The chancel in the chapel of
the Kirk of Dunedin.
Resounding within the modern gothic arches of The Kirk of Dunedin Community Church in Dunedin, Florida, is one of the great orchestral/theatre styled pipe organs in the world.
The console of The Grand Duchess.
Designed and assembled by Terry Charles, internationally renowned Curator Of The Organ, it comprises wind chests and pipes from various historic instruments. It is unique in source, installation and variety of voices. The world famous organ is heard in concert by thousands each season during the longest running Theatre Pipe Organ concert series in history, and enjoys its appropriate title, "The Grand Duchess".
A Closer Look At The Console
The keydesk of The Grand Duchess.
The magnificent four manual ebony and gold leaf all electric console was designed and built by Terry Charles. Greatly increased in versatility and capacity in 1998, the "horseshoe" features an array of 307 stop tongues which virtually surround the organist. A creation in itself, the console is one of the largest in the world. Almost eight feet wide, it features more than one hundred ten combination pistons and a solid state combination system with multiple memory levels. The console rests upon a platform of oak hardwood and steel. It is easily moved, from its normal worship position within the choir loft, to the hydraulic lift and its concert position in the center of the Chancel.
The left bolster of the console.
Above, we see the left bolster of the console containing the Pedal and some of the Accompaniment stops.
The left curve of the horseshoe.
In the picture above, we see the left curve of the horseshoe containing the rest of the Accompaniment stops.
The back rail of the keydesk.
Here, we see the back rail and fallboard of the massive keydesk where the rest of the Accompaniment and the Great stops are to be found. Note the Smart MIDI stops, used for engaging onboard and ourboard MIDI devices such as add-on modules and external instruments like piano's, etc.
The right curve of the horseshoe.
Moving on around the horseshoe, we see the rest of the Great stops and those of the Solo and the Antiphonals.
The right bolster of the console.
The Solo stops are found in the right bolster of the console and below these, the ones that control the Orchestral manual.
Conventioneers gathering to hear the Grand Duchess.
During the 51st Anuual ATOS Convention, we were fortunate to get a chance to see and hear this magnificent instrument. In the picture above, we see the Conventioneers anxiously gathering at the Kirk to hear the Grand Duchess.
The view from the loft at the back of the chapel.
Here, we are looking down on the chancel from the loft at the rear of the chapel. Notice the two grand pianos, both playable via MIDI from the console.
The chancel of the church.
Looking at the chancel from a vantage point at floor level to the right, we see the console flanked by the two pianos with the Trumpet En Chamade clearly visable near the top of the facade pipes. The facade is ornamental and does not play, but the Trumpets make a statement when drawn, indeed.
The Man And The Machine
Tom Hoehn (left) and Terry Charles (right) discussing
the Grand Duchess before the concert.
In this picture, Walnut hill Featured Artist Tom Hoehn and Terry Charles, curator of the instrument, are discussing the Grand Duchess before the concert Donna Parker played during the 51st Anuual ATOS Convention. Terry is a very friendly man who is ready to let anyone knowledgable of getting around such a huge console have a go. In the days ahead, we hope to visit the installation for the purpose of recording this majestic organ.
Terry not only keeps this great instrument going, he is also the featured artist on the concert series. He is acclaimed one of the world's leading theatre organ preservationists. Terry recently performed his 600th concert on the Kirk Organ Series, an amazing feat and perhaps something of a world record in itself !
Among the world class concert organists who have appeared on the Kirk Organ Series throughout the years are: Virgil Fox, George Wright, Diane Bish, Hector Olivera, Richard Leibert, Carlo Curley, Nicholas Martin, Phil Kelsall, Barry Baker, Rob Richards, Christian Elliott, Robert Wolfe, Raymond Bohr, Rex Koury, Larry Ferrari, Billy Nalle, Ashley Miller, Peter Conte, Heath Wooster, Rosemary Bailey, David Higgs, Joyce Jones, Donna Parker, Ken Double, Paul Oakley, Fred Davies, George Wesner, Stan Kann, Tom Hazelton, Patti Simon, Kiyo Watanabe, Russell Holmes, Richard Grant, Eddie Weaver, Helen Dell, Stephen Distad, Mildred Alexander, Rosa Rio, Searle Wright, Eddie Ford, Ann Leaf, Don Baker, Lee Irwin, John Giacci and Bene Hammel.