If you're in New York City and have walked by Trinity Church lately, perhaps you’ve noticed the sheds on either side of Trinity’s main entrance.
While not the most subtle of temporary structures, these sheds are now a key support item in Trinity’s organ project and will continue to be for the next few years. This project will bring two new instruments for Trinity Church. The nave will house an instrument built in collaboration between the Glatter-Götz company in Pfullendorf, Germany and Manuel Rosales of Los Angeles, California. All Saints Chapel, located inside Trinity Church, will receive an organ built by the Richards & Fowkes firm in Chattanooga Tennessee.
Even a small pipe organ takes up more space than most musical instruments. Organs the size of Trinity’s forthcoming grand one require considerable real estate, often more than many New York City apartments offer. Taken apart, the individual pipes and components require a tremendous amount of room, and the larger of Trinity's new organs will have over 8,000 pipes, ranging in size from mere inches to 32 feet in length. In addition to the pipes themselves, there are hundreds of thousands of pieces that make up the mechanisms required to bring air to these pipes and allow the player to control them through the keyboards. Altogether, these often fill an entire church nave in the process of an organ’s installation.
Most churches do just that, spreading everything out over the pews, then slowly installing the parts in order. The big pieces go in quickly, and then an area is cordoned off for storage for many months of fine adjustment, voicing, and tuning. At Trinity, our daily services and other activities require an uncluttered nave. Hence, the sheds. They permit not only a storage area for as-yet installed elements but also an on-site workshop where the crew can make final adjustments.
The organ project will produce a magnificent companion in sound to the striking beauty of the rejuvenation process from which Trinity Church has recently emerged.