Schantz Organ

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From the dedicatory recital program (1973):

Description of the Organ

Our pipe organ is an instrument of tonal beauty and flexibility representing the latest development in tonal design. It was constructed by the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio, celebrating their 100th anniversary, a firm whose leadership in pipe organ construction dates back to 1873. They are known nationally for their custom building of quality pipe organs. The specification of the organ was designed by Arthur C. Strahle, District Manager for the Schantz Organ Company in the Midwest area in collaboration with Mr. John Harvey, Professor of organ at the University of Wisconsin.

An organ such as St. John’s is a product of many minds the Planners, thinking of its use, primarily as a Church instrument, the engineers preparing detailed plans for the exact layout of the numerous parts of the instrument: wind-chests, reservoirs, relays, etc. the individual sets of pipes to produce the tones conceived by the planners.

The craftsmen in the shop fabricated the many parts and the pipes, all of which work must be primarily by hand.

The voicers gave to each pipe the proper tone and finally the organ was tone-regulated in the Church by two head voicers from the Schantz factory. The organ was installed by Mr. H.F. Fuller of Madison.

The organ consists of two manuals and pedal division, and though small, having seven ranks of pipes, all under one expression behind the grille and case front, has endless tonal colors.

The twenty-five note Deagan Class “D” Chimes are a gift in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Julseth and their daughter Vera.

From an additional handout:

The Organ at St. John’s

The art of producing musical sound through wind-blown pipes has been practiced for many centuries. The new organ at St. John’s Church combines the traditional artistry of true pipe-organ sound, with the most modern technological developments in engineering for operation and control. The result is an instrument which possesses remarkable flexibility, enabling the organist to produce music in a variety of styles, periods and “schools” with the characteristic effectiveness of each. As the hearer listens to the recital to-day, the variety of effect, contrast and color appropriate to many different kinds of music, will be apparent.

Ancient instruments required great space-consuming installations of much greater size to achieve even less flexibility than this organ. In this organ, all of the families of organ sound are represented, namely, the characteristic Church organ qualities known to organists as the “Principal Chorus”, the tonal groupings of the “Flute” family, the “String-type” sound, and the distinctive color of the “Reeds”.

One wonders as he listens to the concert, if the organist must not be constructed along the lines of a centipede. But through the facilities of control provided by modern engineering and the application of electricity in operation, all that is heard is accomplished by ten fingers and two feet.

Often inquiries about the materials of which organ pipes are made come to mind. It is interesting to note that through the ages, organ builders have developed their own individual treatments of a variety of materials, and different formulas which are the prized possessions of individual makers, are used for the different qualities of sound. Basically, the materials which are alloyed in metal pipes are pure block tin, zinc, lead, and antimony. Brass and copper are also used especially in reed pipes. Most persons associate reed-type tone with the fragile, short-lived reeds of the “throw-away” type employed in such orchestral instruments as clarinets, oboes, saxophones, etc. Organ-pipe reeds are brass, delicately tempered and of precisely micrometer-measured thickness. Some pipes are made of woods of various kinds, selected according to the sounds to be produced, the climate where the organ is to serve, the acoustic environment, etc.

There is approximately 60,000 ft. of electrical wire woven into flexible sheathed cables. There are as many as 77 wires in a single cable. Direct-current is used in the control circuits, rather than the alternating current more familiar in the household. The current operates almost 1000 electro-magnets of various types for the various functions of operation. The principles involved may perhaps be compared to a telephone system. Instead of dialing exchanges and numbers, the operator (organist) “dials” the various stops and combinations of stops, and the different notes of the manual and pedal keyboards.

The pipe-organ over the years of its development, has become known as the “King Of Instruments”. It is singularly appropriate for its traditional usages in the Worship of the “King Of Kings”.



  • Principal 8′
  • Bourdon 8′
  • Gemshorn 8′
  • Octave 4′
  • Flute 4′
  • Gemshorn 2-2/3′
  • Super Octave 2′
  • Mixture Ilrk
  • Trompette 8′
  • Clairon 4′
  • Chimes


  • Bourdon 8′
  • Gemshorn 8′
  • Gemshorn Celeste t.c. 8′
  • Principal 4′
  • Gemshorn 4′
  • Flute 4′
  • Nasard 2-2/3′
  • Flautin 2′
  • Trompette 8′
  • Clairon 4′


  • Bourdon 16′
  • Principal 8′
  • Bourdon 8′
  • Gemshorn 8′
  • Super Octave 4′
  • Bourdon 4′
  • Mixture Ilrk
  • Trompette 8′
  • Clairon 4′

Tonal Analysis

  • Principal 8′ = 85 pipes
  • Bourdon 8′ = 85 pipes
  • Gemshorn 8′ = 85 pipes
  • Gemshorn Celeste t.c. 8′ = 49 pipes
  • Trompette 8′ = 73 pipes
  • Bourdon 16′ = 12 pipes
  • Mixture Ilrk = 98 pipes, 12 top notes repeat
  • TOTAL = 487 pipes