TEMC “Organ Tweet” for Sun 1 March 2015

Organ Poetry II

Psalm150Praise ye the LORD!
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with string instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD! #TEMCmusic

– from Psalm 150

 

 

 

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TEMC Organ Tweet from Sun 22 Feb 2015

THE ECHO ORGAN
20150215_114117Tucked away in the east corner of the sanctuary’s South Balcony is a small division of organ pipes you might not have noticed, partly because of its unusual location. Installed as part of the organ’s 1938 relocation to the chancel the Echo division, a remarkable piece of technology requiring its own blower and hundreds of feet of wiring, was designed for gentle, touching effects whose main characteristic is eminating from away from the main instrument. It is from here that the Choir hears it’s notes to sing the concluding ‘Amen’ of every 11 o’clock service, from here that the traditional chimes play the final verse of ‘Silent Night’ every Christmas Eve.

In 2016 if all goes according to plan, Phase II of the Trustees’ Organ Century refurbishment and enhancement project will see the Echo division joined in the South Balcony by a very different set of pipes, not tucked away in a chamber, but proudly adorning the back wall around the stained glass. Also designed to add the dimension of space to the organ’s art, this ‘Antiphonal’ division will sound very differently, and feature much stronger stops including a Festival Trumpet ‘en Chamade’ mounted horizontally, projecting out from the wall. Distinguished former Crystal Cathedral organist Fred Swann, who paid TEMC a visit in January, enthusiastically endorsed the Trustees’ plan, agreeing it would “really bring the organ’s sound out to the people,” enhancing our celebrations, and our song.

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TEMC “Organ Tweet” from Sun 15 February 2015

TEMC Organist Historical Spotlight
Albert Jordan and Thomas James Crawford (1925-1946)

Present day chancel ceiling showing 1938 organ chambers.

Present day chancel ceiling showing 1938 organ chambers.

Whereas TEMC’s third organist Ernest MacMillan took up his duties at the age of 27, leaving in his early 30s; Seaforth, Ontario native Albert Jordan came to the bench at 48, as an established figure on the London, Ontario music scene, where he lived (and commuted to from) until his death in 1932. Jordan had already founded and directed several musical organisations in southwestern Ontario, performed organ recitals in Pittsburgh and New York and represented Canada at both the Pan-American exhibition (Buffalo, 1901) and the Panama-Pacific exhibition (San Francisco, 1915). He was succeeded in 1933 by Thomas James Crawford, a Scot of precisely the same age who had come to Toronto in 1922 to become organist of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, but who had pursued a more international career in Glasgow, Leipzig, and most notably Westminster Abbey and St. Michael’s Chester Square in London England. He retired to Barrie, Ontario in 1946 where he served as organist to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church until a tragic auto accident claimed him in 1955. In 1938 during Crawford’s time at TEMC (and perhaps at least partly under his influence) Lady Eaton directed that the organ be moved from its original east transept balcony position to dual chancel chambers, and the choir reconfigured into the classic Anglican divided “Westminster Chancel” – this is what we see today.

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