St. Thomas the Apostle RC Church

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The Rev. William M. Hoppe, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle R. C. Church, and David Close, Director of Music and Organist, saw a dream come true when their four-manual, 87-stop organ was delivered and installed.  The Main Organ sounds from the organ chamber in the middle of the choir loft and from either side of the walls of the choir loft. The String division sings out from the back of the nave, hidden in the high beams on either side of the church. The Swell Antiphonal and the MIDI Antiphonal organ soar from yet a third location, far in the front of the church on the south side.

David Close is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the  Oratorio Society of Queens, which was founded in 1927 and is the oldest musical organization in Queens.   In addition to being Director of Music and Organist of St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, Mr. Close is Founder and Artistic Director of the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens, the Executive and Artistic Director of Musica Reginae Productions, and the organist at Temple Emanu-El in Lynbrook.

Mr. Close, who has been the Director of Music and Organist at St. Thomas Church for over twenty years, said, "I  waited all my life for this organ. What is available on this Allen organ is beyond anything that has ever been available on any one organ at any time in any one place. You can hear Cavaille-Coll organs in France, Baroque organs in Germany, mean-tone temperament on ancient instruments, but to be able to hear them all in one instrument at one time is unprecedented. This organ is a veritable time machine, which travels both back in time and forward to the future. The congregation is even singing better!"

Six organists performed on the dedication concert to celebrate the new four-manual 87-stop organ at St. Thomas the Apostle R. C. Church in Woodhaven, NY, on April 21, 2002. The church was full and the Rev. William M. Hoppe, pastor, was given a standing ovation. Comments heard included, "I was amazed at the beauty of the sound."  "It was a wonderful afternoon" and "When is the next organ concert?"

John Hyunil Hong, left, congratulates David Close on his entertaining performance and commentary."In the days after the organ dedication concert, the comment I received the most was how rich the organ sounds," said Mr. Close (right, photo left).

Steven Frank (right), one of six organists to perform at the organ dedication program, whose playing of the Roulade by Bingham was delicate and charming and whose playing of the magnificent "Toccata" from "Symphonie Concertante" by Jongen was powerful, said, "The organ sounds fabulous."

John Hyunil Hong (left, photo left), who played, among other pieces, a colorful and imaginative hymn improvisation on "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord,"  said, "The organ at St. Thomas Church is spectacular. I would like to be able to play it every second."          


David Close
closed the program with his arrangement of "God Bless America." In grateful appreciation, the audience stood and turned to the choir loft (below).

Master craftsman Joe Marton, left, seems well pleased with the results of his teamwork with Bob Wyatt, right.


Master craftsman, Joe Marton (left), and Bob Wyatt (right) seem pleased with the results of their teamwork! Mr. Marton was responsible for the structural changes and additions to the church which were required by the organ installation.

Humorous illustrator Dale M. Gladstone ...

At the dinner after the concert, humorous illustrator Dale M. Gladstone, right, created caricatures of the organists and their guests.

Photos taken during the organ installation...


Here  Gerry Kane of Auer's Moving and Rigging, is
shown at the top of the rigging with two of his associates.







(left) Gerry Kane has a bird's-eye view, looking down on the altar from four-stories up in the choir loft.


(right) This view from the side of the nave shows the rigging being installed by Auer's Moving and Rigging.




(left) Part of the rigging base is shown here where it was set up in the choir loft.

(right) The four-manual, 700-pound Allen organ console, as it is raised up to the choir loft by Morton J. Lemkau Moving and Storage Company.

(right) The shrink-wrapped Allen organ has landed...after completing its journey up and over the rail and into the choir loft! Auer's and Lemkau's complete another complicated job which was made to look easy.


In the photo to the left, David Close (right), director of music and organist at St. Thomas the Apostle, assists Mike Corio (left), Allen service manager, and Bob Wyatt (center), Allen Organ Studios president, with the temporary removal of pipes so that access may be gained to the pipe chamber during the installation.




87 Stop Four-Manual Renaissance Specification


16 Double Diapason
16 Bourdon
8 Diapason
8 Bourdon
8 Harmonic Flute
8 Gamba
4 Octave
4 Spitzflote
2-2/3 Twelfth
2 Fifteenth
2 Waldflote
Mixture IV
Sharp Mixture III
16 Double Trumpet
8 Tromba
String on Great
MIDI on Great
Gt-Pd 2nd Voices
Gt-Pd Unenclosed

16 Bourdon doux
8 Geigen Diapason
8 Bourdon
8 Salicional
8 Voix Celeste
8 Flute Celeste II
4 Octave Geigen
4 Traverse Flute
2-2/3 Nasard
2 Piccolo
1-3/5 Tierce
Fourniture IV
16 Contre Trompette
8 Trompette
8 Hautbois
8 Vox Humana
4 Clairon
16 Swell
Unison Off
4 Swell
String on Swell
English Swell
MIDI on Swell

64 Resultant
32 Contra Violone
32 Contre Bourdon
16 Diapason
16 Bourdon
16 Contra Gamba (So)
16 Violone
16 Bourdon doux (Sw)
8 Octave
8 Gedacktflote
8 Gamba (So)
4 Choralbass
4 Flute
Mixture IV
32 Contre Bombarde
32 Contre Double Trumpet (Gt)
16 Bombarde
16 Double Trumpet (Gt)
8 Trompette
4 Clairon
String on Pedal
MIDI on Pedal
Bass Coupler

8 Great to Pedal
4 Great to Pedal
8 Swell to Pedal
4 Swell to Pedal
8 Choir to Pedal
8 Solo to Pedal
8 Solo to Swell
16 Swell to Great
8 Swell to Great
4 Swell to Great
8 Choir to Great
8 Solo to Great
16 Swell to Choir
8 Swell to Choir
4 Swell to Choir
8 Solo to Choir
All Swells to Swell
Solo Unenclosed
Tremulants Full
Alternate Tuning
Swell Celesta (So)
Gt-Pd Main Off
Gt-Pd to Antiphonal
Solo Main Off
Solo to Antiphonal
Swell Main Off
Swell to Antiphonal

ChoirFor more information, click here!
16 Contre Viole

8 Holzgedackt
8 Viole
8 Viole Celeste
4 Prinzipal
4 Koppelflote
4 Violes II
2 Oktav
1-1/3 Quintflote
Cymbale III
16 Rankett
8 Cromone
String on Choir
MIDI on Choir
Melody Coupler (Ch>Gt)
Unison Off
Choir Unenclosed
Gt>Ch Manual Transfer
Choir Main Off
Choir to Antiphonal

16 Gamba Celeste II
8 Flauto Mirabilis
8 Solo Gamba
8 Gamba Celeste
4 Gambette Celeste II
8 French Horn
8 Cor Anglais
8 Corno d'Bassetto
16 Tuba Mirabilis
8 Tuba Mirabilis
4 Octave Mirabilis
String on Solo
MIDI on Solo
Solo Unenclosed

8 Gamba
8 Gamba Celeste
8 Viole
8 Viole Celeste
8 Dulcet
8 Dulcet Celeste
8 Vox Humana
8 Vox Angelica
16 String to String
4 String to String

Bass Coupler
Melody Coupler
Alternate Tuning On
Tremulants Full
Main Organ Off
Antiphonal Organ On

Second Voices


Open Diap.
Viole d'Orch.
Viole Cel.
Erzehler Cel.
Mixture V
Dbl. Trumpet
Orch. Oboe
Vox Humana

Metal Gedackt
Sesquialtera II

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