by Timothy Robson
In a day of music and celebration on Sunday, May 12, the Church of the Covenant in Cleveland’s University Circle formally unveiled and dedicated its brilliant new organ, the Newberry Organ, built by Richards, Fowkes & Company of Ooltewah, Tennessee. The new organ was tested to its limits in a festival service in the morning featuring multi-choir works with Baroque-style instruments, and three other organs (two small Dutch portative organs as well as the church’s large mid-20th-century American Classic organ), followed by a concert in the afternoon by Oberlin Conservatory organ faculty head James David Christie, with a repeat of the multi-choral works from the morning. In between the two major events, the church’s director of music, Jonathan Moyer, gave a lecture on the new organ.
The new two-manual and pedal organ, which sits in a renovated rear organ gallery, is modeled on organs of 17th-century Holland and northern Germany. Its pitch and tuning enable the organist to simulate the sounds that would have been heard by the composers of the time, the late Renaissance and Baroque periods. [Read more…]