The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 4000

Builder Identification

West Point, New York, 1911-1954.

Additional Notes

  • Note from the Organ Database Builders editor Stephen Hall, June 4, 2017. -

    Frederick C. Mayer was the first organist and choirmaster at the newly completed Protestant Cadet Chapel at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He began there in 1911 and served until 1954. During that time he oversaw the enlargement of the Moller organ from 2400 pipes to approximately 14,000. Mayer followed the ideas of Audsley, adding non-traditional divisions advocated by Audsley such as String, Brass, and Harmonics. These enclosed floating divisions could be used by themselves for orchestral transcriptions, or with the traditional tones of the other divisions to provide subtle to dramatic tone coloring.

    In addition to his expertise in organ design, Meyer was also very knowledgeable regarding bells. He was the carillon adviser for John D. Rockefeller at the Riverside Church and the University of Chicago.

    Frederick Mayer retired in 1954. President Truman had issued an executive order which had allowed him to continue working past his normal mandatory retirement age for civil servants. President Eisenhower would not extend the waiver, but he did allow Mayer to stay on as a consultant until his vision of the organ was complete. At some point, Mayer left West Point and moved to Jensen Beach, Florida. While on a trip in Texas in 1973, he was in an automobile accident, and sustained injuries. He died a week later in the hospital in Amarillo, Texas at age 91.


    • Mike Strasser, West Point Public Affairs, November 16, 2011, "Celebrating 100 years of the Cadet Chapel Organ"
    • "Frederick C. Mayer", New York Times, Oct 27, 1973, 34.
    • "The Little Thunderer" Time Oct 18, 1954.
    • Alex Ross, "A Waling Tour of Wagner's New York" The New Yorker, May 13, 2013, 

  • / / / / Archived Note / / / /
    The following note is from a previous version of this entry; it has been superseded by the note above, which contains new information or corrects errors or inaccuracies.

    From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). -

    Enlarged chapel organ at United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, 1923.


    • The American Organist, Oct. 1988, 68.

Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by Frederick C. Mayer.

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