From 2012 - 2014 Foley-Baker Inc in Tolland CT undertook the renovation of the Kotzschmar Organ in Merrill Auditorium, Portland Maine.

Merrill Auditorium was built by the city of Portland in 1911 and seats 1,900 people. It is a multi-functional space which has hosted Portland Symphony Orchestra, Johnny Mathis, and Bill Cosby.

At the time of its installation in 1912 by the Austin Organ Co, it was the second largest organ in the world. With the various updates and additions since then, it has gotten even bigger, now boasting 5 manuals, 102 ranks, and 6,862 pipes spread over eight divisions. The organ dedication was September 27, 2014.

  

photo of Merrill Auditorium and Kotzschmar Organ 1912 (photo credit Wikipedia)

 


Foley-Baker contracted with Classic to provide the control system for the brand new 5 manual console, plus computers and drivers for the chambers. It's certainly one of the largest systems I've worked on.

 

photo of Merrill Auditorium 2014

 

 

 

 

I think of this organ as sort of a cross between a traditional organ and a theatre organ. It has drawknobs on left and right jambs, just like I've seen in 100s of consoles going into churches, but it also has traps for Turkish Cymbal, Car Horn, Door Bell, Birds, and Hoofs, to name a few. It doesn't however have a second touch manual as is common in theatre organs.

 

Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ is the group that oversaw the rebuild of the instrument, and you can find a complete  stop list on their website.

The control system includes the following features:

Manual Transfer (Great/Choir)

Registration or General Pistons Sequncer, selectable by organist

Ventils

Pedal Divide with a settable break point

Settable Tab Reversible piston

Four different Crescendo select pistons

2 SFZ

Transposer

All Swells to Swell

Built in MIDI-Sequencer

  

 

The console at Foley-Baker's shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

                      Working on the console

 

  

 

 

 

 

 


  

 

 

 

 

Back views of the console

 

 

 

 

Linear Position Transducers on Crescendo and Expression Shoes    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



                                         

 

  Back view of Right Jamb   

 

 

 

 

 

  


  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside views of console grey box

 

 

 

WMTW-TV Report

Time Laspe Video  

Foley-Baker Inc

 

 Cathy

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Introduction