The OHS Pipe Organ Database

St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church
816 Union Street
Schenectady, New York 12308

OHS Database ID 9267.

See the address on Google Maps.

Awards

This organ received OHS Citation number 348, 2006-06-29.


Status and Condition

The organ is in an unaltered state from its installation as described on this page.
The condition of the organ is in not known or has not been reported to the Database.
We received the most recent update on this organ's state and condition January 21, 2008.
If you can assist us with information concerning the current condition of this organ, please use the form accessible through the "Update" button.


Technical Details

Electro-pneumatic (EP) chests.

Three manuals. 64 stops. 52 ranks. Manual compass is 61 notes. Pedal compass is 32 notes.

The organ is in side chambers at the front of the room, with visible façade pipes or case front. Traditional style console with roll top.

Stop keys on angled jambs. Balanced swell shoes/pedals, standard AGO placement. Concave radiating pedalboard. Crescendo Pedal. Reversible full organ/tutti thumb piston. Reversible full organ/tutti toe stud. Combination action thumb pistons. Combination action toe studs.

Notes

  • New Console, 1934 (OHS PC Database. October 30, 2004)
  • OHS 2006 (James Cook. June 15, 2006)
  • Updated through online information from Brendan Moore. -- The organ is located on the left side of the circular balcony of the church. While the Diapasons and Flutes are big and bold, the reeds are set far in the chamber, making them difficult to hear. Also, as of 2008, the organ is playable, but there are some dead notes and the 8' Vox Humana is not working. (On an interesting note, the Vox Humana has a separate tremolo that activates when the stop key is depressed) (Database Manager. January 21, 2008)

Online Documents

Currently we have no online documents associated with this organ entry. If you can provide us with digital files of contracts, correspondence, dedication programs, or any similar items, please follow this link to our document upload form to send them to us.

If you would like more information about documents included in the Database, please see our Documents Information page.

Bibliography

  • Pinel, Stephen. "Church of Saint John the Evangelist, R.C., Schenectady: Hutchings-Votey Organ Co., Opus 1510 (1904)," 2006 Organ Atlas: Capital District Region, New York State (pp. 64-69). [History, complete description, stoplist and photographs]

Other Websites

The database contains no links to external websites that describe this organ. If you know of any sites that contain information about it, please use the Update form to send us the URL.

Photographs

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Manual keyboards. Photo by Brendan Moore 2006-12-30
Right stop jamb. Photo by Brendan Moore 2006-12-30
Left stop jamb. Photo by Brendan Moore 2006-12-30

Pipe organs in New York sponsored by Foley-Baker, Inc.

If you can provide us with additional photographs, you may upload them through our online form. For further information please see our expectations for adding photographs.

 

Stoplist

When they are available, stoplists for organs are included in the Database. To make corrections in stoplists that you see here, please send details via e-mail to stoplists@organsociety.org rather than submitting a new stoplist through our online form.

  • Typed stoplist from the OHS PC Database.

  • St. John the Evangelist, R. C., Schenectady, NY
    1904 Hutchings-Votey 
    (Stoplist: Agnes Armstrong 1998)
    
    GREAT:
    16' open diapason
    8' first open diapason
    8' second open diapason
    8' gross flute
    8' gemshorm
    8' gamba
    8' chimney flute
    4' octave
    4' flute harmonique
    2 2/3' octave quint
    2' super octave
    III mixture
    16' posaune
    8' trumpet
    4' clarion
    
    SWELL:
    16' contra gamba
    8' open diapason
    8' quintadena
    8' concert flute
    8' viol d'orchestra
    8' salicional
    8' vox celeste
    8' aeoline
    8' stopped diapason
    4' violina
    4' flute traverso
    2' flautina
    III dolce cornet
    16' contra fagott
    8' cornopean
    8' oboe
    8' vox humana (has its own tremolo)
    tremolo
    
    CHOIR:
    16' lieblich gedeckt
    8' open diapason
    8' geigen diapason
    8' melodia
    8' dolcissimo
    8' gedeckt
    4' fugara
    4' rohr flute
    2' harmonic piccolo
    8' clarinet
    4' saxophone
    chimes
    tremolo
    
    PEDAL:
    16' open diapason
    16' bourdon
    16' violone
    8' flute (extension)
    8' gedeckt (extension)
    8' violoncello
    10 2/3 quint (extension)
    16' trombone
    8' tromba
    
    
    The organ is playable, but in an accelerating state of deterioration due to its 
    age. Up until World War II, it was used regularly, but after the war, it was 
    reported that the organ had become "unplayable" - in fact, as was
    discovered in the early 1970s, the old blower motor was simply incompatible with 
    the (presumably changed) municipal electrical current. Schenectady being the 
    home of Steinmetz and birthplace of the General Electric Corporation, the place 
    abounds with retired electrical engineers, and some of them were able to 
    re-phase the motor. Lo and behold! the organ played again. Perhaps it is this 
    ignorance and disinterest that managed to save this organ, for instead of 
    solving the original problem, the congregation brought in a big Allen and placed 
    it right next to the Hutchings console.  I am told that there are times when 
    both instruments are used together (gasp)!
    
    Since the 1970s maintenance work has been carried on largely by volunteers 
    connected with the local chapter of the Theatre Organ Society, who also look 
    after "Goldie" - the big Wurlitzer at Schenectady's Proctor's Theatre. 
    
    Sometime in the 1930s, the Hutchings-Votey's console innards were rebuilt using 
    parts from Erie and Hagerstown companies. These replacement parts are in very 
    poor shape. Presently, releathering is carried on "as needed", which is to say 
    that in Guilmant's "Marche funebre et chant seraphique" when I play the 12-bar 
    low pedal trill against large chords on the full organ, the poor old thing gasps 
    as though being strangled.
    
    The sounds of the organ are/could be impressive, if one appreciates them in the 
    context of their time. Certainly the Vox Humana is one of the most delightful 
    examples of the Late Romantic style that I have ever encountered.
    The foundations are round, the flutes and strings are lush. The upperwork is 
    lightweight, and the organ rumbles more than it screams, which is just right for 
    the repertoire I prefer to play. The organ is chambered in a corner
    of the balcony, and the organist sits sidewise to the installation, which is odd 
    at best - only the organist's right ear hears the full sound. And many of the 
    pipes are so far away as to create multiple, unsolvable delay problems.
    
    Still, this is surely an organ worthy of being played, worthy of being heard, 
    and certainly worthy of a full restoration.
    
    Agnes Armstrong
    
    
  • Typed stoplist from the OHS PC Database. Plain text; will open in a new window or tab.