St. Mary Church’s familiar pipe organ is mechanically unique. It was the largest instrument built by Woodberry & Harris in 1892 and a feat of installation. Engineers divided 3,000 pipes around the massive stained glass window behind the choir loft. Even after 120 years of liturgies, the instrument has no rivals.
According to organ historian Barbara Owen, “the Woodberry and Harris [Opus] 100 of 1892 is the largest and most significant 19th century organ remaining in original unaltered condition in greater Boston, and is among hardly more than a couple of dozen of similar size and importance of that era that survive in the entire country.”
Today, the Parish has undergone an ambitious project to restore the Woodberry & Harris that should guarantee another century of its splendid performance. Andover Organ Company of Massachusetts was recently selected to restore the organ due to their years of restoration experience. Work will begin in late 2014 and is expected for completion in the Spring of 2015.
Read the October 28, 2014 Boston Globe article on Lee Eiseman’s efforts in restoring our pipe organ.
Read the March 13, 2015 Parish Bulletin article, What is it like to play a pipe organ?
The Woodberry & Harris 1892 pipe organ at a glance:
- Other than the blower motor, there is absolutely nothing electric in this 120 year-old masterpiece.
- The instrument is entirely operated by mechanical linkages to the player’s fingers and feet.
- St. Mary’s own architecture, designed by Patrick C. Keely, makes this church acoustically ideal for organ music.
Over the coming year, St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish will undergo an ambitious fundraiser to restore the Woodberry & Harris pipe organ. We need your help! Click on the button below!