Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Barry A. Norris View Extant Instruments View Instruments


Birmingham, Alabama from 1973
Classification: Undetermined

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May 07, 2018:

From Michaelle Chapman, "6200 Pipes Later" Weld For Birmingham April, 2 2014; On-line version accessed Jan. 9 2016 --

Barry A. Norris is an organist, choir director and amateur organ architect/builder. Norris, a native of Birmingham AL, held his first position as assistant organist at the old First Baptist Church downtown in 1973, while he was still in high school. He learned to do repair work on the aging organ there, keeping it running until the church moved to a new campus in 1980. He then helped with the installation of the new organ there (1980-81). Norris earned a bachelor-s degree in accounting from the University of Alabama and then a bachelor-s degree in music history with organ as his principal instrument from Birmingham-Southern University. Through the years since, he has served as organist at several churches in a variety of denominations.

Since 2001, he has been the organist and choir director at East Lake United Methodist Church in Birmingham. Starting in 2005, he designed the organ at the church, and did much of the labor of building it while finding organ builders and firms to do the portions that he could not do himself. The organ was heard for the first time at Christmas services in December 2007 although it was incomplete with only a third of its intended 6000 pipes installed. A dedication service was held in January 2012, but work continued until it was completed in 2014 when the last rank was installed. Since then, Norris continues to make adjustments and fix some minor issues.

East Lake was the second major organ project for Norris, the first was his own residence organ. That organ is considered to be the largest residence organ in the world. It has a five manual console from Wicks which controls 200 ranks of pipes scattered throughout the large Victorian home.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on February 11, 2019.

Database Specs:

  • 2 Organs
  • 0 Divisions
  • 0 Consoles

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