This instrument is the first pipe organ to be installed in this relatively "new" building, for which the cornerstone was laid in 1960. The instrument replaces an electronic substitute, which was in use from the time of the consecration of the building. The original Saint Peter Church, located in downtown Quincy, boasted a pipe organ, but it, along with the original church, was destroyed by a Tornado in 1945. The choir balcony end of the church remained intact while the rest of the building collapsed. The pipe organ was removed and sold since storage was not feasible due to some uncertain plans for parish realignment at that time. Eventually, it was decided to relocate the church and temporary facilities were used for some years.
When Father Roy Bauer, a native of Quincy was named Pastor in 1985, one of his first thoughts was to have a pipe organ constructed for the building. Since the parish operates a large parochial school, funds for such "amenities" as a pipe organ were not available from the operating budget. Father Bauer personally undertook the task of raising the necessary funds for the project independent of the normal fiscal program by sponsoring a five-hundred-dollar-a-plate dinner, which was so successful that the entire cost of the instrument was thus secured in one evening!
The concept and location of the instrument was an evolutionary process. Consideration was originally given to plans for twin "mirror-image" cases, cantilevered from the green marble walls in the front of the Sanctuary. However, after consultation with the original marble-installer for St. Peter's it was discovered that because of the nature of the lay-up of the wall, shocks resulting from core-drilling for structural supports might have damaged the wall. Hence, an alternate location was obligatory.
Considerable discussion concerning alternative locations between the pastor (who, incidentally, is a very accomplished organist!), James P. Donovan, principal Parish Organist, John Nodeen, Shop Foremen, and Richard Schneider, President, from Schneider Pipe Organs, Inc. led to the selection of the or gan's location in twin "Mirror-Image" cases located in an unused spaces between the side altars and the Apse.This has proved to be an ideal vantage-point from which to fill the unusually-designed building, despite the wide separation between the two divisions. The Nave of the church consists of a high-vaulted center-section, with two low-ceilinged wings, which fan out, creating a triangular-shaped Nave.Fortunately, sonics are aided and abetted by Terrazzo floors, brick and marble walls, and ceiling tile which is non-porous, thus allowing for 2.50 seconds of reverberation. Moreover, the Choir, which now sits in Pews facing the Sanctuary immediately in front of the instrument can be accompanied with great facility with the Metalgedackt stop (See photo on left) especially provided for them in 1992.
It has been particularly gratifying to have received compliments concerning the case design and location akin to "The organ looks as though it's always belonged there!" The builder and his staff have been grateful for the opportunity to have been able to create what is destined to become a very important instrument in the cultural life of an old historic town, rich in musical heritage, such as Quincy!
The console employs a solid-state, microprocessor-based computer combination action consisting of 16 General Pistons on 32 levels of Memory. There are four programmable Sforzando and Crescendo settings available on this system, built by I.C.M.I of Cincinnati, OH. The system controls LED-illuminated pushbuttons for the stops and couplers. The stops and couplers are arranged on the console in a double row over the top manual in families of Prinzipals, Flutes, etc. Moreover, to serve as an additional registrational aid, the pushbuttons are color-keyed according to the stop families, in similar fashion to that found in cinema instruments. Prinzipals and Mixtures are in white, Flutes in blue, mutations in Green, Strings in yellow, Quintadeen plus its derivatives in orange, accessories in gray and couplers in black. Obviously, since there are no stop action magnets or solenoids, the system is absolutely silent in operation.