Opus 41 — 69 ranks
Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church
Construction and installation photos
Read the American Organist article
8' Flûte harmonique
8' Bourdon (ext. of 16' Bourdon)
4' Flûte conique
2 ⅔' Quint
2' Super Octave
1 ⅗' Terz
2 ⅔' Gross Fourniture II
1 ⅓' Fourniture IV
8' Tuba (Choir)
Great to Great 16-Unison Off-4
Swell to Great 16-8-4
Choir to Great 16-8-4
8' Geigen Diapason
8' Gedeckt (ext. 16' Gedeckt)
8' Viole de Gambe
8' Voix céleste
4' Clear Flute
1 ⅓' Quint
2 ⅔' Sesquialtera II
2' Plein Jeu III-IV
1' Cymbale III
16' Contre Trompette
8' Voix humaine
Swell to Swell 16-Unison Off-4
Choir to Swell 8
16' Conical Flute (ext. of 8' Conical Flute)
8' Chimney Flute
8' Conical Flute
8' Flute celeste
4' Spindle Flute
2 ⅔' Nazard
2' Block Flute
1 ⅗' Tierce
1 ⅓' Larigot
2' Mixture III
8' English Horn
Choir to Choir 16-Unison Off-4
Great to Choir 8
Swell to Choir 16-8-4
32' Contre Bourdon (ext. of 16' Soubasse)
16' Bourdon (Gt.)
16' Gedeckt (Sw.)
16' Conical Flute (Ch.)
8' Flûte (ext. of 16' Contrebasse)
8' Flûte bouchée
8' Gedeckt (Sw.)
4' Choral Bass
4' Cantus Flute
2' Mixture III
32' Contre Posaune (ext. of 16' Posaune)
16' Fagotto (Gt.)
8' Fagotto (Gt.)
8' Tuba (Choir)
Great to Pedal 8
Swell to Pedal 8-4
Choir to Pedal 8-4
The American Guild of Organists, Cover feature July 2005
From the Committee Chair
Five years ago Preston Hollow’s senior pastor Blair Monie asked me to form and chair a committee to select a builder for a new organ and oversee the planning and installation of the instrument. What a gift and what a wonderful challenge! I found a committee that included the very organ-savvy with previous organ-committee experience and some new organ initiates—all equally dedicated to getting it right, willing to invest the time needed to do a good job.
As we started, we watched videos from the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society, read journals and books, listened to countless recordings, visited organs of various types and builders locally and talked to everyone we could about organs and the process of choosing a builder and specification. We prayed and worked hard to identify needs within our current worship practice and to predict needs as our congregation evolves. Although we did not use a consultant, we relied heavily on our own professional staff in Terry Price and Annette Albrecht.
We talked to a over a dozen builders in the USA and abroad, had proposals from most of these, visited dozens of organs in 11 states and planned, schemed and dreamed for months. One formative experience occurred when we visited Goulding & Wood’s opus 30 at Saint Meinrad Archabbey. This is a superb instrument in a space ideal for grand organ music. What impressed us, however, as much as the organ itself, was that the principals and personnel of Goulding & Wood were as much proud of how the organ contributes to the worship of the archabbey, within its centuries-old Benedictine practice, as they were of the instrument itself. Their concern for the success of the instrument went beyond its success in the artistic sense and well beyond what might be considered best business practice. This is what we were looking for.
Of course the artistic success of the instrument is very important and the most important quality we sought was principal tone of great quality. Without that quality, any number of French or German or symphonic stop knobs would profiteth us nothing. It was that quality, beauty (not power or pleasantness or variety, though their organs have all these), that we found in every Goulding & Wood instrument we heard.
Our trust has not been misplaced. The organ has proved to be better than we could have hoped. It has principal choruses in every division, and the 16’ based chorus in the Great is especially fine. Each of the reeds has its own character and yet they successfully combine with each other and the flues. The voicing of the instrument for the room is a great success.
We sincerely believe that we could not have done better; our experience with Goulding & Wood has been richly rewarding. They have made for us a truly fine organ that will serve our church and the worship of God for generations to come.
From the Organist
My first days as organist at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in March of 2000 were filled with excitement. The congregation had recently approved a capital building expansion campaign that included new facilities for music rehearsal, an enlarged and acoustically improved sanctuary, and a new pipe organ. Becoming part of the music ministry team, forming new relationships with congregation, choir and staff, and jumping right into the process of selecting a builder for the new instrument was a challenge. Working with Jim Watkins, chair of the selection committee, Terry Price, music director and former classmate, and the rest of the knowledgeable members was a joy. The enormity and challenge of embarking on a project of this scope became very real, and it was with a sense of certainty and good fortune that we decided to entrust the planning and building of this new instrument to Goulding & Wood, Inc. of Indianapolis.
While the organ committee was busy planning the specification for this instrument with Jason Overall and Brandon Woods (of Goulding & Wood), others at the shop consulted with the architects for the sanctuary expansion. To have the organ builder involved in this process was a luxury that many don’t experience. After the sanctuary renovation was complete, we still had to wait another year for the organ. We finalized the stop list, enjoyed frequent digital photos of the building progress e-mailed from the workshop, and tried to imagine the sounds of the new instrument. Frequent communication from the folks at Goulding & Wood helped us plan and prepare for the installation which occurred in the fall of 2003. Because of this, very few problems were encountered, and the organ was ready several weeks earlier than forecast.
It’s very difficult to describe the pleasure of musical sound. Most music lovers can recall the experience of sound lifting and transporting the soul, of losing oneself in the beauty and holiness of the moment. I and many others expected this instrument to provide the instrumental voices for this kind of experience. The visual impact is simple, elegant, and stunningly beautiful. The sound is rich and resonant, not muddy, but full bodied, with mixtures providing clarity and brilliance without a hint of shrillness. Since the installation, my days have been filled with the wonder of discovery. Instead of trying yet another trick to find a registration that works, I have the delightful challenge of choosing from among several beautiful possibilities. Preparing hymn accompaniments is a joy; the sanctuary’s acoustical improvements support the organ and congregational song. Possibilities for anthem accompaniments for our 120 voice choir are nearly limitless. Repertoire that was filed away is brought out, registered, and played, with the exclamation, “Aha! That’s how it should sound!” The powerful voice of Opus 41 fills the 900-seat space without becoming strident; the Tuba 8’ provides a crowning touch. The softest manual voice, the Choir Conical Flute 8’, almost disappears, while the 32’ Contre Bourdon purrs quietly underneath.
I believe I may speak for the selection committee, the Preston Hollow Sanctuary Choir, the music ministry, and the congregation when I say that we are truly blessed. We had a dream that was recognized by this congregation to have great value that merited considerable financial commitment. This dream was nurtured, shaped and strengthened by our collaboration with the Goulding & Wood organ builders. Our desire for a pipe organ that could lead us as we lift our hearts, souls and voices together in praise of our Creator God has been realized. Our journey of stewardship of this great gift is now just beginning.
From the Music Director
There is probably a lesson here somewhere. In spite of all our hopes, we had doubts. How do you know which builder is right for you? How do you know what style instrument is best for your church? If only we had more money, we could get all the stops we need – but the dollars are not limitless. We’re taking out the carpet, but we really need to raise the ceiling another 30 feet to be sure everything will soar. On and on the list went. O we of little faith!
Through our extensive search to select a builder, we visited many different builders and churches. We heard grand instruments in beautiful spaces, yet there was always the question of how this would all work out for us. During our search and throughout the building and installation, our committee continued to work closely with Goulding & Wood in planning our new organ. In the end, all our wishes have come true.
This instrument has brought a new energy to our corporate worship. Hymn singing is thrilling with the great support from the organ. The variety of colors available to accompany the choir gives opportunity for new expressions and emotions. Further, the organ is equally at home when used as a solo instrument or with a large orchestra. Our hope was that we would get a great organ to lead worship, and that has certainly been the case. The side benefit is that the organ has proven itself as a great concert organ as well.
Any thoughts on our new instrument would not be complete without mentioning the follow-up care provided by Goulding & Wood. Any new organ is going to have a few glitches. Opus 41 has had fewer problems than we had anticipated, in part due to the incredible care with which this organ came to life. However, Goulding & Wood seem to have the attitude that this is still “their baby” and they want it to be in optimum condition at all times. They have made numerous trips from Indianapolis to Dallas just to “check on things” or to make some minor adjustments in voicing. Their attention to detail has gone way beyond any normal expectation. During our search, we had visited six of their instruments in very different environs. Each instrument seemed perfectly suited for the room, and now we are able to understand how that happened: they take the time to listen to the needs of the church and they really care about making each organ the best it can be.
It seems that the best possible statement for a church with a new organ would be, at the end of the day, to be able to use the old cliché, “If I had to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing.” Without question, that is the position in which we have found ourselves in relation to our wonderful new Goulding & Wood organ. Thanks to their wonderful team, the worship life of our congregation has been greatly enhanced to the glory of God.
From one of the Dedicatory Concert Artists
Having been brought up with the English Cathedral sound, it was an absolute joy to play the new Goulding & Wood instrument at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas. The sounds were so warm, and every flute had a different character. It was a most comfortable instrument to play, and it was extremely exciting to listen to.
I then went into the chambers and was absolutely amazed at the quality of work inside and at the beautiful craftsmanship displayed. It was just amazing to see the attention to detail and the love and care that had clearly been lavished on the instrument.
Congratulations, Goulding & Wood!
Paul Leddington Wright, Coventry Cathedral, and Composer/Arranger, Conductor for BBC Television’s “Songs of Praise”
From the Builder
Each opportunity we have to work with a church affords us new possibilities to make new friends and expand our understanding of organ building. Both were richly true at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. From the first conversation we had with Terry Price, we remarked about a certain synchronicity between their committee and our team. Over the following two years of design, construction and installation, the relationship between the good people at the church and our shop continued to deepen with wonderful results. Annette, Terry and Jim wanted an organ that would feature gentle voicing, supportive of choir and congregation, yet with a commanding presence in the room. Through many discussions, we arrived at a design that employs strong principal chorus as a backbone and a wide palette of colors to fill out the stop list. The organ is much larger than the number of ranks would indicate. There are four open 16’ flue stops, two 32’ stops, and a total of 29 ranks of pipes below 4’ pitch. The organ speaks with gravitas, filling the room with warm, abundant energy. In the months that have followed the installation, the organ has been put wonderfully to the test by the fine musicians at Preston Hollow Church, and we have been fortunate to attend many of the events. The organ has ignited considerable interest among the congregation, and we are pleased that the worship life has gathered strength from this new musical resource.
In addition to the strong relationships we have with the members of the church, we continue to value our connection with our pipe builders. As with all of our organs, metal principals and flutes 4’ C and above come from Jacques Stinkens B.V. of Zeist, the Netherlands. Display pipes, reeds, strings, and zinc basses were built by A. R. Schopp’s Sons, Inc. of Alliance, Ohio. We thank both firms for their excellent work and appreciate the opportunity we have to work so closely with them in the construction of the pipework. We are able then to voice and finish the pipes, achieving the precise sound we seek for each of our instruments: an encompassing, full-bodied spectrum of colors. As such, this organ is a clear expression of our approach to organ building. We look forward to continuing to make a contribution to Dallas’s rich cultural life and the worship life of Preston Hollow Church.
Jason Overall, President, Goulding & Wood, Inc.