St. Stephen’s Organ
When St. Stephen's church building was enlarged in 1950 to a design of Philip Hubert Frohman, a new organ was built and installed in 1951 by the Æolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston. It was designed and finished by G. Donald Harrison in what had come to be known by then as the American Classic style. This style was favored by Harrison because it did not try to artificially recreate any one particular retrospective style of organ building. Rather, it aimed at a satisfying musical approach in creating a truly American style of organ capable of playing the entire literature for the organ, keeping in mind the all-important accompanimental functions required of a church organ. In this regard, St. Stephen’s instrument has few peers, and it is an outstanding example of this style of organ building.
The main portion of the organ is located behind the façade on the Gospel side of the chancel. In 1968, Æolian-Skinner built additions in the main organ, a four-manual console, the Antiphonal Organ flanking the Patriot’s Window on the west wall, and the Positiv Organ on the Epistle side of the chancel.
Many thanks to Bill Van Pelt of the Organ Historical Society for the 2017 photos of the organ (top right, and above left).
Greg Vick, Principal Organist // email