The traditional handcrafted pipe organ for Christendom’s new Christ the King Chapel arrived on Monday, January 30, with assembly of the organ beginning immediately after delivery. The organ, which was generously funded by anonymous donors, will take approximately three weeks to assemble, followed by another four weeks of careful tuning to each of the 2,825 pipes in the organ.
The new organ was designed and constructed by Kegg Pipe Organ Builders, based in Hartville, Ohio. Charles Kegg, the artistic director at the company, oversaw the initial design work, meeting with Christendom staff before designing the visual display as well as the console. The blueprints of the organ took about 10 months to complete, with the actual organ construction taking approximately 14 months.
From there, the organ was disassembled and shipped via two semi-trucks, with the same Kegg crew that built the organ traveling to campus to reassemble it in the new chapel. Once the organ is properly installed, which will take about three weeks, Kegg and his assistant will make careful adjustments to each of the 2,825 pipes in the organ overnight over the course of four weeks.
These adjustments are called “voicing” and include pipe tone, volume, attack, and release. During this process, which can be completed only once the organ is in its final acoustic home, each stop is balanced between its mates within each section of the organ, and each section is balanced between the other sections. The end result will be a fine instrument, perfectly tuned to bring beautiful liturgical music to Christ the King Chapel.
The arrival of the organ comes as the final touches are currently being made to Christ the King Chapel before its dedication in April. Beautiful woodworking is underway in the interior of the chapel, along with the installation of more beautiful stained-glass windows. The Piazza of Christ the King is now being constructed as well, which will ultimately be a beautiful space for reflection before entering the chapel.
For more information on the process behind the design and construction of the new organ, visit here.