The organ now contains 1304 pipes constructed of various alloys of tin, lead, zinc, and wood. Most of the pipes are the original pipes of the 1870 Marshall Brothers organ. The organ now moves into its third century of service to God and his people. To God Alone Be the Glory.

History of the Pipe Organ

The pipe organ for Holy Redeemer by the Sea Catholic Parish was originally built in 1870 by the Marshall Brothers Organ Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the Grand Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. The organ had tracker or mechanical action and wind was supplied by hand pumping. The organ, upon construction of the present Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church in 1912, was reinstalled in the Assembly Hall by the Ernest M. Skinner Organ Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Electro-Pneumatic action to control the original slider windchests and an electric Spencer blower were provided at that time. Additionally the Skinner company replaced the Swell Salicional stop with one of its own design and a Voix Celeste to go with it. The Swell Flautino 2′, the Great Trumpet 8′ and the Mixture III were removed.

During the Great Depression, this instrument was sold to the First Church of Christ, Scientist of Kansas City, Kansas. When that church’s congregation sold its building in 1993, the organ was once again for sale. Quimby Pipe Organs Inc. purchased the instrument in 1994 and rebuilt it for Saint John LaLande Catholic Church in Blue Springs, Missouri. But after only a few years, the church was renovated and the organ was sold to make way for another pipe organ which more closely suited the new architectural concept. Quimby Pipe Organs again purchased the instrument and offered it for sale.

After some research it was decided that the organ would be well suited to the new Holy Redeemer by the Sea Catholic Parish with the addition of the once removed Swell Flautino 2′ and Great Trumpet 8′, as well as a new Pedal Principal that plays at 8′ and 4′. (The Mixture III was added in the rebuild for Saint John LaLande.) At about the same time, a generous donation of $100,000 was made by Mr. George (Sam) Cunningham, now deceased, with the request that he and his wife Lorraine be memorialized in the new church. With that donation and several other generous donations of parishioners, the purchase and installation of this organ became a reality.

The instrument reflects the fine tonal characteristics of English organ building during the mid 19th century. John Lancashire, a master organ builder, came to the United States in 1864 to install a Willis pipe organ from London, England, in Grace Church, Ripon Wisconsin, which had been purchased by the Marshall Brothers firm. The Marshall brothers persuaded Lancashire to join them in organizing an organ factory which became known as the Marshall Brothers Organ Company. Lancashire in turn persuaded three Willis employees to join that enterprise: Charles S. Barlow, the key maker, Edward “Ted” Harris, an excellent pipe maker, and William H. Turner.

In 1995 the organ was completely rebuilt with new electro-pneumatic slider windchests, a new all-electric two manual and pedal console (which features a multi-level capture combination action and multi-plex switching system), a new case incorporating the bass pipes of the Great Principal 8′, new blower, and the replacement of the missing Great Mixture III fabricated from scales known to have been used by the builder.

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