The history of the Packer Church organ began in April of 1952 when it was dedicated in memory of Gertrude C. Starkey. The instrument was built by Austin Organs, Incorporated, of Hartford, Connecticut.
With normal use, pipe organs require overhaul every third of a century, and by 1990 the Packer Church organ began to show signs of wear. The original leather pouch valves and associated functions for notes and stops in the organ chests began to fail and heavy use of the organ's console and outdated electromechanical systems necessitated replacement.
In January 1997 it was decided to proceed with the project and the Allen Organ Company was contracted to serve as project manager, provide a new console, and build the digital stops and interfaces.
|Austin Organs was retained to
restore the pipe work and overhaul the chests and David A.J. Broome, internationally
recognized reed voicer, accepted the commission to reconstruct the 13 reed stops,
including the large Harmonic Tuba.
Fourteen of the new digital stops form a "floating" Positiv division that can be played as an antiphonal organ that speaks from above the tower door entrance and includes the Trumpet en Chamade which had never been completed from the original installation of the organ.
To the right you will find the stop list for the new organ.