The organs of peachtree road
Peachtree Road is extremely fortunate to have five pipe organs used daily for practice, teaching, accompanying, recording, and most importantly, for leading the faithful in their songs of prayer and praise during weekly worship.
The great organ
The Great Organ of PRUMC, installed by Mander Organs of London, England, is the largest mechanical action organ ever built by a British organ builder. With mechanical action, the oldest type of organ action, the motions of the player are translated to the pipes through long wooden strips made from cedar, commonly called “trackers.” This provides a direct mechanical link from each note on the keyboard to the different divisions of the organ. Organists prefer this type of action due to its extreme responsiveness and sensitivity to the touch of the player.
The Chancel instrument is divided among twin 40-foot cases towering over the High Altar and Chancel. The three primary manual divisions (Great, Swell & Choir), played by the organist’s hands, are located in the left-hand case, facing the altar. The Pedal division, complete with two full-length 32-foot stops, is in the right-hand case and controlled by the organist’s feet. The Solo Organ, a division with a battery of high-powered reed stops on electric action is located in the upper level of the Chancel South case. A 42-rank instrument built by the Mander firm rises above the West End Gallery. French in “flavor,” the instrument greatly enhances the English accents coming from the Chancel. The crowning glory is the Trompette Royale, an en chamade stop that is used for heraldic fanfares and as a solo against the full organ. The intricately carved cases include dogwood branches, the instruments mentioned in Psalm 150, as well as the seal of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.
The Chancel divisions of the organ were given through generous gifts by Mr. Charles Loudermilk and Mr. Mark Pope III in 2002. The Gallery divisions were donated by the Moon Family Foundation to complete the Great Organ.
Gilding on the Gallery organ casework was commissioned in 2022. Funding for this endeavor was provided for by PRUMC and Chancel Choir member, William Elisha York, Jr. and dedicated to all who serve.
In 2022, we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Great Organ. The formal inauguration of The Great Organ took place on November 10, 2002 featuring the Peachtree Road Chancel Choir, the Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral of St. Philip, and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Robert Spano. Inaugural events continued throughout 2003 with an Organ Recital Series featuring Olivier Latry, Richard Webster, Kent Tritle, Johannes Unger and Huw Williams. Peachtree Road is fortunate to have this magnificent instrument continue to lead our church in praise during weekly worship and celebrate the gift of music with people throughout our community and from around the world.
the chapel organ
The Chapel Organ, installed in 1991 by the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio, served as the Sanctuary Organ until the opening of the new Sanctuary in March 2002. Much of the organ is located in chambers on the sides of the Chancel, while part of the Great, Positiv, and Pedal divisions are exposed via cantilevered chests on the chancel wall. During renovation in 2002, the Trompette en Chamade was relocated to the rear wall of the Chapel creating a dramatic effect. The console is movable for concerts and special events since the instrument uses electrical signals to translate the organist’s actions to the different divisions of the organ. The Chapel Organ was given through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. R. Howard Dobbs. In 2015, Cornel Zimmer Organbuilders, North Carolina, completely renovated the console.
the music suite organ
The Music Suite Organ, installed in 1961 by the Möller Organ Company of Hagerstown, Maryland, served for forty years as the Chapel Organ before the old chapel was modified into new space in January 2002. Relocated by Widener & Company, curators of the Peachtree Road organs, the organ is now located in a large chamber, speaking though a decorative façade and shutters into the choir rehearsal space of the Music Suite. It is playable from its original two-manual console, now located on a movable platform for teaching and rehearsal purposes.
etsey reed organ
The Music Department at PRUMC received the gift of this historic organ in 2017 from Mr. and Mrs. John Adair. It is a 2 manual and pedal reed organ built by the Estey Organ Company. It was originally purchased in 1890 for a church in Scotland. It remained there in use until it made its move to America in the mid-twentieth century. The organ is used for small concerts and to accompany the choirs that sing from our rotunda-gallery level.
van daalen continuo organ
In December 2017, The Music Department at PRUMC acquired a Van Daalen Continuo Organ. A continuo organ is a usually one-manual pipe organ and is built to be more or less mobile. It was common in sacred and secular music between the 10th and the 18th centuries, in chapels and small churches, as a chamber organ and for the basso continuo in ensemble works. It is used regularly at Peachtree Road when an intimate organ sound is required for the music performed in concerts and services, such as Handel’s Messiah in the Many Moods of Christmas Program and during Holy week. The Continuo Organ is better suited to produce this kind of sound than our Mander organ. Renovation and restoration provided by Robert I. Coulter Organbuilders.