Five former UNT organ students representing the early 2000's thru 2016, gathered
at the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians Conference, held in
Oakland, CA Jan. 6-10, 2020. The conference was hosted by the Cathedral of Christ
the Light and Rudy de Vos, Director of Music.
Pictured left to right: Carol Ann Taylor, Rudy de Vos, Phil Bordeleau, David Summers and Beau Baldwin.
Nave of Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA
This stop, originally installed in the 1924 Möller, forms the treble part of the pedal Contre Viole 16 in the auditorium.
It used to play in the Great and Pedal divisions, but was removed it in 2003 to make room for the 16’ Great Diapason.
The first 32 notes will continue to play in the pedal. Although properly stored under the stage, these pipes were damaged
during the extensive renovation of the auditorium in 2012. Thanks to the miraculous restoration by Roy Redman they will
form a new Viole 8’ stop for the Choir division.
The following images show a Moller tripper combination action completely disassembled. The core component consists of a cam. Depending on the direction of the “finger” on the cam, it moves its corresponding drawknob either on or off.
Moller built an extremely durable action. A university instrument may be in constant use, almost 24/7 during academic terms. Despite 60 years of continuous service, it was decided no restoration was needed to this action other than timing of the power pneumatic actions.
During the 2010-11 restoration, the builder decided to raise the wind pressure in the console from the original 6” to 8”. While the generals were very prompt, no one understood that this increased pressure would sheer off the tip of the spring mechanism in the cams. For divisional pistons when this higher pressure acted on a single power pneumatic (divisional pistons) rather than spread over 5 power pneumatics (general pistons), this pressure proved to be a catastrophe. As a result of several month’s use at the higher pressure, most of the divisional pistons showed the tip sheered off between the on and off position of the cam. Drawknobs would not stay set on or off, becoming unreliable.
Curtis Bobsin examined the issues and was convinced that the bad cams could be replaced and regulated, assuming a supply of good cams could be located. Mark McCrary furnished a supply of these cams in excellent condition, and Mr. Bobsin replaced the damaged components during two sessions in 2018. Regulation was initially taxing until it was understood that the set screw determining location of the arm connecting to the drawknob was where the critical regulation had to occur.
Many builders warned over the years that Moller cams would eventually wear and become unreliable, but the experience here contradicts that belief: If the wind pressure is left at the intended setting, the cams are all but indestructible.
Bravo Curtis Bobsin!!
In the Summer of 2017 several reed stop pipes were removed from two concert organs for a complete restoration,
by Fred Oyster of Ohio.
We are very pleased to announce these pipes were reinstalled November 25-26, 2017.
Winspear Restoration: Swell Bassoon 16'
Main Auditorium Restoration (original 1924 pipe work):
Pedal: Bombarde 16-8-4 unit
Choir: Contra Fagotto 16-8 unit
Swell: Oboe 8
Swell: Clarinet 8
Swell: Vox Humana 8
A few photos from the workshop:
On Friday, November 17, 2017 The Organ Performance Majors in the class of Dr. Jesse Eschbach presented the complete
Mass for the Parishes by François Couperin. The performance was a collaboration of the organ department and choral department,
which provided a men's choir, singing Plainsong directed by Brian Murray, DMA choral conducting student.
The organ program is fortunate to have the magnificent 17th-century style Bedient Organ as one of three concert organs on campus.
The audience members were transported in time and spacial experience as the organ and choir alternated antiphonally through the
historic mass setting, highlighting the fine acoustics of the Main Auditorium Hall. Earlier in the semester the organ studio studied the
construction of the Bedient organ in great detail, as they discussed the evolution of organ construction through the centuries.
This program will be also performed at Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas, TX next semester.
UNT ORGAN STUDIO
Pictured L-R: Jacob Surak, Philip Appeddu, Colleen Kilpatrick, Rudimar Bonamigo, Andrew Segrest, Hentus van Rooyen,
Samuel Gaskin, Ken Adams, Louie Kim,
Rachel Um, Gary Gordon, Dr. Eschbach
Director: Brian Murray, DMA Choral Conducting Major
Choir Members: Bryan Aguilar, Max Ary, Ernest Hernandez, Benjamin Hinojos, Marcos Ochoa,
Shane Price, Samuel Sweet, Adam Torres
On Sunday, November 12, 2017 Four UNT organ students participated in the Dallas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Neighborhood Recital, hosted by Temple Emmanu-El. UNT students were Rudimar Bonamigo, Gary Gordon, Hentus van Rooyen
and Rachel Um. The recital also featured one SMU student and one High School student from Ft. Worth.
Pictured L-R: Ivan Tatarinov (SMU), Eli Samlowski, Rudimar Bonamigo, Hentus van Rooyen, Gary Gordon, Rachel Um
On Saturday, March 5th UNT organ students competed in the annual William C. Hall Organ Competition in San Antonio, Texas. Andrew Kenney returned after winning second prize in the graduate division last year to claim First Prize this year. Gregory Santa Croce, a duel organ and jazz piano major, competed for the first time this year and clinched both First Prize in the undergraduate division and Best Hymn Playing award. These outstanding organists continue a long legacy of success in this competition. “It was a big coup for our students to pull this off. With the possible exception of New York State, no other area in the USA has more active university organ programs than Texas. My heartfelt congratulations to Greg and Andy for all that they achieved,” said Dr. Jesse Eschbach. Contestants represented University of Texas (3), Southern Methodist (1), Rice (1), University of Houston (1), and of course UNT (3). Judges were Jonathon Dimmock, Faythe Freize, and Crista Miller. David Summers, the third UNT competitor also gave a strong performance at the competition. Dr. Eschbach comments, "David Summers deserves special mention. His playing was superb from start to finish, polished and secure. Another year and David will walk away with a first prize."
Left: Gregory Santa Croce, First Prize Undergraduate Division, Best Hymn Playing Award
Right: Andrew Kenney, First Prize Graduate Division
Approval was granted October, 2015 for the last phase of additions to the Möller organ to begin. Work begins immediately on a large Möller chest containing 8 actions which will replace the existing 3 stop Möller chest for the Great upperwork, added to the organ in 1949. Three existing stops (Quinte 2 2/3', Super Octave 2', Fourniture IV) will be transferred to the larger, rebuilt chest. Four new stops will then be added to complete the Great stoplist: Cymbale III or IV, Cornet V, Trumpet 8', Clarion 4'. The chest under restoration was donated to the university almost 20 years ago by the Austin organbuilder, Otto Hofman.
The College of Music announces the acquisition of a 5-stop historic organ constructed about 1780 in Europe and brought to Texas by German immigrants sometime in the 1850s. After being discovered by the builder Ruben Frells years ago, the organ was lovingly restored to playing condition by the renowned Susan Tattershall during the 1980s. About 1990, Susan Ferre and Charles Lang purchased the organ, and for many years it was on display at the Mesquite Arts Center. The organ currently is winded by the traditional manual pump, and will eventually be retrofitted with an optional electric blower. Inaugural festivities are planned for spring or fall 2016.
Sunny Yu, a DMA organ major was named among the winners of the recent UNT 2015-2016 concerto competition. She will be featured in a concert of winners on Wednesday, March 9, 2016; playing the Organ Concerto of Francis Poulenc. Congratulations Sunny!
The UNT organ studio performed the complete Vierne 24 Piéces de fantaisie in two recitals on Thursday, October 8th and Friday, October 9th. The recital was held at Christ the King Catholic Church and featured the monumental French-style organ built by Juget-Sinclair of Montreal.
Pictured left to right: Andrew Kenney, Alex Gilson, Sunny Yu, Hentus van Rooyen, Dr. Jesse Eschbach, Gregory Santa-Croce, Joy Hague, David Summers, Ken Adams. Not pictured: Gary Gordon, Louie Kim, Andrew Seagrest, and Phillip Appedu.
On Friday, September 18, 2015, Lerie Grace Dellosa and Hyn Kyung Lee dazzled the audience, performing the finale concert of the 2015 American Liszt Society Festival, "Liszt and His Protégé Reubke". Delossa performed Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam," S. 259 and Lee performed organ Sonata in C minor: The 94th Psalm by Julius Reubke. Following the recital, Dr. Eschbach held a dinner party in their honor.
On Saturday, May 16th, Greg Santa Croce won first prize at the Cherine Troxel Organ Scholarship Competition hosted by AGO Cimarron Chapter at First Christian Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. First prize was $500 and Greg played the J.S. Bach Trio Sonata in Eb and Olivier Messiaen's "Joie et clarté des corps glorieux." Greg is a senior jazz piano and pipe organ performance major.
The American Liszt Society announces its annual conference to be held at the University of North Texas College of Music September 16-18.
The Winspear organ will be featured in a program on Friday, September 18 at 5:30 pm featuring the Liszt Ad Nos performed by Lerie Grace Dellosa and the Reubke Organ Sonata performed by HuunKyung Lee.
Both artists are currently candidates for the DMA degree in organ at the University of North Texas and are already established as virtuoso organists. Their participation is bound to be a highlight of the conference.
Dr. Eschbach announced summer 2015 that effective immediately, foreign language requirements (French or German) for undergraduate students have been removed.
These courses will be replaced by a required six hour sequence in our revised Sacred Music curriculum instructed by Professor Brown.
Doctoral students in organ performance must still demonstrate reading knowledge in either French or German.
UNT alumni will remember Robert Estes fondly. As a supporter of the organ program, Mr. Estes frequently attended our degree recitals, and just as importantly, provided generous scholarship support for many students over the years. Please join with me in expressing our deepest condolences to his wife, Marica Estes. He left an abiding influence in this community, not only in organ, but also in the life of the Denton Schools as a perceptive educator and in the Denton arts community in general as a generous philanthropist.
Robert Moore Estes, 78, of Denton, passed away Friday, May 1, 2015, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Denton. He was born in Sherman, Texas, on June 2, 1936, to Elizabeth and Frank M. Estes. He attended Denton Public Schools and North Texas State Teachers College. His educational career began as a teacher at Walt Disney Elementary School in the Magnolia School District of Anaheim, California. His career continued there as a principal until his return to Denton, where he served as teacher and principal in the Denton Independent School District. After his retirement, he became headmaster of The Selwyn School, Denton (recently renamed Selwyn College Preparatory School).
Mr. Estes served as a church organist for many years and was active in the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, the Texas School Administrators Association, the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club, the Cumberland Children's Home Board, and various arts organizations in Denton. A celebration of Bob's life was held on his birthday, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at 4:00 P.M. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 633 Hobson Ln., Denton, TX. Memorials may be made to the Kiwanis Children's Clinic, First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Denton, Trinity United Methodist Church, Cumberland Children's Home, or charity of choice. Survivors include his wife, Marcia; brother, Dr. James William "Bill" Estes, and wife, Jenny; nephew, Todd Estes (wife Rachel and children Patrick, Katelyn and Jillian); niece, Brooke Estes Arellano (husband Derrick and children Anson and Alayna).
Dr. Jesse Eschbach announces the appointment of Dr. Charles Brown as Instructor of Sacred Music Studies at the University of North Texas, effective August 2015. In addition to his many years as one of the foremost and sought-after pedagogues in organ, Dr. Brown received the Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, putting him in an ideal position to coordinate this program.
Dr. Brown is a former University Organist at Arizona State University and a former Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the University of North Texas from 1968-1984. In the Dallas area, he has held organist-choirmaster positions at St. John’s Episcopal Church and at First Community Church United Church of Christ. He is currently organist/choirmaster at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Oak Cliff, Dallas.
Dr. Brown holds the Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College, the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and the Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University. Dr. Brown has also pursued graduate studies in theater at UNT and Texas Woman’s University, and he was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Vienna, Austria, where he was a student of Anton Heiller in organ and Isolde Ahlgrimm in harpsichord. After graduating from Brite Divinity School, Dr. Brown was ordained into the ministry of the United Church of Christ (UCC) and recently served five-and-one-half years as pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Corpus Christi. He holds the FAGO and ChM certificates of the American Guild of Organists and is a past dean of the Dallas Chapter of the AGO and a past national AGO Councillor for Education. Among several current projects, Dr. Brown is exploring the meeting of music, theatre, and theology as constituting a “trifocal” view of the origins and practice of Christian worship.
Dr. Brown replaces Mark Scott who coordinated the Sacred Music curriculum for 10 years at UNT. During his tenure, this curriculum was completely restructured and is now available to graduate students as a minor (related field). Interested people may audit these classes at the discretion of the instructor.
Welcome abord, Dr. Brown!
The University of North Texas hosted French organ virtuoso, Daniel Roth for a residency April 20-22, 2015. Mr. Roth conducted lectures and masterclasses on the Ardoin-Voertman Concert Organ (2008 Wolff III/60), at the UNT Winspear Performance Hall on April 20th. On April 21, Mr. Roth performed an outstanding recital on UNT's Main Auditorium 1985 Bedient IV/41 and 1949 Möller, Op. 7676, III/55 organs, which included works by Sweelinck, J. S. Bach, Frank, Mendelssohn, Reubke, original compositions and an improvisation on Veni Creator Spiritus that brought the house down! On April 22, Mr. Roth conducted lectures and masterclass at Texas Women's University's Margo Jones Performance Hall (Möller organ rebuilt by Roy Redman). The following are pictures from our 3 days with Mr. Roth. At each masterclass, UNT organ students performed selections from Vierne's 24 Pièces de fantaisie and received Mr. Roth's unique insight on registration and interpretation.
After a generous donation, the bottom octave of the Pedal 32' Tombone has been installed in the Wolff performance organ, bringing this stop to its full range. It is a robust addition to this organ's pedal divison and will surely undergird the ensemble of the instrument.
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.
In 2012, a previously donated 16' Double Open Diapason was installed in the Moller Op. 7676 located in the Main Auditorium, adding to the diverse and rich palate in this unique organ.
In 2011, a restoration of the Moller Op. 7676 console was approved and completed by the Schudi Organ Company. In the process, the decision was made by Dr. Jesse Eschbach to maintain the mid-twentieth century electro-pneumatic system in place, making it a unique organ in the region that will continue to be an exemplary instrument for education and performance for many years to come.
College of Music receives $1.5 million for new organ
Ardoin-Voertman concert organ to be built by Wolff and Associates
DENTON (UNT), Texas — A new $1.5 million Voertman-Ardoin Memorial Fund created by Denton philanthropist Paul Voertman will support the installation of a new concert organ at the University of North Texas College of Music.
The Richard Ardoin-Paul Voertman Concert Organ will be installed in Winspear Hall, at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, which was originally conceived with an organ when the building was constructed in 1999.
“The College of Music is very grateful that Mr. Voertman has made this significant commitment, which will enable us to complete such an important part of the facility,” said James Scott, dean of the College of Music. “Having an outstanding pipe organ in Winspear Hall will make it possible to perform the symphonic repertory that calls for organ, as well as the large oratorios and cantatas for chorus and orchestra, which the college currently cannot perform with an appropriate instrument. The organ will serve many periods of the solo organ repertory as well.”
Construction of the Ardoin-Voertman concert organ was recently approved by the UNT System Board of Regents and installation is scheduled for completion in 2008.
After extensive consideration of a number of potential builders, the college selected internationally renowned Wolff and Associates, who are located in Laval, in the Canadian Province of Quebec. Recent Wolff and Associates projects include a respected, major organ in Houston and an organ installation at the University of Kansas, which has received worldwide attention.
“Designing and building the future organ for Winspear Hall will be an exciting project for us and we trust the result will be rewarding for the university and the musical community of the area as well,” Hellmuth Wolff said. “The organ’s sound will be favored by exceptionally fine acoustics. The acoustical setting, adjusted to its most reverberant mode, will allow the organ to sing out and to let the audience hear the voices in polyphonic music clearly.”
“There are usually three things that ought to be combined to make an organ project worthwhile: the space, the acoustics and the people. It seems all the good qualities are united in this project,” he said.
Positioned behind the choral terrace in Winspear Hall, the organ will be a fairly large three manual instrument of 55 stops, offering a powerful plenum, plenty of quiet registrations as well as colorful flutes and reeds, according to Wolff.
“As with most of our instruments, we draw from sources of the Classic and Romantic period and from different national schools of organ building. This organ will also be inspired by the great organs of the past and by the best work of our colleagues of the Old and the New World, from whom we have learned quite a few things in our craft,” he said.
The organ’s case, which will be painted to blend with the hall, also features the geometric shapes and angles of the hall with its pentagonal window behind the organ loft.
Except for the Swell division, the facade pipes reflect their respective keyboard divisions with their pipes standing behind the facade in the case. The keydesk is attached to the organ to favor a most direct mechanical linkage between the keys and the valves directing the wind to the pipes. The stops are drawn electrically and the most up to date electronic assistance devices will help the players with their registrations.
Note to Editors: Images of the organ are available in the image gallery at web2.unt.edu/news/ or by request from Kelley Reese at (940) 565-3993.
On April 19, 2004, organ performance majors of Jesse Eschbach presented the Southwest premiere of the recently published organ works of Louis Couperin. The recently acquired Ottman organ, built by Gene Bedient, served as the perfect instrument for Couperin’s music. Intended to serve the needs and musical requirements of French repertoire from the 17th and 18th centuries, the organ clearly sounds most “at home” when playing this music. Students performed a wide-ranging recital, illustrating all of the various genres comprising the new Couperin publication, and Eschbach presented a lecture focusing on the evolving Parisian organ of the seventeenth century and Louis Couperin’s musical response to it, specifically adapting fugal textures to the new solo timbres available on mid century instruments.
Now available -- Dr. Eschbach's extensively researched book on Cavaillé-Coll!
A Compendium of Known Stoplists by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Paderborn: Verlag Peter Ewers, 2003
by Dr. Jesse Eschbach, Coordinator of Organ
Available through organ literature foundation as well as various music dealers
Also available -- Dr. Eschbach's newest CD!
Music from the Second Empire and Beyond
Recorded at the Cathedrale Saint-Jean, Perpignan, France
Music of Lemmens, Fessy, Franck, Couturier, and Gigout
Released on the Raven label