Robert Gladden & Associates oversaw a major renovation to APC’s sanctuary organ in honor of the 300th Anniversary of the congregation in 2014. This expansion produced the versatile and beautiful 4-manual 103-rank expansion on the original 1969 Möller (III/58) opus 10551. The project to restore the Möller Organ was undertaken in honor of Jean McDevitt whose lifelong commitment of service to this congregation included over fifty years of volunteer leadership to the choir and music program. The re-dedicatory recital was presented by Alan Morrison including a newly commissioned work by Kile Smith. The organ rededication booklet from 2014 including reflections from the builder, music director, and others along with the recital program and other details can be found here.
A technical stoplist of the instrument and it’s sonic riches and capabilities can be found here.
A bit of history of the instrument prior to the renovation and expansion was composed in 1996 by former organist Leander Chapin “Biff” Claflin which follows below.
APC Church Organ Page (1996)
The organ of Abington Presbyterian Church was built by the M. P. Möller Organ Company of Hagerstown, Maryland (opus 10551) and installed in the fall of 1969. The distinguished American organist, Robert Elmore, played the dedicatory recital on 9 November. The instrument contains six divisions and 58 ranks of pipes.
After 27 years the console began to show signs of age and deterioration. When it became obvious that serious repairs would be needed, the Property and Worship and Music Councils of Abington Church engaged Ralph D. Page of Advanced Design Pipe Organs of Willow Grove, PA, to completely rebuild the console and refurbish other mechanical functions.
The rebuilt console (using the original shell, manuals, and pedalboard) has a computer operated control system, and includes 125 drawknobs, 58 thumb pistons, and 32 toe studs which control over 3,200 pipes.
It is rather astounding when one considers that this entire project was completed by volunteers under the direct supervision of Mr. Page. All of the former pneumatic controls of the organ were replaced by electronics and completely rewired by hand. The old combination action was entirely removed and some renovations made to the existing chambers. The south chamber has been enlarged so that a Gambe and Gambe Celeste can be added to the Chorwerk division. It is planned that these ranks will be installed by the end of the summer of 1999. The swell shades of both the Récit and Chorwerk were also completely refurbished.
Over the years some of the greatest organists from the USA and abroad have performed here at Abington. With the completion of this crucial project, this instrument will continue to make glorious sounds well into the next century.