Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

John Dower and Company (1996)

Originally Estey Organ Co. (Opus 896, 1911)


St. Mary's R.C. Church
Wilmington, NC US
Organ ID: 59685

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Roman Catholic Churches
  • The organ has been altered from its original state.
  • The organ's condition is good, in regular use.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Information unknown or not applicable
  • 18 ranks. 3 divisions. 2 manuals.
  • Position: In a gallery-level case at the rear of the room.
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
  • Manuals: 2
  • Divisions: 3
  • Position: Console in fixed position, left.
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style with roll top.
  • Stop Controls: Tilting/rocking tablets above top manual.
  • Combination Action: Adjustable combination pistons.
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals.
  • Pedalboard Type: Concave radiating pedalboard meeting AGO Standards.
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Database Manager on November 27, 2016:

Identified through online information from Paul Monachino. -- This entry describes the rebuild of an existing pipe organ.
The pipe organ in the St. Mary Church and Shrine has its foundation in the original instrument created for the church. Built by the Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, Vermont as its opus 896 in 1911, the organ consisted of 11 ranks, with tubular-pneumatic action. It was very much a product of its time, exemplifying Estey's early-century style (including a "labial reed" in the Swell, an Oboe Gamba), and was among the several thousand pipe organs at least partially funded by industrial philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In the early 1950s, the organ's action was changed by Estey to electro-pneumatic, but no tonal changes were made.
Strongly desiring to keep a pipe organ in the historic church, the St. Mary Parish decided to rebuild and modestly expand the instrument in the mid-1990s. Under the leadership of Fr. Thomas P. Hadden and project consultant Samuel Burke, the organ committee chose the John Dower company of Lincolnton for the task, with work completed in 1996.
New windchests were constructed (electric slider for the Great, electric unit for the Swell), with ten of the eleven original ranks of pipes re-used, with re-scaling and re-voicing employed as required. New principal chorus ranks were added, along with a "real" reed stop (Hautbois).
In late 2005, the original 4' Octave was replaced with a Laukhuff principal rank (from low B up), and the 8' Principal was re-voiced, thanks to a generous donation by parishioner Pat Marriott. Greg Hand, the voicer for the rebuild and new pipework in the 1996 Dower project, carried out this work, which was completed in time for the dedication of the Parish as a Shrine of the Diocese of Raleigh on December 8.
In 2006, the instrument received an historic addition to the Pedal division, an 1877 Roosevelt Harmonic Flute (which, along with the other ranks, matches the church's acoustic beautifully). As it now stands, the instrument is composed of 18 ranks of pipes over two manuals and pedal. Though small for the space, it accompanies the liturgy well, even when the church is full. --Sam Burke

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

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