UNT Organ Area acquires Bedient French Classical Organ

A vital addition to the UNT organ collection, acquired through a generous gift from Robert and Shirley Ottman, is the Bedient IV/41 French Classical Organ, which was installed in the Main Auditorium in May 2003. It was built for St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, MI, as a gift to the church and to the community from Sara H. Lowry and O. William Lowry by the Gene R. Bedient Co., Lincoln, NE, and dedicated in Grand Rapids September 14, 1986. The design was based on research of historic French organs at Souvigny, Houdan, Poitiers, Mitry-Mory, plus various written and other sources. It is built in the style of an 18th-century French organ, although not a copy of any particular instrument. Technological changes make exact replication impossible and financially unfeasible. The case is made of hand-planed white oak, stained and finished with a traditional rubbed shellac finish known as "French Polish." Special moulding cutters were ground in the Bedient shop to approximate the moulding profiles of the 1778 organ at Souvigny. The keyboards are of oak with naturals of cowbone and sharps of ebony. The traditional French type pedalboard is oak.

The simple suspended mechanical action system uses trackers of sugar pine and brass with rollerboards of steel, oak, brass and hickory. Positif and Echo backfalls are of oak. The stop action system is of steel with stop knobs of walnut and porcelain faces. Windchests are of mahogany, oak, sugarpine, with some brass, steel and leather used. The front pipes feature raised romanesque mouths, and are made of 88% tin burnished to appear shiny. All interior metal pipes have lead feet and languids, a common French practice. The reed resonators and bodies of the interior open pipes are of 88% tin, while the bodies of the metal stopped flutes are of lead. All tin and lead sheets were hammered before being made into pipes. Wooden pipes are of oak and mahogany. The wind system consists of an electric blower with large, multiple-fold bellows that deliver 100 mm of pressure through a series of oak windtrunks and through the Tremblant doux and to the chests.