Organ Profile - C500 Kotzschmar Memorial Organ
From 2012 - 2014 Foley-Baker Inc in Tolland CT undertook the renovation of the Kotzschmar Organ in Merrill Auditorium, Portland Maine.
Merrill Auditorium was built by the city of Portland in 1911 and seats 1,900 people. It is a multi-functional space which has hosted Portland Symphony Orchestra, Johnny Mathis, and Bill Cosby.
At the time of its installation in 1912 by the Austin Organ Co, it was the second largest organ in the world. With the various updates and additions since then, it has gotten even bigger, now boasting 5 manuals, 102 ranks, and 6,862 pipes spread over eight divisions. The organ dedication was September 27, 2014.
photo of Merrill Auditorium and Kotzschmar Organ 1912 (photo credit Wikipedia)
Foley-Baker contracted with Classic to provide the control system for the brand new 5 manual console, plus computers and drivers for the chambers. It's certainly one of the largest systems I've worked on.
photo of Merrill Auditorium 2014
I think of this organ as sort of a cross between a traditional organ and a theatre organ. It has drawknobs on left and right jambs, just like I've seen in 100s of consoles going into churches, but it also has traps for Turkish Cymbal, Car Horn, Door Bell, Birds, and Hoofs, to name a few. It doesn't however have a second touch manual as is common in theatre organs.
The control system includes the following features:
Manual Transfer (Great/Choir)
Registration or General Pistons Sequncer, selectable by organist
Pedal Divide with a settable break point
Settable Tab Reversible piston
Four different Crescendo select pistons
All Swells to Swell
Built in MIDI-Sequencer
The console at Foley-Baker's shop
Working on the console
Back views of the console
Linear Position Transducers on Crescendo and Expression Shoes
Back view of Right Jamb
Inside views of console grey box