The Andover Organ

Updated December 13, 2017:

The organ is complete!

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The Nativity organ was originally delivered with 12 stops (sets of pipes with a certain sound). However, it was prepared for 8 additional stops, which we could not afford, when the organ was originally built.

Fundraising for completion of the organ was done during 2014-15. Thanks to the many generous members of Nativity as well as music-loving visitors to Nativity, we raised enough money by (November 2015) where the organ committee recommended to the Vestry to sign a contract with the Andover Organ Company. The contract to complete the organ was signed in December  2015, and the remaining 8 stops were installed in May-June of 2017.

The cost of the 8 stops was $110,500.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the organ fund. Here are the stops acquired for the completion of the organ.


  • Pedal Flutebass 8′
  • Pedal Choralbass 4′
  • Pedal Trombone 16′
  • Pedal Tromba 8′
  • Great Flute 4′
  • Great Trumpet 8′
  • Swell Celeste 8′ (TC)
  • Swell Tierce 1 3/5′


To give you an idea of some of the sounds that were missing, these samples feature stops similar to the Nativity organ.  These examples were recorded on the St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh on their Nichols and Simpson Organ.

Duo from Mass for the Convents , François Couperin.  This excerpt features the Tierce stop and the Trumpet stop in a dialog:

Here is another piece which features the Tierce in an ornamented setting of “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”.  This setting is by Paul Manz.  The Pedal Flutebass is used in the pedal.

Trumpet Tune by xxx features the Great Trumpet 8′.  You may also notice the powerful Trombone 16′ in the pedal.

This Prelude in C Minor (Arnstadt) by Johann Sebastian Bach demonstrates the sound of full organ with 20 stops. The opening pedal solo features the Trombone 16′ and Tromba 8′. The prelude also shows the brilliance of the Great Trumpet 8′.

A common characteristic of the 18th century German chorale preludes is to feature the chorale (hymn tune) played on a 4′ stop in the pedal with a busy obligato in the manuals. The chorale prelude “Jesus Christ, to Jordan Came” by Johann Sebastian Bach is a splendid illustration of this popular style of composition.  Listen for the chorale tune when it comes in at fifteen seconds played on the pedal Choralbass 4′.

This delightful sample by Michael Burkhardt based on the hymn  “This Joyous Eastertide” features the Great Flute 4′.

The Toccata from Symphony V by Charles-Marie Widor is an inspiring piece for marking major celebrations such as Easter and Weddings.  This popular piece from the organ repertoire usually works best on large cathedral sized organs. Here it is played on 20 stops featuring the pedal and great reeds. (Pedal Trombone 16′ and Tromba 8′, and the Great Trumpet 8′).

The celeste stop is unique in that it is intentionally tuned sharp relative the pitch of the organ. This out-of-tuneness creates a wavering sound that is often compared to the sounds of many strings in the orchestra. Here in the sample features the celeste stop playing accompaniment to the beautiful hymn “O God Our Help in Ages Past” as arranged by Paul Manz.


IMG_0661Here is a photograph of the great chest showing the space provided to install the Trumpet 8′