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The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ
Verizon Hall,
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Opus 76

Verizon Hall, in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, is the new home of Dobson Op. 76, America’s largest mechanical action concert hall organ. Also home to the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, the Kimmel Center was designed by New York architect Rafael Viñoly. The acoustical design is the work of Russell Johnson of Artec Consultants, Inc., also of New York. To accommodate differing events and ensembles of various sizes, Verizon Hall’s acoustics can be adjusted by the use of a movable canopy, drapes and reverberation chambers. Verizon Hall seats 2,500 people.


Model by Dobson of a preliminary case design.

The new organ has four keyboards for the hands, called manuals, and one keyboard for the feet, called the pedalboard. These five keyboards control five major groups of pipes, or divisions. The entire instrument is placed above and to the rear of the stage. The new organ contains 6,938 pipes, which are constructed of wood or metal depending on the type of tone desired. The largest pipes are made of wood and are about two feet square and 32 feet tall. The smallest pipes are the size of a slender drinking straw.

Several of the larger metal pipes are placed in the organ’s case to form a visual display, or façade. They are made from an alloy of highly polished tin. These pipes are arranged in a broadly curving arc, and lean outward at a four-degree angle, thereby coinciding with the architecture of the Hall’s balconies. This is the first instrument ever constructed with pipes of this size mounted in this manner.

The organ’s main console is located below the façade and operates the organ mechanically. This mechanical action or tracker system remains unchanged in principle from organs built centuries ago and is preferred by discerning musicians worldwide. A second, movable console that plays the organ electrically is also provided for use on the stage. It is connected to the organ proper by a computerized electronic system, which condenses the signals from the keyboards and other controls down to only six wires. A complementary system near the pipes reconstitutes this six-wire signal and electrically operates the valves under the pipes as the organist plays.

Four blowers totaling 27 horsepower supply the organ with air ranging in pressure from 4" to 23" water column. These blowers are placed in the basement for sound isolation reasons, and the pressurized air is carried to the organ through large insulated ducts. The total weight of the organ and its structure is approximately 32 tons.

The facade, casework and largest 32' pipes were installed during Phase 1 in the fall of 2001, so that the appearance of Verizon Hall was complete for its opening on 16 December 2001. Because the Hall is in use during the season, installation of the rest of the organ took place in Phase 2 during the summers of 2004 and 2005. Tonal finishing began in October 2005, with the voicers working through the night so that the regular events of the Hall were not disrupted.

Stoplist development and the scaling of the pipes was a collaboration between the Dobson firm and Los Angeles organ builder Manuel J. Rosales. Construction of the organ and all voicing and tonal finishing has been the responsibility of Dobson.


Specifications

GREAT (II)
32'
Prestant (extension) 12 pipes
1.
16'
Prestant 61 pipes
2.
16'
Violone 61 pipes
3.
16'
Bourdon 61 pipes
4.
8'
Open Diapason 61 pipes
5.
8'
Principal 61 pipes
6.
8'
Gamba 61 pipes
7.
8'
Harmonic Flute 61 pipes
8.
8'
Chimney Flute 61 pipes
9.
5-1/3'
Quint 61 pipes
10.
4'
Octave 61 pipes
11.
4'
Spire Flute 61 pipes
12.
3-1/5'
Tierce 61 pipes
13.
2-2/3'
Octave Quint 61 pipes
14.
2'
Super Octave 61 pipes
15.
1-3/5'
Octave Tierce 61 pipes
16.
II
Grande Fourniture 2-2/3' 122 pipes
17.
IV-VIII
Mixture 2' 342 pipes
18.
IV
Fourniture 1-1/3' 244 pipes
19.
III
Cymbal 2/3' 183 pipes
20.
VI
Cornet 8'
(mounted, c13-c61)
277 pipes
21.
16'
Posaune 61 pipes
22.
8'
Trumpet 61 pipes
23.
4'
Clarion 61 pipes
24.
8'
Horizontal Trumpet * 61 pipes
Swell to Great
Positive to Great
Solo to Great
 
SWELL (III; enclosed)
25.
16'
Bourdon 61 pipes
26.
8'
Diapason 61 pipes
27.
8'
Flûte traversière
(1-12 from Bourdon)
49 pipes
28.
8'
Bourdon 61 pipes
29.
8'
Viole de gambe 61 pipes
30.
8'
Voix céleste 61 pipes
31.
8'
Voix éolienne II
(céleste from GG)
115 pipes
32.
4'
Prestant 61 pipes
33.
4'
Flûte octaviante 61 pipes
34.
4'
Viole d'amour 61 pipes
35.
2-2/3'
Nasard 61 pipes
36.
2'
Octavin 61 pipes
37.
1-3/5'
Tierce 61 pipes
38.
III-V
Plein jeu harmonique 2-2/3' 269 pipes
39.
16'
Bombarde 61 pipes
40.
8'
Trompette harmonique 61 pipes
41.
8'
Hautbois 61 pipes
42.
8'
Voix humaine 61 pipes
43.
4'
Clairon harmonique 61 pipes
Tremulant
Solo to Swell
 
POSITIVE (I; enclosed)
44.
16'
Quintaton 61 pipes
45.
8'
Principal 61 pipes
46.
8'
Bourdon 61 pipes
47.
8'
Salicional 61 pipes
48.
8'
Unda maris (FF) 56 pipes
49.
4'
Octave 61 pipes
50.
4'
Chimney Flute 61 pipes
51.
2-2/3'
Nasard 61 pipes
52.
2'
Doublet 61 pipes
53.
2'
Recorder 61 pipes
54.
1-3/5'
Tierce 61 pipes
55.
1-1/3'
Larigot 61 pipes
56.
1-1/7'
Sept 61 pipes
57.
1'
Piccolo 61 pipes
58.
8/9'
None 61 pipes
59.
IV
Mixture 1-1/3' 244 pipes
60.
III
Sharp Mixture 1' 183 pipes
61.
16'
Bassoon 61 pipes
62.
16'
Aeoline (free reeds) 61 pipes
63.
8'
Trumpet 61 pipes
64.
8'
Cor anglais 61 pipes
65.
8'
Cromorne 61 pipes
Tremulant
16'
Trombone (Solo) - pipes
8'
Tuba (Solo) - pipes
8'
Ophicleide (Solo) - pipes
4'
Clarion (Solo) - pipes
8'
Horizontal Trumpet (Great) - pipes
Swell to Positive
Solo to Positive
 
SOLO (IV; enclosed)
66.
8'
Principal 61 pipes
67.
8'
Major Flute 61 pipes
68.
8'
Gamba 61 pipes
69.
8'
Gamba Celeste 61 pipes
70.
4'
Octave 61 pipes
71.
4'
Orchestral Flute 61 pipes
72.
V
Full Mixture 2-2/3' 305 pipes
73.
8'
French Horn 61 pipes
74.
8'
Clarinet 61 pipes
Tremulant
75.
16'
Trombone * 61 pipes
76.
8'
Tuba Magna * 61 pipes
8'
Ophicleide * (ext. Trombone) 12 pipes
4'
Tuba Clarion * (ext. Trombone) 12 pipes
Great to Solo
Positive to Solo
Swell to Solo
* high pressure
 
PEDAL
77.
32'
Double Open Wood 32 pipes
32'
Prestant (Great) - pipes
32'
Bourdon (ext. Subbass) 12 pipes
16'
Open Wood (ext. Double Open Wood) 12 pipes
78.
16'
Octave 32 pipes
16'
Violone (Great) - pipes
79.
16'
Subbass 32 pipes
16'
Bourdon (Swell) - pipes
10-2/3'
Quint (ext. Double Open Wood) - pipes
80.
8'
Octave 32 pipes
81.
8'
Bass Flute 32 pipes
8'
Bourdon (ext. Subbass) - pipes
8'
Violoncello (Great) - pipes
82.
4'
Choralbass 32 pipes
4'
Flute (ext. Bass Flute) 12 pipes
83.
III
Cornet 6-2/5' + 5-1/3' + 4-4/7' 96 pipes
84.
IV
Mixture 2-2/3' 128 pipes
64'
Contre Bombarde Ravalement AAAAA* (ext. Bombarde) 3 pipes
32'
Contre Bombarde * 32 pipes
85.
16'
Bombarde * (ext. Contre Bombarde) 12 pipes
86.
16'
Posaune 32 pipes
16'
Trombone (Solo) - pipes
87.
8'
Trumpet 32 pipes
8'
Posaune (ext. Posaune) 12 pipes
88.
4'
Clarion 32 pipes
8'
Horizontal Trumpet (Great) - pipes
8'
Ophicleide (Solo) - pipes
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Positive to Pedal
Solo to Pedal
* high pressure
  
ACCESSORIES
Bell Star f
Bell Star p
Nightingale

DETAILS OF CONSTRUCTION

  • Mechanical key action and electric stop action controlled by an attached drawknob console
  • Second movable electric action stage console
  • 61 note manual keyboards and 32 note concave & radiating pedalboards
  • Expression shoes for Positive, Swell and Solo
  • Crescendo (1 fixed, 3 programmable)
  • Solid state combination action shared by both consoles, with the following features:

300 levels of memory
Programmable list system (sequencer)
1-6 Great divisional thumb pistons
1-6 Positive divisional thumb pistons
1-6 Swell divisional thumb pistons
1-6 Solo divisional thumb pistons
1-5 Pedal divisional toe pistons
1-24 General thumb pistons, 1-14 duplicated by toe pistons
Tutti I reversible thumb & toe piston    (programmable on each memory level)
Tutti II reversible thumb & toe piston (ditto)
Set thumb piston
General Cancel thumb piston
Simple piston sequencer Next & Previous thumb & toe pistons
Pos./Gr. reversible thumb piston
Sw./Gr. reversible thumb piston
So./Gr. reversible thumb piston
Sw./Pos. reversible thumb piston
So./Pos. reversible thumb piston
So./Sw. reversible thumb piston
Sw./So. reversible thumb piston
Pos./So. reversible thumb piston
Gr./Ped. reversible thumb & toe piston
Pos./Ped. reversible thumb & toe piston
Sw./Ped. reversible thumb & toe piston
So./Ped. reversible thumb & toe piston
Double Open Wood 32' reversible toe piston
Contre Bombarde 32' reversible toe piston
Contre Bombarde Ravalement 64' reversible toe piston
Disable Other Console reversible

  • MIDI In - Out - Thru

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200 North Illinois Street • Post Office Box 25
Lake City, Iowa 51449 USA
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