First Presbyterian Church
Builder: Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Inc. Year: 1949 Opus: 1178 No. manuals: 2 No. stops: 20 No. ranks: 17 No. pipes: 1,093
GREAT ORGAN SWELL ORGAN 8' Principale 61 8' Rohrflöte 68 8' Bourdon 61 8' Gambe 68 8' Erzähler 61 8' Gambe Celeste 68 4' Prestant 61 4' Traverse Flute 68 2 2/3' Nazard 61 2' Blockflöte 61 Chimes III Plein Jeu 183 Blank (REEDS) 16' Bassoon 68 PEDAL ORGAN 8' Trompette 68 16' Contra Basse 32 4' Hautbois 68 16' Lieblich Bourdon 12 SW Blank 8' Cello 12 8' Rohrflöte SW 4' Violon 12 16' Bassoon RD Chimes GT Blank
Notes: This is quite a unique two-manual design. The reed stops of the Swell are, though enclosed with the Swell and affected by the Swell Tremulant, treated as a separate division. The knobs are located at the bottom of the Swell knobs, with their own divisional REEDS nameplate. The Reeds 'division' has its own couplers to the other divisions and has two divisional pistons of its very own located to the right of the pistons of the main Swell division. The choir loft is located front and center, facing down the nave. The organ is located in the left chamber with openings to the choir loft and to the left (west) transept, where the console is located. At the time of my visit, the organ was in mint condition and unaltered. The organist who was there at the time of its installation in 1951 was still there fifty years later!
The 450-seat nave is a somewhat scaled-down and slightly modern version of French gothic, complete with flying buttresses. During the heyday of Orange County, the church had over 2,000 members. Now, like most of the mainstream Protestant churches in the area, membership is way down. The church only has around 250 members, but 25 of them sing in the choir – which speaks mightily for the music program. The nave has very favorable acoustics and some colorful stained glass windows. It is definitely worth a stop to see the church and organ.
Photo Source: Jeff Scofield
Organ Historical Society Database: https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganDetails.php?OrganID=34790