4'   Gemshorn Octave 16'   Violone (Gt)    
4'   Koppel Flute 16'   Contra Salicional (Sw)    
2 2/3'   Nazard 8'   Octave    
2'   Block Flute 8'   Gedackt    
1 3/5'   Tierce 8'   Bourdon (Ch)    
1 1/3'   Larigot 8'   Violone (Gt)    
1'   Sifflote 4'   Super Octave    
8'   Tuba (Harmonic) **   Mixture III    
8'   French Horn ** 32'   Contra Bombarde *    
8'   Bassoon 16'   Bombarde    
4'   Orchestral Oboe 16'   Oboe *    
  Tremolo 16'   Bass Clarinet (Sw)    
    8'   Trumpet *    
    8'   Trompette    
    8'   Tuba (Ch)    
    4'   Clarion    
    4'   Oboe *    

* = Digital ranks by Allen Organ Company
** = Ranks on 15" wind pressure

Console by Allen Organ Company - 1998
Eight bell cymbelstern (Ingram)


On April 17, 1952, the new Packer Church altar and Austin Pipe Organ were dedicated. The new Austin Pipe Organ replaces the former Johnson Organ which was a mechanical instrument which served the church since the church was built. The organ and altar were the gifts of William Paul Starkey, class of 1900, and his sons, in memory of Gertrude C. Starkey, their wife and mother. An afternoon service was presided by the Reverend Frank William Sterret, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem; The Reverend George M. Bean, Chaplain of Lehigh University; as well as three other clergy. The choir of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity provided the choral music. That evening a capacity crowd heard a recital by the noted organist, E. Power Biggs. During the following fall and winter, the church hosted a "dedication year" recital series in which Biggs returned along with famous names including Jean Langlais, Claire Coci, and Flor Peeters.

The organ was designed by Robert Knox Chapman, Organist and Choirmaster of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, and the organ consultant for the University. The instrument was built by Austin Organs, Incorporated of Hartford, CT. The new 4-manual, 60 rank Lehigh pipe organ, said the 1952 dedication program, "represents the contemporary American organ at its finest... Many of the finer tonal features of European Organs have been incorporated into the design."

It was decided in January, 1997 to proceed with a plan to revoice and overhaul the pipes, rebuild the chests and provide a new state-of-the-art computer compatible console with 23 digitally generated organ ranks. Three of these new ranks were replacements for the 1952 Allen electronic 32' ranks. The Austin Pipe Organ Co. was hired to revoice the reed pipes. David A.J. Broome, internationally recognized reed voicer, accepted the task of the revoicing the 13 reeds in the organ. The company of Crossan and Savage was hired to clean every pipe in the organ, replace many of the primary pneumatic engines and to tune the organ after completion. Allen Organ Co. was contracted to serve as project manager under the leadership of John Daniel, class of 1960, an organ student of Robert Chapman. Allen replaced the old console with a new solid-state console with 16 memory levels and a new "floating" postiv division which is playable antiphonally in the rear of the church. In 1952, the plan was to have this capability, but it was never done. The organ was rededicated on October 18, 1998 by Dr. Thomas Murray of Yale University.

The Great organ, the most important division of the organ, offers two distinctly different Diapason choruses. The first is English in character and is ideal for brilliant toccatas and massive chords. It has a rich body of tone and yet sparkle in brightness. The second chorus is more nearly German in character. It is smaller, softer but generally brighter and is ideal for the playing of contrapuntal music.

The Swell organ has for its basic quality the chorus reed, a kind of trumpet tone. These chorus reeds are brilliant English reeds which have a fiery sound without the snarl which is associated with French stops of the same type. The secondary tone of this division is a Geigen Diapason tone. This mixture work is designed to re-enforce the flue work, but also blends well with the reeds. The swell has some orchestral qualities with the English salicionals, broad gambas, a very woody clarinet and an English Horn with a very piquant tone.

The Choir organ is the softest section of the organ. Basically it is a flute division and provides both open and stopped flute qualities. Its complete set of broad French mutations gives it a Baroque quality. It also serves orchestral tones such as the Bassoon, and the orchestral Oboe. The French Horn and Harmonic Tuba are so large and brilliant that they are made to play against the rest of the organ, rather than with it.

The Positiv organ was designed to further enhance the organ. They are speakable from speakers in the front of the church or the back of the church. Speaking from outside of the organ chamber has a less liberating effect. This is less confining to the sound, particularly for the perishable high "partials" which are suppressed by the confining enclosure of an organ chamber.

The Pedal organ has a pitch range which starts at 32' which is an octave lower than the lowest C on the piano. Each stop is an almost perfect example of the type of tone named on the stop key. The character of the Pedal division is such that it blends well with the rest of the ensemble, yet can be distinguished from the manual divisions in contrapuntal playing.

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