The Organ in St. Joseph’s Church

The pipe organ in St. Joseph's Church was originally built by La Compagnie d'Orgues Canadienne and installed in 1918. It had given service for nearly half a century when in 1963, Casavant FrËres rebuilt the electric action and added a fine new console.

By 1973, it was realized that while the basic structural condition was sound, the tonal spectrum needed reshaping along more contemporary lines. Plans were made to revoice some existing stops and to retire and replace others of limited usefulness, while working within the limits of existing chest space. The tonal reconstruction was undertaken by Theodore Gilbert & Associates on a long-term basis: a stop or two per year.

The program was enthusiastically supported by then pastor, Fr. GÈrard LaFleur. His untiring efforts, as well as recognition of the place of music in the Liturgy was an inspiration to all. As a memorial to such spirit, a new stop was installed in his honor, marking the occasion of his twenty-five years of service to St. Joseph's: the Trompette Pontifical.

The Trompette Pontificale is a fanfare trumpet, voiced in a manner to make a good account of itself over and above the forces of the full organ. It enjoys an outstanding position, centered high above the other pipes of the organ, near the barrel vault of the ceiling. It was voiced on 5” wind pressure, by Mr. D.A.J. Broome, according to our wishes.

Mixtures were added to the manual divisions, and mutations were added as space would permit. Many of the pipes, including the Principals of the Grand Orgue, are original sets, completely rebuilt and revoiced. The flutes of the RÈcit are quite smooth and mellow, while those of the Positif, new and of a different scaling, provide more color and prompt intonation.

Constant review of the organ in its formative stages incorporated the sound advice of Barclay Wood, Minister of Music of First Baptist Church, Worcester. Allan F. Taylor was responsible for much of the mechanical work.

Because of the exceptional acoustics of St. Joseph's, a new dimension in tone has been achieved. The sound is complemented by the commensurate artistry of this beautiful building. It is hoped that music lovers in this area may continue to be privileged to hear talented organists perform here, where there is such a superb marriage of instrument and environment.