History of Grace First Pipe Organ
In 1975, a year after the congregation of Grace First Presbyterian Church moved into its current location, worshippers dedicated a new pipe organ during the morning service of October 12, 1975. The organ was installed by the Harvey and Zimmer Company in Dallas, with the pipe work manufactured in Germany by August Laukauf, Inc. The instrument consisted of 20 ranks of pipes with 15 stops enclosed by oak casework. The façade pipes in the pedal and Great divisions are of flamed copper, blending with the earth tones of the church. Professor Donald Willing, North Texas State University, dedicated the instrument in recital.
In 1979, the Mac Range Organ Service contracted for the expansion and augmentation of the organ. The work was completed in 1981 and dedicated in September 1982, with 32 stops and 40 ranks of pipes. C. Allison Salley dedicated the completed instrument in recital.
When the congregation undertook a capital campaign in 2004 to take care of
needed repairs and additions to the property, provisions were made to include a
new pipe organ console, replace some of the pipes and make overall
improvements. The church contracted with the Garland Pipe Organ Company in
Fort Worth for a standard three-manual console with 32 levels of memory that
would allow plenty of resources for church services and recitals. The console
exterior is oak, finished with interior components in walnut. Keyboard components
incorporate synthetic ivory naturals and ebony sharps. The pedal board incorporates maple naturals and ebony sharps. The original Trumpet on the Great division was difficult to keep in tune and was replaced with new Trumpet pipes that blend with the ensemble. The original Positiv division was outfitted with expression shades and became a
Choir division. The flamed copper pipes (Prestant 4”) that were visible in front of the Positiv division were then too long to fit behind the expression shades and were replaced with another Prestant 4”, utilizing Haskell pipes, that is, a pipe within a pipe. The Salicional 8” was placed in the Choir division, adding greatly to the warmth of the instrument. This particular rank of pipes came out of the organ at First United Methodist Church in Wichita Falls when the Garland Company built that church’s new instrument. A digital package was added that includes Chimes, Harp, Zimbelstern, Bourdon 32’, Bombard 8’, Bombard 16’ and Bombard 32’. Marialice Parish (pictured above), Director of Music and Organist, dedicated the new console and additions in recital on September 22, 2006. In 2016, the church added a Festival Trumpet 8’ which is placed high above the casework. This versatile set of 56 pipes are used in worship services, wedding ceremonies and recitals.