Simsbury United Methodist Church
Austin Organ (1987)
The Forman Organ and Carillon
In the year 1986, Mr. and Mrs. Foreman proposed to Simsbury United Methodist Church a musical gift comprised of a sophisticated three-manual pipe organ and fifty-five bell carillon. The Foremans explained that they had two objectives in offering these magnificent gifts. First, they would enhance musical opportunities in Church services. Second, they hoped to stimulate the Church to bring quality musical events to the greater Farmington Valley.
True to the Foremans’ vision, SUMC, a “Lighthouse Church”, hosts many musical rehearsals and performances for groups both inside and outside the church.
The carillon was installed in the Church tower in the late fall of 1986. The Austin Organ Company of Hartford, CT built the organ and installed it in the spring of 1987.
The organ has 29 ranks and 1,731 pipes. The Great division is installed on the rear wall of the sanctuary. The Swell and Positiv are installed in the chancel in the front of the sanctuary.
The Forman Organ console is normally located at the front of the sanctuary so that the organist faces the choir with back to the congregation. The congregation cannot see the organist because of a removable decorative partition. However, the organ console can be rolled out and is connected to its various sources of sound by a huge “umbilical cord.” Thus it can be positioned in the front of the sanctuary so the audience can see the organist, and the space the console normally occupies can be utilized for other purposes.
The eight-foot horizontal pipes of the Trompette en Chamade are installed on the rear wall projecting from the Great division. They are designed to simulate the brilliant, directional sound of antiphonal trumpets and are very effective in certain kinds of music. The carillon can be amplified into the sanctuary. The organist at the console and the carillonneur at the keyboard in the tower can communicate and play simultaneously with choral and/or instrumental accompaniment. Performances can be recorded on tape.
|Viola de Gambe||8’|
|Flute a’ Bec||2’|
|Trompette en Chamade||8’|
|Viole de Gambe (Swell)||8’|