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The Pipe Organs
In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man's mind to God and to higher things.
Vatican II: Sacrosanctam Concilium, #120
The Gallery Organ

The pipe organ in the north gallery is original to this church, having been built in 1939 by the George Kilgen & Sons Company of St. Louis, Missouri.

The organ's three manuals (keyboards) and pedal control twenty-eight ranks of pipes, divided between two chambers behind the grillwork on either side of the façade rose window. The original specification was representative of the American Classic style. At the time of its installation this was the largest organ in the Marquette diocese. Its original cost was $6,500; to replace it today would cost about $300,000.

The original Kilgen console
In 1964 an attempt was made at tonal revisions in accord with the neo-Baroque fashion of that time, through relocation, removal and repitching of ranks and the addition of the Grave Mixture and Sesquialtera. Several of the less desirable of those changes have been recently reversed. The Pedal Major Bass, which disappeared in 1964, has been replaced by a substantial Moller 16 Principal of metal.

After seven decades of constant service, in 2010 a comphrehensive fundraising campaign was launched to finance a complete overhaul and refurbishment of the organ.

Early on, after much consideration of historical concerns and day-to-day liturgical practicalities, it was decided to replace rather than restore the 1939 Kilgen Gallery console. To restore the console would have silenced the organ for nearly a year. Also, the old console had insufficient space for the additional tonal controls that were planned, including those of the Transpet Organ.

In December 2013, Phase One of the project was completed with the installation of our new three-manual custom-designed drawknob console, built be James Lauck/Lauck organ Company of Otsego, Michigan. The new console is solid oak with a solid walnut interior and wooden key bodies. The Pedal sharps are walnut capped with ebony. The capture combination action has 12 general pistons/toe studs and 6 divisionals for each manual and pedals, with 125 levels of memory. The old Kilgen console removed in December 2013 is to be preserved on permanent display in the parish Centennial Museum off of the parish hall.

We now have nearly all the funds in place to embark on Phase Two of the project. This will entail the revoicing and enlargement of the Wicks organ removed from the closed St. Patrick's Church. It will be installed in a new case in the West Transept, where it will be playable both from its own moveable two-manual console and the new Gallery console upstairs, the design of which includes drawknobs duplicating all the stops of the Transept Organ. In tandem with the Gallery Organ, the Transept Organ will eliminate the time lag in the church so that the whole congregation will hear the organ at the same time. It will allow the cantors to hear their accompaniment with more immediacy and clarity. On its own, the Transept Organ will be a fully independent instrument, useful for concerts, recitals, funerals, and weddings, and any other occasions on which the Gallery Organ is too distant. It will also make this church a rare venue in the north country for the rendition of repertoire for two organs. It will serve as the main organ for the Sacred Liturgy while Phase Three is undertaken.

Phase Three with address the innards of the Gallery Organ. All of the pipes will be removed and cleaned. Repairs to the action and electrical upgrading will be made. The original tonal scheme will be restored, with voicing and regulating to restore the tonal relationships which were upset in 1964. Additions will be made to complete the tonal pallet. Additionally, the inadequate tone openings in the walls will be greatly enlarged to allow the organ's sound more free egress into the church. These openings will be fitted for the first time in the building's history with proper twin organ case fronts to match the church architecture and the design of the Transept Organ case. At the end of Phase Three, it will be possible to hear the organ exactly as it sounded in 1939, but it will also be possible to take it far beyond that into the full range of a great cathedral organ.

Great division pipework
The present stoplist is as follows:

GREAT (Enclosed, east chamber)
8' Principal
8' Clarabella
8' Gemshorn
4' Octave
II Grave Mixture (1964)
16 Great to Great
Unison Off
4' Great to Great
16' Swell to Great
8' Swell to Great
4' Swell to Great
16' Choir to Great
8' Choir to Great
4' Choir to Great
Divisional Cancel

SWELL (Enclosed, west chamber)
8' Geigen Diapason
8' Stopped Flute
8' Salicional
8' Celeste (full compass)
4' Flute Harmonique
2' Flauto
III Mixture
16' Trompete (added 2010)
8' Trumpet
8' Oboe
16' Swell to Swell
Unison Off
4' Sell to Swell
Divisional Cancel

CHOIR (Enclosed, east chamber)
8' Melodia
8' Dulciana
8' Unda Maris (full compass)
4' Flute d'Amour
II Sesquialtera (1964)
8' Clarinet
16' Choir to Choir
Unison Off
4' Choir to Choir
16' Swell to Choir
8' Swell to Choir
4' Swell to Choir
Divisional Cancel

PEDAL (Enclosed, west chamber)
32' Resultant
16' Major Bass
16' Bourdon
8' Octave
8' Gedeckt
4' Choralbass
2' Octave
16' Trompete (Sw)
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal
Divisional Cancel

Tripper combination action

Thumb Pistons:
6 General
6 Great/Pedal
6 Swell/Pedal
6 Choir/Pedal

Great to Pedal reversible toe lever
Sforzando toe lever

Kilgen pipework in the east chamber
The Sanctuary Organ

In the Sanctuary stands a small pipe organ made by the Wicks Organ Company, their organ #5091. One of several stock models, this model was dubbed the "Portative". Made in 1971, it originally served Bethel Lutheran Church in Cedarville, Michigan. On March 21, 1997 the organ was sold into private ownership.

On August 4, 2007, this organ was temporarily installed in the Superior Dome in Marquette for use the Sesquicentennial Mass of the Diocese of Marquette on August 5, 2007.

On February 6, 2008, the organ was acquired by St. Joseph & St. Patrick Parish. It was first used in its new home for sung Vespers on the First Sunday in Lent, February 10. It is primarily used to accompany Vespers, and at times to accompany cantors on the Psalm, as well as to for musical performances in the church.

The Wicks organ has two exposed and boldly-voiced ranks - an 8' Copula and a 4' Gemshorn - unified over two manuals and pedal.

Manual I
8' Copula
4' Gemshorn
2' Superoctave

Manual II
8' Gemshorn
4' Copula
1-1/3' Larigot

16' Subbass (prep)
8' Copula
4' Choralbass
2' Octave


More pictures in the Photo Gallery


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