The installation of the Lewnowski Family Organ at Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart is finally complete. Our students, faculty, staff, and entire community will have their prayer enhanced by the beauty of this great instrument. We hope that many will come and experience it.
Here are some interesting facts about the organ:
· The entire production process, from design, to build at the shop, to installation and voicing, took over two years.
· The organ was expertly packed in a 53 foot semi trailer truck and driven over the course of one week to Washington, DC. Because that size truck will not fit behind Dahlgren Chapel, the builder took the truck to a moving company, and unloaded the entire instrument onto four smaller box trucks, which then drove up to the back of the Chapel and were unloaded. The process took the entire day.
· There are 1,094 pipes in the Lewnowski Family Organ.
· The largest of these pipes, called an “open wood pedal” pipe, is 16 feet long and weighs over 150lbs. The smallest is about the size and weight of a pencil.
· The Schoenstein Organ Company, located in San Francisco, CA, is the builder of the organ. They have been building pipe organs since 1877. It was started by Felix Schoenstein, who moved to California from Germany in 1868.
· The Lewnowski Family Organ is built in the “Romanic-Symphonic” style, a style that emphasizes greater musical expressiveness, fluidity, and versatility.
· The Schoenstein Organ Company has one other instrument in Washington, DC. It is located at St. Paul’s Parish, on K Street.
· The organ “case”, or wood exterior, was built by the New Holland Church Furniture Company, located in central Pennsylvania. The former “wood screen” behind the altar was removed by New Holland, taken back to their shop and refinished, so that it is reused in the same place. The new sections, at the side boxes, were crafted to match the existing woodwork in the Chapel perfectly.
Dr. James Wickman, Director of Liturgy and Music