About Our Casavant Frères Organ

About the Organ:
Four manuals and pedals; 54 stops and 67 ranks
Detached, movable drawknob console
Casavant Opus 2085 (1951)
Refurbishment in 2006

The Casavant organ of First Church in Akron was installed in 1951. This instrument was among the first Casavant organs to feature tonal elements inspired by the ideals of the then prevailing American Classic organ style.

In 2006, the organ was completely refurbished, a project as ambitious as the truly spectacular restoration of the Meetinghouse (sanctuary), which received the American Institute of Architects prestigious design award. The first thing worshippers will notice is the impressive organ façade, inspired by the façade of the church’s 1911 Kimball organ, which was removed in 1951.

A new Casavant state-of-the-art four-manual console was installed, which, in addition to being moveable, allows it to be installed in different locations of the choir loft for optimal interaction with choirs and musical instruments. The console is MIDI compatible and features a combination system of 128 levels of memory. The refurbishing work was done onsite and included cleaning of the organ and all the new installations.

The organ contains 4,039 pipes, including new principals and reeds on the Great division, new mixtures on the Swell and Choir divisions, and new principals and flutes in the Pedal division. New digital stops include harp, celesta and two 32’ pedal stops. In order to enhance the organ’s ability to support congregational singing and maintain better airflow in and out of the pipe chambers, Casavant built a beautiful working façade of stenciled pipes surrounded by decorative plaster and woodwork. During the 2006 renovation, the intrinsic musical qualities of the instrument were respected and the overall tonal palette was enhanced so the organ can bloom in the acoustics of the Meetinghouse.

To learn more about the specifics of the organ’s renovation from 2006, please click here.