Lexington’s Grace Episcopal welcomes new pipe organ

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The historic Grace Episcopal Church has been undergoing a major renovation, returning many elements to their original forms. But one item just arrived that was brand new: a custom-built pipe organ.

They gathered to give the truck a special welcome, singing a musical greeting for a musical instrument.

“Yeah, I never,” laughed Fabien Tremblay, the installer for Casavant Freres. “I never had that kind of welcome.”

“We love that it came in on a truck named Splendour,” said Grace Episcopal’s Minister of Music Martha Burford.

It was a full pipe organ loaded into a semi.

“It’s a medium size,” Tremblay explained. “I would say, even a small medium size.”

Which means 19 stops, or around 2,000 pipes, along will all the stuff to make it work.

“Fabien just came up and said the whole church, including the narthex, is going to be full of organ,” Burford said as the parts were brought in: pieces and bits, casings and of course pipes, all carefully placed.

“I am already in the process of assembling,” Tremblay said as he arranged things. “This goes first, and all. It’s part of the process.”

“I was so thrilled so many people showed up this morning,” Burford said, “and the college students showed up, and people were so excited.”

“This isn’t just great for Grace,” said Jonathan Clawson, a senior at nearby Southern Virginia University. “This is also really wonderful for the universities and other community organizations around. This instrument was designed as an outreach instrument.”

But first, it has to be put together and ‘Voiced.’

“A organ installation for our firm, we say that ten stops a week,” Tremblay said. “And I was saying previously that organ has 19 stops, it should take around two weeks.”

“It’s exciting,” said Burford. “It’s so exciting.”

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