The pipe Organs of Pitt St Church

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The Pitt St Church building was erected in 1866 and there were two previous organs by Culpan (1866) and Conacher (1878 - see below)

The church was extensively remodelled in 1911 and a new organ built by George Croft. He was a fine craftsman and the Croft organbuilding firm (later Croft&Son) was based in Auckland, and is responsible for a huge number of pipe organs in New Zealand especially the upper North Island.

During the next half-century, the organ was added to and converted from pneumatic to electric action. Fashions changed, and in the 1960s the organ case was remodelled, the display of pipes in the façade destroyed and the organ hidden behind a grille. The only pipes now readily visible are the wooden pedal pipes that form the side walls.

By now the fashion in organ sound, as well as appearance, had changed, and some pipework was altered or replaced to give a "neo-baroque" flavour. Despite this, the fine romantic organ, as built by George Croft over a hundred years ago, remains at its heart.

Organ Specification (2013)

Great

   

Swell

   

Accessories

Open Diapason

16

d,a

Lieblich Bourdon

16

c

(rocker tablets above Swell keys)

Principal

8

 

Open Diapason

8

 

Swell Tremulant

Open Diapason Small

8

a

Echo Gamba

8

 

Swell Sub Octave, Unison Off, Octave

Stopped Diapason

8

 

Celeste

8

T.C.

Swell to Pedal

Octave

4

 

Rohr Flöte

8

 

Swell 4' to Pedal

Principal

4

a

Principal

4

 

Choir to Pedal

Wald Flöte

4

 

Lieblich Flöte

4

 

Choir 4' to Pedal

Twelfth

2 2/3

 

Piccolo

2

 

Great to Pedal

Fifteenth

2

a

Mixture

II

 

Mutations 8' on Pedal

Trumpet

8

b

Cornopean

8

 

Mutations 4' on Pedal

     

Oboe

8

 

Choir Tremulant

           

Choir Sub Octave, Unison Off, Octave

Choir

   

Pedal

   

Great to Choir

Echo Dulciana

8

 

Open Diapason

16

 

Mutations 16' on Choir

Lieblich Gedeckt

8

 

Violone

16

d

Mutations 8' on Choir

Vox Angelica

8

T.C.

Bourdon

16

e

Mutations 4' on Choir

Flauto Dolce

4

 

Echo Bourdon (Swell)

16

c

Swell to Great

Clarinet

8

 

Quint

10 2/3

e

Choir to Great

Open Diapason (Gt)

8

a

Cello

8

d

Mutations 16' on Great

Trumpet (Gt)

8

b

Gedeckt

8

e

Mutations 8' on Great

     

Choral Bass

4

d

Mutations 4' on Great

Mutations (floating)

   

Gedeckt Flöte

4

e

 

Nazard

2 2/3

 

Trumpet

16

b

Great & Pedal pistons Coupled

Octavin

2

 

Trumpet

8

b

Generals on Toe Pistons

Tierce

1 3/5

         
             

Separate swell boxes for Swell, Choir and Mutations

 

Electric-pneumatic action
Compass: 61/32

 

Signal lights: rear of church to console, and console to rear of church

             

Dummy stop knobs

 

Combination system

 

(Peterson ICS-4000)

Choir: Clarion

4

 

10 General Pistons

   

Programmable sequencer with Next,Last,Restore buttons

Great: Mixture

III

 

5 thumb pistons each to Sw,Gt,Ch

     

5 toe studs each to Sw, Ped

MIDI In,Out,Thru sockets

     

Sw-Gt, Sw-Ped,Gt-Ped reversers

MIDI Recorder/player

30 ranks

   

Midi to Sw,Gt.Ch,Ped

   

General Cancel

1830 pipes

   

Tutti piston

     

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Previous Organs

George Croft, 1911

Organ 1911Facade

This is the specification "No.1" as proposed in correspondence mid-1910, there may have been slight differences as built.

Great

     

Swell

     

Open Diapason 1

8

58 pp

Leathered

Double Diapason

16

58 pp

Wood (Bourdon)

Open Diapason 2

8

58

Leathered

Open Diapason

8

58

 

Stopped Diapason

8

58

Wood

Rohr Flute

8

58

Metal

Salicional

8

58

Metal

Echo Gamba

8

58

 

Principal

4

58

Metal

Voix Celeste

8

46

 

Wald Flute

4

58

Wood

Principal

4

58

Metal

Fifteenth

2

58

Metal

Lieblich Flute

4

58

Wood

Trumpet

8

58

Hooded

Piccolo

2

58

Metal

       

Cornopean

8

58

 
       

Oboe

8

58

 
       

Vox Humana

8

58

 

Choir

     

Pedal

     

Lieblich Gedackt

8

58 pp

Wood

Open Diapason

16

30

Wood

Echo Dulciana

8

58

Metal

Bourdon

16

30

Wood

Vox Angelica

8

46

Metal

Echo Bourdon

16

-

(Swell)

Flauto Dolce

4

58

Metal

Bass Flute

16

12

(ext Bourdon)

Clarionette

8

58

Spotted metal

       

 

Couplers

       

Great to Pedal (Mechanical)

 

Swell to Great

Swell Unison off

Choir Sub Octave

Swell to Pedal

 

Swell to Choir

Swell Octave

 

Choir to Pedal

   

Swell Sub Octave

 
         

Accessories

 

Combinations

   

Swell Tremulant

 

3 pedals for Gt&Pedal

3 thumb pistons for Gt&Pedal

 

Balanced Swell Pedals

 

3 pedals for Swell

3 thumb pistons for Swell

 

To Swell & Choir

 

on-off pedal: Gt-Ped

2 thumb pistons for Choir

 
   

on-off pedal: Sw-Gt

   
         

William Conacher & Co 1878 (Huddersfield)

Placed in centre of gallery. Stencilled pipe façade. In 1911 this organ was moved to the new Epsom Methodist Church, and in the 1950s moved again to Dominion Rd Methodist (now rebuilt so that the original 1878 instrument was unrecognisable).

Conacher _organ _1878-w 640h 480

Great

     

Swell

     

Open Diapason

8

56 pp

metal

Double Diapason

16

56 pp

Wood (Bourdon?)

Dulciana

8

56

metal

Open Diapason

8

56

wood+metal

Viol de Gamba

8

56

metal

Rohr Flote

8

56

wood+metal

Flauto Traverso

8

56

wood

Salicional

8

56

metal

Hohl Flote

8

56

metal+wood

Salicet

4

12

 

Principal

4

56

Metal

Harmonic Flute

4

56

Metal

Wald Flote

4

56

Wood

Mixture

III

168

 

Fifteenth

2

56

Metal

Horn

8

56

(large scale)

       

Oboe

8

56

 

 

Pedal

     

Accessories

 

Open Diapason

16

30 pp

Wood

Great-Pedals

3 companion pedals Gt

Bourdon

16

30

Wood

Swell-Pedals

3 companion pedals Sw

       

Swell to Great

Swell pedal

       

Swell to Great superoctave?

Swell tremulant

approx 1076 pipes

         

From an item in the New Zealand Herald 16 Feb 1878:
“PITT STREET WESLEYAN CHURCH: NEW ORGAN.
The improvements just completed in this Church will have the effect of making it one of the most commodious places of worship in the city. ... There are three objects that immediately catch the eye ... the third is the fine organ which now occupies the western end of the building. Besides being reported to be of the highest excellence as a musical instrument, it is a very beautiful object, the face of it being richly decorated. ... The new organ will no doubt attract the greatest amount of interest. It is a two-manual, built by Conacher&Co., of Huddersfield.”