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,
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.
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.
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
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
the days after the organ dedication concert, the comment I received
the most was how rich the organ sounds,"
said Mr. Close (right, photo
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."
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
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.
At the dinner after the concert, humorous illustrator
Dale M. Gladstone,
right, created caricatures of the organists and
taken during the organ installation...
Here Gerry Kane of Auer's Moving and
shown at the top of the rigging with two of his associates.
Gerry Kane has a bird's-eye view, looking down on the altar
from four-stories up in the choir loft.
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.
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.
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
director of music and organist at St. Thomas the Apostle, assists
Allen service manager, and Bob Wyatt
Allen Organ Studios president, with the temporary removal of
pipes so that access may be gained to the pipe chamber during