Buzard Opus 29
Atlanta, Georgia

All Saints Episcopal Church
Atlanta, Georgia
Completed 2003

63 stops, 87 ranks, four manuals and pedal

It has been a high honor to have been commissioned to design and build this exciting musical instrument for All Saints Church. During the last year, three large downtown Atlanta churches commissioned important new pipe organs. The fact that the All Saints organ is the only one of the three to be built by an American organbuilder made the honor of our selection all the more gratifying, but also added pressure upon us to perform at the highest possible level of organbuilding.

When first approached by Assistant Organist Jefferson McConnaughey some years ago concerning the design of this instrument, we were just becoming known in the organ world as a builder whose tonal style was very much inspired by the great organs in the English cathedrals. As our discussions evolved, and as Music Directors and Organists Raymond and Elizabeth Chenault became directly involved in the design, it quickly became apparent that all of us were of the same mind concerning the organ’s tonal and physical disposition. This instrument had to be eclectic to perform a wide range of music, but had to have tremendous personality and character. The stops all had to have vivid individual tone-color, but had to blend and balance each other seamlessly.

Stop List

Great Organ 4″ Wind Manual II—Exposed Pipework
16′ Double Open Diapason
8′ First Open Diapason
8′ Second Open Diapason (ext. 16′ Double)
8′ Viola da Gamba
8′ Harmonic Flute
8′ Bourdon
4′ Principal
4′ Spire Flute
2 2/3′ Twelfth
2′ Fifteenth
1 1/3′ Fourniture IV
2′ Harmonic Mixture IV
16′ Double Trumpet
8′ Tromba (Pd) (ext. 16)
4′ Clarion (Pd) (ext. 16′)
8′ Major Tuba (15″ wind)
8′ Tuba Solo Melody Coupler
8′ Fanfare Trumpets (Ap)
Swell Organ 4″ Wind Manual III—Enclosed & Expressive
8′ Open Diapason
8′ Stopped Diapason (stoppered wood)
8′ Salicional
8′ Voix Celeste (TC)
4′ Principal
4′ Harmonic Flute
2 2/3′ Nazard (tapered)
2′ Flageolet (harmonic)
2 2/3′ Full Mixture V
16′ Bassoon
8′ Trompette (modified French style)
8′ Oboe (English style)
8′ Vox Humana (English style)
4′ Clarion (ext. 16′)
8′ Major Tuba (Gt)
8′ Fanfare Trumpets (Ap)
Chapel Organ 4″ Pressure
8′ Open Diapason
8′ Aeoline
8′ Vox Angelica (TC)
4′ Principal
Choir Organ 4″ Wind Manual I—Enclosed & Expressive
16′ Leiblich Gedeckt (stoppered wood)
8′ English Diapason
8′ Flûte à Bibéron (stoppered wood)
8′ Gedeckt Flute (ext. 16′ Lieblich)
8′ Dulciana
8′ Unda Maris (TC)
4′ Principal
4′ Koppel Flute
2′ Recorder
2′ Mixture III-IV
1 1/3′ Fourniture IV
2 2/3′ & 1 3/5′ Sesquialtera
16′ English Horn (double bells)
8′ Cornopean
8′ Clarinet
8′ Major Tuba (Gt)
8′ Fanfare Trumpets (Ap)
Cymbalstern, 14 Bells
Harp, Walker Unison percussion
Celesta, Walker Octave percussion
Antiphonal Solo Organ 4″ & 7″ Wind Manual IV—Enclosed in a Free-Standing Case Over the Entry Doors (Expressive)
8′ Open Diapason
8′ Viola da Gamba
8′ Gamba Celeste (CC)
8′ Melodia
8′ Flute Coelestis II
4′ Principal
4′ Flûte d’ Amour
2′ Doublette
1 1/3′ Mixture IV
8′ Fanfare Trumpets (7″ wind)
8′ Flügal Horn
8′ Corno di Bassetto
8′ Major Tuba (Gt)
Harp. Walker Unison percussion
Celesta, Walker Octave percussion
Chimes (Gt)
Pedal Organ Various Pressures
32′ Double Open Diapason
32′ Subbass
32′ Lieblich Gedeckt
16′ First Open Diapason
16′ Second Open Diapason (Gt)
16′ Bourdon (stoppered wood)
16′ Lieblich Gedeckt (Ch)
8′ Principal (tin façade)
8′ Bass Flute (ext. 16′ Bourdon)
8′ Gedeckt Flute (Ch)
4′ Choral Bass
4′ Open Flute (ext. 16′ Bourdon)
2 2/3′ Mixture IV
32′ Contra Trombone
16′ Trombone
16′ Double Trumpet (Gt)
16′ Bassoon (Sw)
8′ Trumpet (ext. 16′ Trombone)
4′ Clarion (Sw)
8′ Major Tuba (Gt)
8′ Fanfare Trumpets (Ap)

All Saints is a large parish whose musical requirements are every bit as demanding upon its instrument (and its musicians) as a large metropolitan cathedral. This organ is essentially what I think a modern American Cathedral Organ ought to be. Although inspired by English Cathedral organs of certain builders, an English Organ this is not. This is an instrument which embraces our American musical sensibilities. In broad terms, the organ has to play literature and lead worship. Scholarship in the design tells us that stops of certain tonal qualities need to be in specific locations in the organ in order to work properly in certain contexts. Musicianship in the voicing and execution tells us that literature and liturgy need not be competing or contrasting musical uses for a pipe organ. The organ has to accompany solo, choral, and congregational singing; it has to function in instrumental ensembles, from pianissimo through fortissimo volume ranges. The organ has to stand alone as a solo instrument of high integrity and character, but also have the ability to blend with and propel a symphony orchestra into another plane, upon those occasions.

Because this is a large instrument, we had the opportunity to include a wealth of soft stops to increase the organ’s accompanimental flexibility and dynamic range. We were able to include an entire chorus of soft Diapason-toned Dulcianas in the Choir Organ, along with lyric cantabile reeds and two celeste stops in the Solo Organ. In the Chapel Organ, besides a pair of 8′ and 4′ Principals for hymn-singing, we included a pair of very soft string-toned stops, an Aeoline and Vox Angelica, the likes of which haven’t been seen in organ specifications for many years. We were able to re-introduce a Harmonic Mixture to the Great Organ, whose primary function is to reinforce the higher harmonics of the fluework when the relatively dark Trombas are used, by virtue of the inclusion of the tierce and flat-seventh ranks. We have come to find, through musically sensitive scaling and voicing, the Harmonic Mixture also adds an ancient Continental flavor to the Great plenum without the Trombas.

The visual design of the organ was a very crucial element to its success. We were challenged to design and build an organ of about three times the size as the former instrument – and make it look as though it had always been at home in the Church. I enjoyed working with Hugh Latta, a parishioner and respected interior designer, concerning the stain colors and the Chapel Organ’s design. We were all privileged to work with architects Jim Chapman and Jim Macht on the platforms used to support the organ cases, and with parishioner and now Senior Warden Paul Elliott in his role of coordinating our efforts with those of local contractors and woodworkers.

It has been a joy to work with your Organ Committee and Chairman, Greg Kellison. At our first meeting, when I presented the case designs, your Committee enthusiastically embraced the vision to which those drawings pointed. It was inspiring to witness the Committee’s increasing level of excitement as the design drawings were refined, and as the plans were developed in conjunction with the architects. The Organ Committee, members of your choirs, and many parishioners have welcomed me and my entire crew as honorary members of the All Saints extended parish family, and this weekend have welcomed my entire family as we participate in your Sunday services.

Those of you who have become acquainted with the fine people on the Buzard Company staff know why this instrument is so very good. We are dreamers and pragmatists, generalists and perfectionists, musicians and engineers. Charles Eames and I are very nearly telepathic. Brian Davis knows just how much “fipple” I like in our Harmonic Flutes, how “smokey” a Stopped Diapason should be in one of our Swell Organs, and the measure of nobility, solemnity, and grandeur in an Open Diapason. Our woodworkers and tonal assistants want to build everything “just so,” so that the organ will be as perfect in construction as humanly possible. Our service technicians all pitched in with this large project, both in the shop and on site during the installation, making it their project too. Jay and JoAnne do their important part to effectively run the daily operation in the office on Hill Street. All of our people are professional, but they are delightful as well. Everyone respects something in everyone else.

Words are insufficient to express my continuing thanks to All Saints Church for the commission to design and build this pipe organ, and to my staff for their unswerving dedication, patience, and professionalism in creating something truly sublime.

– John-Paul Buzard