A New Organ for Saint Georges
Martin Pasi, Opus 28
A new organ for Saint George’s Episcopal Church must fulfill with distinction its roles in the Church services: accompanying the church choir, leading congregational singing, and providing for improvisations and a large range of solo organ literature. This organ will provide a wide tonal range and musical flexibility, resulting in an instrument that will greatly enhance the music ministry of Saint George’s Episcopal Church and its outreach through the arts to the greater community. Its distinctive voice will help lead worship and inspire lovers of great music for many generations.
Martin Pasi, organ builder
Pasi Organ Builders is located south of Seattle in Roy, Washington.
The firm specializes in building fine mechanical action organs and restoration of historic instruments.
Working with a small group of fine craftsmen, Martin Pasi oversees all phases of building his organs, including design, manufacturing, voicing, and installation. All components of the instruments are built in his shop.
Since the opening of the shop in 1990, 27 instruments have been completed ranging in size from a 3 stop continuo to a large 4 manual organ.
Martin Pasi received his first formal experience in organ building during a four year apprenticeship with the Rieger Company in his native Austria. He immigrated to the United States in 1981 and worked with several organ builders until he opened his own shop.
View videos on the making of organ pipes at Martin Pasi's Website:
Specification, Op. 28
2 manual, 33 stops, 37 ranks
1 3/5’ Terz
1 1/3' Mixture IV
8’ Viol Celeste t.c.
2 2/3' Nasard
1 3/5' Tierce
1' Mixture IV
16’ Open Bass
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Great
Freestanding case in solid Hardwood.
Hand carved pipe shades.
Mechanical suspended key-action. (Detached console).
Electric stop-action with Solid State combination system.
Foot pumped winding system with three bellows in addition to the blower fed bellows.
Well tempered tuning.
Balanced Swell pedal.
Slightly concave pedal board.
Why we need a new organ
Our current instrument is over 100 years old. Installed in 1955, the instrument was already 40 years old when it came to St. George’s, and has served us for about 70 years. An independent survey of the organ revealed its many parts have and continue to rapidly deteriorate and there are several fundamental design flaws (placement of pipes sounding into the choir’s ears, chambers with no insulation, poor tonal qualities and overall workmanship).
Even if all components of the Newcomer organ were repaired and updated, you would still be left with an instrument that reflects century-old
building practices. The cost to rebuild could easily be up to half that of a new instrument…I cannot in good faith recommend that the existing instrument be rebuilt, given its age and its great number of failings. (Santoianni Study, pg. 33)
The organ committee concluded that a new instrument would allow us to address fundamental problems with our current instrument, look to the future, and enable us to be good stewards of our resources and create an instrument that could fully support our worship and music ministry for many decades to come.
2013- Saint George’s begins investigating how to remedy its failing pipe organ. Organ Committee formed, led by Eric Goldman, in conjunction with Building Renovation Committee. Independent survey of the instrument is commissioned. Committee explores all available options and visits many instruments.
2014- The recommendation to build a new instrument is approved unanimously by Vestry and organ builders are interviewed and Pasi Organbuilders of Roy, Washington is selected.
2015-2016 - Phase 1 of Nave renovations begins and is completed.
2018-2019- Architectural and additional nave renovation planning, refinement of designs and fundraising.
August 2019- The Pasi shop begins construction on our organ. Â Total time of construction is about 14 months. Fundraising continues.
Summer 2020 - Acoustical improvements and chamber and acoustical modifications begins, as well as the removal of our old instrument.
Late Fall/Winter 2020- Organ installation. Â (2 weeks install, 10 weeks voicing)
Spring 2021-Spring 2022- Dedicatory recital and concert series