Saint Bartholomew Episcopal Church
Estes Park, Colorado
13 stops, 16 ranks (with preparation for one additional stop), two manuals and pedal
This new organ of 14 Stops and 17 Ranks is the 30th pipe organ built by John-Paul Buzard Pipe Organ Builders of Champaign, Illinois. It was installed during March, 2004, ready for Palm Sunday, about a month ahead of the contracted schedule.
The Church is a simple log cabin structure about 7,500 feet up in the Rocky Mountains. The view of snow-capped Long’s Peak through the plate glass window behind the Altar (along with the thin air) literally takes one’s breath away.
Folks who have made their lives in this rugged terrain are used to doing things pretty much for themselves, and in their own time. Witness their former pipe organ, fondly nick-named “Little Toot.” This home-made three rank instrument (Diapason, Dulciana, Flute) served the congregation for many, many years, until its deteriorating mechanical condition begged for replacement. The old organ had been located in a cramped balcony projecting over the last four rows of pews. It was too small for a choir, or for a pipe organ of adequate size. The ceiling under the balcony was covered with acoustic tile, which at best discouraged anyone seated there from singing. We began our conversations with the Church four years ago.
8′ Open Diapason (polished tin façade)
8′ Flûte à Bibéron (metal chimney flute)
1 1/3′ Mixture IV
16′ Great to Great
Great Unison Off
4′ Great to Great
16′ Swell to Great
8′ Swell to Great
4′ Swell to Great
8′ Stopped Diapason (wood)
8′ Voix Celeste (prepared)
4′ Spitz Octave
8′ Minor Trumpet
16′ Swell to Swell
Swell Unison Off
4′ Swell to Swell
16′ Bourdon (stoppered wood)
8′ Principal (polished tin façade)
8′ Bass Flute (ext. 16′ Bourdon)
4′ Choral Bass (ext. 8′ Principal)
8′ Great to Pedal
4′ Great to Pedal
8′ Swell to Pedal
4′ Swell to Pedal
Folks who have made this Church their parish home were also used to things just the way they were, and so it was remarkable that they ultimately agreed to remove the balcony, locate the organ in the second floor area over the Narthex, and provide space for a choir on the main floor of the Nave. The instrument and the reconfiguration of the space is natural and relaxed, and appears as though it had always been that way.
The organ is small, but beautiful things come in small packages! The instrument has a complete Principal chorus on the Great, flute choruses, a string and celeste, as well as independent manual and pedal reeds. It is intended to lead hymn-singing, accompany singers and other musicians, and play voluntaries before and after Services. The altitude was taken into account in the organ’s scaling, voicing, and engineering. The result is that, even though small in the number of stops, it fills the building with a rich, full sound, even when playing softly. The visual design plays upon the earth-tone colors in the room, and the roof line. The pipes in the central tower are made of flamed copper, the flats’ pipes are of polished tin, and the wood pipes of rich, red Honduras mahogany. The organ speaks unimpeded down the axis of the building.
Thanks to The Rev. M. Paul Garrett, Rector, The Rev. Al Persons, and Martha Sandford, Organ Consultant.
– John-Paul Buzard