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THE ORGAN at Westminster Presbyterian Church was designed at the same time as the building, and was installed for the opening of the new church in 1989. Built by the firm of Visser-Rowland in Houston, Texas, it was designed by the President of Visser-Rowland, Pieter Visser, a native of Holland, who learned the organ building art in his homeland and later settled in the United States.
Because it was designed for this room, the instrument makes a dramatic visual statement in a fine contemporary room. It uses the time-honored mechanical playing action known as ‘tracker action’, which gives the player direct control over each of the pipes being played. The stop-action is electric and allows for combinations of stops to be changed quickly and efficiently for both service playing and concert use.
The organ is encased in a large white casework rising 29 feet from the floor of the chancel and creating a commanding visual statement as well as an ideal placement for hearing the instrument, and allowing it to be voiced gently. It produces a singing tone that is most musical and ably leads in worship as well as being an outstanding concert vehicle.
The instrument is comprised of three manual divisions, played by the hands, and a pedal division, played by the organist’s feet. Each division is complete and full of diversity in color and tone while pulling together into an impressive cohesive whole. The forty-two ranks (sets of pipes) are distributed over thirty-three stops.
Sesquialtera II (2 2/3′ + 1 3/5′)
Mixtur IV (1 1/3′)
Trompet (en chamade) 8′
Larigot 1 1/3′
Kleinmixtur III (1′)
Nasat 2 2/3′
Scharff IV (1′)
“Why am I a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church? Two words keep floating up in a rather persistent way – “home” and “family” – and I realized that it is an inescapable fact that is what this church means to me. During my 40 years here, so many life events have happened and Westminster has been there for me through all those times – good and bad. It has been my home and family. They say “home is where the heart is” and I’ve found the heart of Westminster to be as open and warm as a family’s!”