- Worship & Music
A New Pipe Organ is coming to St. Dunstan’s Chapel
By Christopher Wells, Director of Music & Organist
We are pleased to announce that a new pipe organ for St. Dunstan’s Chapel has been commissioned by Casavant Frères Organbuilders in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The new instrument will be installed in Spring, 2020. A dedication service will be held on Sunday, May 17 at 5 PM.
The new instrument for St. Dunstan’s Chapel will be 11 ranks (a set of pipes of a given color and pitch level) and playable from a two keyboard, mechanical action (non–electric) console. The historic carved oak case from the original pipe organ will be retained, and the former faux pipes will be new functional pipes from the Open Diapason, which is what creates a full, majestic tone.
For those who are newcomers, or just visiting in our pews this weekend, St. Dunstan’s Chapel is one of four worship spaces in Christ Church Cranbrook located downstairs. It is dedicated to the patron saint of craftspeople and artisans, whose careful handiwork is evident throughout the construction of the church as part of the arts and crafts movement of the 1920s.
As the chapel only seats 50 people, the instrument will be relatively small – only 624 pipes compared to the 5,433 pipes of the organ in our main Sanctuary. Nevertheless, each pipe will be carefully crafted and voiced, one by one, for the intimate setting of the chapel.
According to correspondence in Cranbrook Archives, the original instrument for the chapel was installed in 1928, however demonstrated mechanical trouble as early as 1935, resulting in a rebuilding project. Subsequent rebuilding attempts were made again in the 1950s and 1990s. This most recent rebuild was deemed unsatisfactory, and the instrument has been silent for the last decade.
The new instrument will support the strong congregational singing of the Sunday 8 AM service, along with smaller weddings and funerals held in the chapel. It will be featured in recitals and promises to serve as an important practice and teaching instrument for the parish and the larger community.
Casavant Opus 3937