Bryn Athyn Cathedral, where I have the pleasure of serving as Assistant Organist, has recently gained a new member. On November 21, the new Skinner/Kegg organ of 46 ranks was dedicated in a concert/service featuring Peter Conte. The instrument is a combination of two smaller Skinner organs and a new Kegg Celestial division (located in the tower above the crossing), plus a few ranks gathered from other Skinner instruments. This, coupled with Bryn Athyn’s warm acoustic, results in an organ that sings in the space. As one would expect, the Skinner colors are exquisite, as is its ability to go from a roar to whisper seamlessly; only a few ranks are needed to fill the room, meaning the congregation gets to hear more variety and remain supported while singing. I find it difficult to mention stops of interest because there are so many and each voice is unique. Aside from the usual favorites on an organ like this, the Open Diapason on the Great is one of my favorites, especially as solo stop, where it sounds like a beautiful soprano. The console is one of the most carefully designed I’ve come across; it seems Kegg thought of everything we would need (not going overboard) and created an intuitive and comfortable layout that lets the organist focus on musical and expressive matters. I hope, if you’re in the area, you’ll drop by and meet our new friend. More information can be found on the OHS website, and photos can be found here.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
-Bryan Dunnewald, 27 Dec 2014