St. Malachy Church Opus 772



IV/40 ranks / 50 walker pipe samples 2022

When you arrive at a church for the first look and you are greeted by the entire staff, you are off to a good start! That was the case with St. Malachy’s.  Hector Salcedo, the Music Minister, was joined by the Pastor, Father Sean Danda and the Associate Pastor, Father Michael Clawson, the Business Manager, John Kiefer and the Facility Manager, Doug Tapscott and finally the Technical Wizard, Michael Jasiak as we walked through the door. This collegial team listened as we discussed everything from acoustics, organ location and casework design, tonal specifications, funding the instrument, and of course – where the best Italian Trattoria in the area would be found.  This parish is so welcoming with a generous gathering space with warm greeters flanked by social areas before entering the sanctuary. You can feel that this place is built and operates well beyond just “Sunday Mass” and provides its parishioners with a full offering of social gathering. All throughout the installations we were surprised with community events the church would host such as the County Fair and Hog Roast!

Approaching the church from the corn fields, one is taken with the free- standing carillon and the church leaping high into the sky.
This sanctuary is grand, with a seating capacity of over 1200 and a very unconventional 270 degree in-the-round floor plan. The challenge quickly became how to situate an organ that could cover the full breath of floor space. The acoustical environment was perfectly bright and semi-reverberant with plenty of height and lots of hard surfaces.

The first order of business was the tonal design. The back and forth with Hector was great – with many late-night conversations. The resulting instrument grew to “Cathedral” proportions with a French design controlled from our low-profile terraced 4 manual key desk. The key desk is movable as the parish concert series is most active. Within minutes of completion, before the tools were even packed, Hector combined forces with the Diocesan Cathedral Choir and Director Andrew Motyka and accompanied a performance of the Duruflé Requiem as part of a parish mass.

Frank Peragallo and John Peragallo IV designed a stepped, angled casework to fire the tone of the instrument around the church. This proved most effective, and the ceiling’s reflectiveness added to the success of the full tonal coverage. Finally, the addition of a Celestial Division, positioned high in the center of the room, offers the organist another tool in accompanying congregational hymnody and moving the solo colors around the room.
The repurposed Reuter pipes were reworked and placed upon a new chassis with the only “new” rank of pipes being the Trompette en Chamade with flared resonator bells. Rather than it being a true commander, it tops the chorus nicely and can be pulled in smoothly for the big endings. We left the party horn for the Celestial Organ where the Walker digitally sampled Tuba Magna offers a powerful yet comfortable alternative to the pipe “Chamade”.

The tonal specifications provide complete divisions in typical French style. There are three expressive divisions to properly accompany choral singing. A variety of celestes, solo reeds and percussion are available. The tonal finishing was performed by John Peragallo III with Anthony Peragallo, a fourth- generation organ builder, was able to successfully blend the repurposed pipework into a true bouquet of sound. The Solo division, which lives on the fourth key clavier, allows the organist to access a variety of stops from various divisions – such as the Great Cornet decompose, the Positif 8’ Cromorne and 16’ Clarinette playing at 8’ pitch. The Trompette en Chamade is also available at 16’, 8’ and 4’ pitches non- coupling for easy access. Hector’s skills at improvisation are evident as he employs these stops without concern for the plenum of the other divisions. The Solo is also home to an additional Principal Chorus of large scale and fiery chorus reeds.  As mentioned, the heavenly Celestial division floats down from on high, offering a nice alternative with a full complement of flutes, strings, reeds and an additional Principal Chorus and a tower carillon.

Considerable thought, design and engineering was put into the planning of this beautiful instrument, so that three important functions of a church organ would be achieved: the leading of worship in song, satisfying the performance requirements of the major musical compositions written for “The King of Instruments”, and finally, enhancing the architectural magnificence of the building. We firmly believe these goals have been fulfilled with the new Peragallo organ at St. Malachy Church. Since its installation the organ has supported an ambitious concert series and weekly liturgy taking the music to a new level of inspirational praise.  Many thanks to all at St. Malachy who assisted in this noble project including Reverend Sean Danda, Pastor, Mr. Hector Salcedo, Director of Music, John Kiefer, Business Manager, Michael Jasiak, videographer, who documented the entire project; and finally, the talented staff of the Peragallo Organ Company.