This instrument will be a restoration of an Aeolian Skinner pipe organ of the American Classic design. There will be nearly 2,400 speaking pipes that will be revoiced to match the new acoustic of St. Malachy's Church. These pipes will be controlled by two fully restored and updated Skinner keydesks, the original keydesk, a three manual to be located in the front of the church and a two manual Ernest Skinner console to be in the balcony.
The Peragallo family is very excited to be realizing this project this fall, as its' initial vision and planning was prepared by John Peragallo Jr. and Father Baker over the course of many years. St. Malachy's has been working hard toward their fundraising goals and now after a lot of hard work by their pastor Father Richard Baker, their administrator Suzanne Katusin and their music director Mark Pacoe, the project is ready to be installed.
More about the history of this Instrument.....
The proposed instrument has its origins in an organ that was designed by Donald G. Harrison of the Skinner Organ Company. The instrument is currently in storage at the Peragallo Organ Company. A number of years ago, John Peragallo Jr. got a call to come to Orange, NJ to look at an organ in a church that was being demolished. When they got there they found Opus 938’s 2,390 pipes all exposed to the elements, some of them had already been leaked upon. The body of the organ is still intact and can be brought to be considered in like-new condition, except for the keys and stops of the console, which will have to be replaced.
The Peragallo philosophy closely parallels that of Harrison’s thinking when he was designing organs during this era. The following excerpt comes from a can be inferred from letters he wrote to his son Michael in England before Michael followed his father here in the late 1940s.
“The main thing to remember is that organs are not built for the purpose of thrilling organ enthusiasts. In the case of the church organ it is there for the specific purpose of accompanying the choir and congregation….The second point to remember is that a good and successful organ is designed so as to form an ideal medium for the rendition of the greatest literature that has been written for the instrument. Happily, the organ which is ideal for this purpose is also a very fine accompanimental instrument because in both cases clarity and transparency of tone are required.” Around the same time as this letter, he wrote: “Never overlook the fact that the music is the thing, and that the instrument is merely the vehicle.” - from a presentation given by Craig Whitney at the Paul Creston Award Presentation November 10, 2009