Schneider Pipe Organs initial contact with this project began by providing a work crew to assist in removing the 1914/1947/1972 III/38 Möller organ that was to be comprehensively renovated by another builder. The tonal design and layout concept were by that builder, who also began initial construction and installation work. When that other builder was unable to finish out his contract, Schneider Pipe Organs, as a guarantor on the contract was called in to evaluate the completed work and completed the construction and installation after the original builder defaulted and went out of business.
Unfortunately, some aspects of the original builder's work proved to be less than satisfactory and had to be either discarded or extensively re-manufactured; requiring the completion date to be extended in order to allow this re-work to be completed properly.
Our shop also provided sub-contract re-voicing work for the other builder prior to his default on the project, including the "conversion" of a 16' Wood Open Diapason to a 32' Contra Bourdon, as well as re-voicing selected ranks of pipework.
It became apparent that a more comprehensive tonal re-vamping of the instrument would be required in order for the completed project to be tonally satisfactory, so part of our completion process has included comprehensive re-voicing of many of the ranks of pipework; particularly the Principal Choruses, the Mixtures, mutations and selected Flute stops. The existing reeds were retained as found, except for any cleaning and repairs that were needed.
The original installation from 1914 (the building dates from 1911) had the majority of the instrument behind the choir. The 1947 re-construction enlarged the instrument from two to three manuals by placing the Swell Division behind the Choir, the Great on the North elevated level and the Choir Division in the Ceiling(!!) above the Rostrum area.
Not to worry: The roof is supported with extensive steel railroad bridgework and nothing short of the end of the World would bring anything down from that lofty location!
Ideally, an organ should have visual appeal as well as sonic rewards, but the conservative tradition of this particular denomination and more specifically, this congregation precluded any possibility of inclusion of any exposed pipework in the design scheme.
During the summer of 2002, Berne Indiana celebrated their 150th anniversary. Schneider Pipe Organs was on-hand to ensure the organ functioned perfectly during the event. Prior to the event, the organ builder, assisted by his wife (who serves as note holder) made many of the final Voicing adjustments to the instrument, followed by a complete tuning of the instrument.