Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church, Sterling Heights, MI
Opus 20, 1996

We designed the white oak case to have a minimal footprint.




We designed the new organ for Sts. Cyril & Methodius primarily to enhance worship in the church, and only secondarily for concert use. The pastor was very open to placing the organ as near to the room's main axis as possible, for the best sound dispersion.

The organ case is free-standing. It has a narrow pedestal, taking up as little floor space as possible. The upper portion is arranged in four flats of pipes that follow the slope of the ceiling, the top of the tallest flat being 24 feet off the floor. The case, although contemporary in style, follows classical principles of organ construction. There are no internal supports-- the casework members themselves support the windchest and pipes.

The case is made of quarter-sawn and rift-sawn white oak. Joinery is pegged mortise and tenon. The pipeshades and console trim are walnut WPO milled and kiln-dried the majority of the lumber.

Both key action and stop action are mechanical. No electricity is used except for the blower, tremulant and lighting. Key action is of the suspended type, a very sensitive action especially well-known in classical French organs. The drawknobs are arranged in columns at a 15-degree angle, for the organist's convenience.

The tonal design was done in such a way as to make the organ as versatile as possible. Both manual divisions are placed on one windchest, which make sharing some stops possible. Everything is under expression except the 8' Principal. Three of the stops are "either/or," which means they may be played on either manual keyboard, but not both at the same time. The Pedal Bourdon, placed behind the organ in a shallow chamber, is playable at both 16' and 8' pitches.

We spend almost 3,000 hours building the organ. David K. Wigton did the design, some voicing and much construction. However, many other people were involved in the building and installation: Jeffrey Perry, casework, chests; Thomas Schuster, racking, installation; Linda Dzuris, racking. Also involved were Corey Drayer; Larry Monahan; Margaret Wigton; Anne Marie, Joel and Elizabeth Wigton; Kenneth and Marie Wigton. Claus and Sharon Canell of Erie, PA built most of the metal pipes; American Organ Supply of Milwaukee built the wooden ones. Richard Swanson of Grand Ledge, MI was responsible for most of the voicing and tonal finishing. Dr. Marilyn Mason, of the University of Michigan, was the consultant for the project-- her suggestions and encouragement were a great help.

STOPLIST

Manual I
8'     Principal              58 pipes        24 en facade 75% tin, rest 50% tin
8'     Chimney Flute58 pipes  12 wood basses; rest 30% tin
4'     Octave                 58 pipes        50% tin
2'     Fifteenth              58 pipes        50% tin
       Sesquialtera II       104 pipes        30% tin
1-1/3' Mixture II            116 pipes        50% tin
8'     Trumpet                58 pipes        Zinc and 50% tin
8'     Rohrschalmei           58 pipes        Brass and 50% tin
 
Manual II
8'     Gedackt                46 pipes        1-12 from Manual I; rest wood
8'     Viole                  58 pipes        Zinc and 50% tin
8'     Viole Celeste          46 pipes        50% tin
4'     Spitzflute             58 pipes        30% tin
2'     Gemshorn               58 pipes        30% tin
1-1/3' Larigot                58 pipes        30% tin
       Sesquialtera II                        Either/Or
8'     Trumpet                                Either/Or
8'     Rohrschalmei                           Either/Or
 
Pedal
16'    Bourdon                30 pipes        Stopped Wood
8'     Bourdon                12 pipes        Stopped Wood
 
Coupers: II/I; I/P; II/P, on hitch-down pedals
 
Totals: 15 stops, 19 registers, 17-1/2 ranks, 934 pipes
 
Console Features:  balanced swell pedal; adjustable bench; light for music rack 
and pedalboard; key naturals of bone, sharps of ebony, pedal naturals of maple, 
plastic sharps; casework with oil finish, keydesk and bench varnished.