News Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

One of four pipe organs left featured at hymn festival

At 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, Trinity Episcopal Church will host “A Hymn Festival, Highlighting The Earthly Life Of Christ” and featuring Reverend Norman Huff as Scripture Reader, Mrs. Deborah Huff Estright as Song Leader, and Presbyterian Organist Richard Merryman as Hymn Accompanist on one of only Four Pipe Organs left in Tyrone Churches.
In the fifty minute Hymn Festival, Huff and Estright will offer the audience A Guided Tour of Christ’s Earthly Life in Scripture and Song, commencing with The Bethlehem Manger, and continuing through The Wilderness Temptation, The Palm Sunday Parade, The Upper Room, The Cross Of Calvary, The Empty Tomb, The Clouds Of Ascension, and concluding with The Day Of Pentecost. In addition to leading The Hymn Festival, Huff will sing Geoffrey O’Hara’s beloved 1937 Vocal Solo entitled “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked,” as Jesus embarks on His Earthly Ministry. Before Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Morn, Estright will sing the 2003 hit entitled “You Raise Me Up.” Episcopal Rector Jeanne Jacobson will welcome the audience, lead “The Call To Worship,” and invite people to greet Huff, Estright, and Merryman at a food and fellowship hour in Wilson Parish Hall, immediately following the event.
Throughout the fifty minute festival, Merryman will provide accompaniment on the historic 1956 Estey Pipe Organ located in The Chancel Of Trinity’s Miniature Gothic Wooden Sanctuary, which dates from 1894. Trinity’s Estey Pipe Organ stands as only one of Four Remaining Pipe Organs in Tyrone Churches, which include The 1908 Felgemaker / Cannarsa Pipe Organ at Saint Matthew’s, The 1940 Moller Pipe Organ at Church Of The Good Shepherd, and The 1966 Moller Pipe Organ at First Lutheran. Other area churches that used to house Pipe Organs have replaced them with Allen Digital Computer Organs in the interest of saving money and space.
In Early August of 1956, a tractor trailer arrived in Tyrone carrying The Estey Pipe Organ to Trinity Church from company headquarters along a quiet street in Brattleboro, Vermont. Financial records kept by Church Treasurer James Warnock indicate that The Organ Truck Trip from Vermont cost Trinity Church $212. Warnock also records that Trinity Church had to borrow $12,000 to pay The Total Price for their New Estey Pipe Organ. With 776 Metal and Wooden Pipes divided into Thirteen Rows or Ranks, The Two-Keyboard Estey Pipe Organ had been custom designed by Tyrone Organist Clarence Black (grandfather of Charles, Donald, and Brian Bressler) and Pittsburgh Organ Architect Arthur Kennedy. The Trinity Church Organ represented Opus No. 3,234 out of The 3,261 Pipe Organs The Estey Company built while in business from 1901 to 1961. Tyrone Historian and Episcopal Priest Ralph Wolfgang offered this winsome insight in His Diary Of Trinity Episcopal Church, “Although Trinity’s Estey Pipe Organ furnished fine music and led The Trinity Choir during one of its peak periods, The New Pipe Organ proved A Financial Head-ache until it finally was paid off in 1969.”
Like any quality church organ, the Estey Pipe Organ at Trinity Church contained Four Different Types Of Organ Pipes or Stops: Principle Pipes for Praise, Trumpet Pipes for Proclamation, String Pipes for Prayer, and Flute Pipes for Play. As Sunday’s Fifty Minute Hymn Festival unfolds, The Organist will evoke The Atmosphere Of Praise, Proclamation, Prayer, and Play, using these Four Different Types Of Organ Pipes or Stops. Merryman indicated that The 1956 Estey Pipe Organ replaced A 1936 Austin Pipe Organ that Trinity Church had purchased from Altoona’s Jaffa Shrine on Chestnut Avenue, after The Saint Patrick’s Day Flood had destroyed their Mitmer Pipe Organ. Local Episcopalians purchased their First Mitmer Pipe Organ out of Philadelphia in 1905 at a cost of $1,800. To house The Mitmer Organ Pipes, church members had to erect A Pipe Chamber on The Left Side of The Chancel of their 1894 Miniature Gothic Building. Before The Mitmer Pipe Organ arrived in 1905, Mrs. Richard Beaston played A Parlor Reed Organ for Worship, while The Men Of The Parish pumped The Bellows.
Concluded Merryman, “Once again, we commend the members of Tyrone’s Trinity Episcopal Church for their endless efforts to maintain their Estey Pipe Organ. We also congratulate Church Organist Sally Cupp, who faithfully has served as Minister Of Music at Trinity Church for 31 years since 1976. I have deep, personal affection for the people of Trinity Church since they demonstrated unbelievable faith back in the spring of 1968, when they hired me as their church organist, since I was only a sophomore in high school!
“How thankful I will be on Sunday evening, June 24, when I will have the honor to perform with artists Norman Huff and Deborah Huff Estright. And as I play, I only can hope that Trinity’s Historic Estey Pipe Organ will sound even as the hymn writer described it with this verse – “With Pipes Of Wood And Tin Disclose That Song The World Has Blurred / The Hymn Of Life And Love That Flows From God’s Renewing Word / Then Boldly Open Wide The Swell And With A Trumpet Call / Announce The News We Thirst To Tell / That Christ Is Lord Of All!”