Noack Pipe Organ
A little history of the pipe organ…
The organ dates its origin to the early centuries. In a simpler form, pipe organs were seen in the 3rd century BC, having been invented by Ktesibios, a Greek engineer working in Alexandria. Almost a thousand years later, Pepin (in 757) received the gift of an organ from Byzantium, setting in motion the placement of this “King of Instruments” in the rear gallery of so many of the churches built during the last 800 years.
The power of the sacred music increases the honor given to God by the Church in union with Christ, its Head.
— Pope Pius XII
Encyclical Musicae Sacrae, December 25, 1955
The Noack Pipe Organ in the Shrine Church…
The Opus 150 organ has three manual keyboards and their respective divisions are clearly discernible in the structural design of the case:
- The “Great” is in the upper part of the main case;
- The “Swell” – with louvers controlling the dynamics hidden behind the grille – in the lower main case; and,
- The “Choir” division in its own smaller case in the gallery rail.
The “Pedal” division occupies the side “towers” of the main case. The key desk is located close to the “Choir”, allowing sufficient space between it and the main case for singers and instruments. In spite of the separation of the parts of the organ, the key action is entirely mechanical with thin wooden rods, so-called ‘trackers’, connecting each key to the corresponding valve.
This is the system that was common in all organs before the advent of electricity and is still the most desirable one to give the player the best control over the pipes’ speech.
— Fritz Noack, 2008
Organ Case Design: Duncan Stroik of Notre Dame, Indiana,
in cooperation with The Noack Organ Company of Georgetown, Massachusetts.
Construction of Organ: The Noack Organ Company of Georgetown, Massachusetts.
Woodcarvings: James Lohmann, master woodcarver of Covington, Michigan.
Music Director and Organist