The Chancel Organ
“An organ ought to be more, however, than the sum of its parts, more than a mere collection of attractive individual stops, and here also the St Peter’s instrument ‘shows the way’. Both with and without reeds its ensemble is well balanced – not only between top and bottom, but also in the middle, where many organs fail. It fills the room with a glorious sound, and manages at the same time to be both beautiful and impressive. I don’t think the ‘show me’ Missourians will have any complaints.”
John Speller. “Virtue out of necessity.” Choir and Organ, May/June 2002.
The organ in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, St. Louis, was built by Mander Organs, of London, England, and was a gift to the parish. The organ was designed by John Mander, Chair, and Geoff McMahon of Mander Organs, in consultation with Bill Aitken, the Organist and Choirmaster of St. Peter’s. The organ installation began on July 9, 2001 and was completed on October 2, 2001 by John Mander, Renato Lucatello, Matthew Fry, Nicholas von Bandemer, Stephen Bayley and William Barrowcliffe, all of Mander Organs.
The instrument is a mechanical action (tracker) organ of 44 stops, comprising four divisions — Great, Swell, Choir and Pedal, and contains 57 ranks of pipes, totaling 3,040 pipes. The instrument is housed in chambers and cases on either side of the Choir. The manual (keyboard) divisions are on the west side of the church building and the Pedal division on the east side. The instrument is played and controlled from a three-manual and pedal console.
For more detailed information, please refer to
The Specification of the Organ.
This instrument was a gift from the Beal, Graves, Hoeber and Lohr families in honor of Anita Frances Beal and her eightieth birthday. The harpsichord was built for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church by Peter Tkach of Webster Groves, Missouri and delivered to us in October 2000.
The harpsichord is a one-manual (keyboard) instrument with two sets of strings (8’) and a lute stop. Painted “Prayer Book Red,” the instrument is trimmed in gold leaf and the sound-board was hand painted by Andrea Tkach. The particular flowers, birds and butterflies painted on the sound-board were selected by the donors as particularly meaningful to them. The fret work on the soundboard includes the crossed keys and cross, the symbol of St. Peter, for whom the parish is named. The motto, “Music is the gift of God,” is painted on the inside of the harpsichord lid.
The Chamber Organ
The Chamber Organ was a gift to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church from Gene Beare, in honor of his wife, Lee. Designed and built by Mander Organs, of London, England, the instrument consists of four ranks (sets) of pipes speaking at 8’, 4’, 2’, and 1 1/3’ pitches respectively. The 1 1/3’ rank is split at middle C, with the notes there and above speaking at 1 1/3’ pitch and those below at 1’. The organ is housed in a handsome cherry case, matching the wood in Grace Chapel, with pipe shades of hand carved flora on the front of the instrument. It was delivered to St. Peter’s in September 2000.
This instrument was designed to accommodate the musical needs of both the intimate space of Grace Chapel and the larger space of the Church Sanctuary. It works beautifully as a solo instrument and as an accompanying instrument for soloists, instrumentalists and choir, as well as a large, singing congregation.