On September 18, John Nordlie, an internationally renown pipe organ builder from Sioux Falls SD will begin the installation of his Opus 27 organ in the Chancel of Holy Trinity church. The organ was originally designed and built for Faith Lutheran Church of Prairie Village KS and installed there in 1997. However, the congregation of Faith Lutheran sold its building to the city of Prairie Village for the purposes of creating a public park on the site. Fortunately, Holy Trinity was able to acquire this fine instrument from its previous owners since its size and design was exactly suited to the space, acoustics, and needs of Holy Trinity. The picture below shows the organ in its gallery setting at Faith Lutheran.
Nordlie's Opus 27 is a "tracker" instrument, meaning that the relationship between the keys and the pipework is completely mechanical, not electrical as in our previous "electro-pneumatic" organ. This kind of organ has a somewhat different and more direct keyboard touch for the organist and also has virtually no maintenance problems apart from minor adjustments and occasional tuning. However, unlike many trackers, Opus 27 has electric stop action which permits 99 levels of digital memory for pre-set pistons that control which ranks (or sets) of pipes will be available at any one time. It also has a programmable crescendo pedal.
Opus 27 is a three-manual instrument, meaning it has three keyboards and a pedal board. Each keyboard is used to play a different set of pipes: the Great division, the Swell division, or the Continuo division, along with the Pedal division (played by the feet on the pedal board). The Great division is located directly above the key desk where its facade pipes (the 8' Prestant rank of polished tin) are visible. To the right of the Great division is the Pedal tower with its flamed copper facade pipes (the 16' Prestant rank). The Swell division, which is enclosed ("under expression") behind movable louvers to control volume, is located behind the Great division. The Continuo division is located just above the key desk and music rack behind small louvered doors that can be opened or closed manually to control volume.
The organ has 33 ranks of pipes with 30 speaking stops, 27 voices, and total of 1718 pipes, as listed in the specification sheet below.
What will the Nordlie Opus 27 look like when it is installed at Holy Trinity? The architect's rendering below indicates its size and placement and the relocation of the cross from the south wall of the Chancel to a position hanging over the Chancel steps.