The Organ at St. Paul’s is a 3-manual, 29 stop, 39 rank Casavant organ with electro-pneumatic action. It was built in 1959, replacing an older Casavant organ, most of which was rebuilt and installed at St. Camillus Catholic Church in Arlington, but some parts of which were used in the building of our current organ. The importance of the music program at St. Paul’s is highlighted by our commitment to a $600,000 capital campaign to restore and enhance this organ. In 2014, it became clear that the Casavant was in need of a complete rebuilding.
At this time, the church looked at ways of expanding the organ to support the music program more fully – including using the organ for concerts as well as providing more versatile accompaniment for the choirs and a larger tonal palette for organ repertoire spanning nearly five centuries. Ultimately, due to major space limitations, the decision was made to both rebuild the Casavant and install a digital organ, the new console of which would control both instruments.
The well-respected New England firm of Foley-Baker removed the pipework, chests, and reservoirs in January of 2016 and expects to complete the rebuilding by the end of the year. Marshall & Ogletree, of Needham, MA, has built and installed their Opus 12 Digital Organ – a three manual instrument of 70 stops of which 29 are digital duplications of the Casavant. This creates both a complete digital organ as well as a hybrid digital-pipe instrument - all played from the new three-manual console which controls five divisions (pedal, great, swell, choir, and positive). The digital additions fill the gaps in the organ’s tonal design, and “doubling” the pipe organ with digital capabilities.