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     First Baptist church of Denver is home to the Grand Aeolian-Skinner Organ Opus 1047-A. When the church’s current building (designed in the “Cristopher Wren” style) was completed in 1935 there was no plan for a pipe organ. By 1949 the church had on order a very unique organ with a history. The “senator’s organ” was being developed into a major instrument by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ company to be installed into spaces surrounding and above the Chancel. Boasting over 6100 pipes, four manuals and a pedal division, the organ was an impressive addition to the church. It was dedicated in 1950 and at the time also had an “echo” organ located on the lower level in Miller Hall.  Fast forward to 2013: this magnificent instrument is ageing, suffering from various types of damage, and compromised in many ways. Several studies are done by leading organ experts, and many options explored leading to a plan of historic conservation.

     As much research continued into the best way to bring the organ into a stable condition and launch it into the future, the Music Committee determined that a full rebuilding of the organ would be the most appropriate. The committee sought to establish a plan to save and enhance this great asset to the church. With the establishment of the First Baptist Church of Denver’s Grand Aeoilan-Skinner Stewardship Committee, a plan for the historical conservation of the instrument and the capital funding of such an undertaking was solidified. Harris Organ Works was retained to execute the project, and the development of an outline of how this newly rebuilt organ will lay out was begun. Thanks to Calvary Baptist Church a significant portion of their former McManis organ has been acquired which will be incorporated into the new organ. The end result will be a 5 manual organ with full pedal and antiphonal division, nearly 10,000 pipes, a newly re-built console and full digital electronic control system, and a stop list and tonal voicing which will pay homage to the true spirit of Aeolian-Skinner organs. . The addition of a digital carillon in the spire tower will bring a new element to this instrument. Once again the Aeolian-Skinner at First Baptist Church of Denver will be truly Grand.

Historic Conservation

The historic conservation of the Grand Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1047A is estimated to cost $750,00.00.

The project is comprised of 5 phases:

Phase One:  $100,000.00

  • Rebuild the console

    • Addition of 5 manual key stack 

    • Rewire of the entire instrument and install new control system

    • Mobilization of the console on the chancel floor

    • Re-finish, repair, alter the chancel flooring to accommodate change in placement of console, 

    • Re-design and install a new chancel ceiling, install new lighting.

Phase Two: $114,000.00

  • New Antiphonal division

    • Design layout of ranks, re-leather chests and reservoirs
    • Installation of electrical, blower, and related wiring

    • Design and install of casework to match Wren style

    • Tonal work

The addition of the Antiphonal division at this stage will allow the organ to be playable during the ongoing phases.

Phase Three: $252,000.00

  • Redesign of the Pedal and Great divisions

    • New chests, move and re-leather of existing chests​

    • Pipe repair

    • Tonal work

Phase Four: $252,000.00

  • Redesign of the Swell and Choir divisions

    • New chests, move and re-leather of existing chests​

    • Pipe repair

    • New expression motors

    • Tonal work

Phase Five: $15,750.00

  • Solo division

    • Re-leather chests and reservoirs ​

    • Pipe repair

    • Tonal work

Additionally, the addition of a carillon in the spire of our historic building will complete the vision for this project. The estimated cost is $38,000.00.

Funding for the campaign is sought through generous donors including current church benefactors, community and corporate gifts, and personal giving of members and friends.

We have raised approximately $45,000.00 to date; a portion of which has been used to restore the glockenspiel, chimes, addition of the zimbalstern, and a new organ bench.

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