Casavant Frères Ltee St. Hyacynthe, PQ, installed Opus 2189, a seven rank instrument, in Parker Street United Church in Sarnia, Ontario in 1953. Dodington and Dodington Pipe Organ Services, Inc. Aylmer, Ontario, relocated it to Bedford United Church in the summer of 2010. Pipes and chimes from Chalmers United Church in Woodstock, Ontario were added. Digital stops were installed by Walker Technical Co. The result is a 2 manual, 54 stop, 15 rank organ with 951 pipes, including a floating positiv division (located above the main entrance doors) controllable from either keyboard or the pedalboard. The console has been refitted with MIDI keyboards and stop action.
Dodington and Dodington is the Casavant representative for this area. In addition to installing new organs, they also renovate and restructure existing instruments. In our case, a unitized organ (an organ that derives many stops from a small number of extended ranks, or sets, of pipes) was de-unitized, stops were re-voiced and re-purposed in combination with digital stops. Ross Dodington, the architect of our hybrid instrument, blended pipework from two different churches with digital stops. Just after a typical service here in August, 2009, a choir member excitedly informed me that an organist had been in attendance, and that he wished to speak with me. He was an active member of this church until the age of 12 when his family moved out of town. This was his first visit back since then. He had high praise for the choir and the friendliness of the congregation and added that I did well with what he recognized was a small, inadequate instrument, hinting that a better instrument was in order. I mentioned that we were struggling just to keep the current one going. He smiled. Seven months later, that same gentleman phoned me from his home in London, Ontario. He said that we really should have a better instrument. When I informed him of our financial limitations, he said he would worry about that. (!) Fast forward through several conversations between him, Ross Dodington, and myself about what became an ever-escalating project, to today. A wonderful instrument was created. A thousand thanks, (to the late) John Robson.
A division by Gabriel Kney was built for a large residence organ in Woodstock, ON, later installed in Chalmers United Church of Woodstock, who donated it to us. It is mounted above the front doors at the rear of the sanctuary and serves as a wonderful antiphonal division.
Ron Dossenbach, member, Windsor-Essex Centre Royal Canadian College of Organists
Altered and relocated existing organ. Identified by Ian Mason, using information from this web site: http://www.rcco-windsor.com/organs-of-windsor-and-essex-county/bedford-united-church/.
(Database NB: this installation is made of up both Casavant Freres Op. 2189 AND a Gabriel Kney organ, listed as ID#54264)
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