In September 2001, Church of the Covenant celebrated the resurrection of its treasured pipe organ with a rededication service and a splendid recital by three local organ virtuosos. After a half-million dollar "restorative reconstruction" by Austin Organ of Hartford, Connecticut, the 3530-pipe, 4-keyboard instrument is in mint condition for worship and for concerts.
Symphonic pipe organs of this magnitude were popular at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, and Covenant's instrument was installed in 1929 by then-German builders. In a series of corporate changes due to the depression, the instrument is now called a Welte-Tripp organ, designated opus 287, and it was considered a splendid instrument for the extensive French repertoire of the period. The 65 ranks can imitate each section of a full orchestra, as well as a wide range of familiar pipe organ colors.
During the 1960's some minor changes had been introduced to the instrument, and then it declined as more pipes, leathers and electrical contacts deteriorated. Thus, the complete restoration in 2001 is a major achievement for this church of fewer than 200 members. The console is now on a movable dolly; the electro-pneumatic contacts have been replaced by solid state circuitry; there is a recording device allowing musicians to hear their work and tinker with effects.
The organ may be heard on most Sunday mornings throughout the year and in concerts sponsored by notable musical organizations such as Coro Allegro and The American Guild of Organists.
For further information about concerts or this instrument, contact our Director of Music Tom Handel at 617-266-7480.
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