PARIS — One hundred years ago the First Universalist Church on Pine Street purchased an M.P. Moller Pipe Organ that was installed by Moller himself. This was no easy task in 1912, as wall had to be removed and rebuilt around the organ.
The play action of the organ is Moller’s patented tubular pneumatic action. This allows the touch of the keys to remain light and even when playing full organ with all couplers drawn. This was considered a major improvement in the organ of the period.
Special care was taken in voicing the various stops as to combine power, delicacy and richness of tone. Each stop gives its distinctive quality and quantity of tone to the general balance of the organ.
There are 579 pipes on the Moller organ, some of which are made of metal and some are made of wood. These pipes sit on the Moller Duplex Chest, which allows each set of pipes to be played on either keyboard. The result is an organ with tonal flexibility found only in much larger instruments.
The cost of the organ in 1912 was $2,000, of which $500 came from Andrew Carnegie, whose practice was to help churches own a fine organ. In today’s market this organ would cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the last 100 years beautiful organ music has filled the sanctuary of the First Universalist Church. The late Forest Perkins, renowned organist, was music director and caretaker of the Moller organ for many years.
On Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. current organist Donna Hurd will pull out all the stops for Music on a Sunday Afternoon concert. There will be many musicians performing a variety of music from show tunes to folk music on flute, piano, guitar and of course organ. There is no charge for the concert, but donations will be accepted at the door.