Newberry Memorial Organ
The Newberry Memorial Organ is among the largest and most notable "orchestral" organs in North America. Located in Woolsey Hall at Yale University, the organ contains 197 ranks and 166 stops comprising 12,617 pipes. It is one of the largest organs in the world.
The first Woolsey Hall organ was built by the Hutchings-Votey Organ Company of Boston in 1902. The organ was expanded in 1915 by the J.W. Steere & Son Organ Company of Springfield, Massachusetts. The instrument was expanded again to its current configuration and size in 1928 by the Skinner Organ Company of Boston as Skinner(Op. 722).
The Newberry Organ's expansion in 1927 was performed by the Skinner Organ Company of Boston, Massachusetts. The work was directed both by Ernest M. Skinner, and his new Superintendent, recently from England, Mr. G. Donald Harrison. Harrison later became the Tonal Director of the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company when Mr. Skinner was eased out of his company and the Skinner Organ Company was merged with the Aeolian Organ Company. A pipe organ reflects the combined skills of many people, and the Newberry Organ is widely considered to reflect a unique and American pedigree. The lineage of the Newberry Organ as envisioned by Hutchings, Steere, and Skinner builders, Yale curators and musicians, from prior to 1900 to the present, has resulted in a unique and landmark musical instrument.
Woolsey Hall is well suited for organ music because the seats do not have sound-absorbing padding and the room has a reverberation of more than four seconds. A generous stage in front of the organ permits concerts with choirs, orchestras and other ensembles.
The organ is maintained in original playing condition, including its original combination action, and is utilized throughout the academic year for student organ recitals, organ crawls, gala events, university pageantry and concerts. It is maintained by the Associate Curators of Organs, Nicholas Thompson-Allen and Joseph F. Dzeda.
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