Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church

306 North Division Street, Ann Arbor, MI   48104
734 663.0518  |

The Organ Project

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need a new organ?

Commissioned in 1971, the Reuter organ was designed to last 30-35 years. The electronic components are now 45 years old. Thirty percent of the organ no longer works, forcing the organist to try and work around non-functional stops and pipes.

VIEW a complete list of problems facing the Reuter organ [PDF]
VIEW a short history of the organs of St. Andrew's [PDF]
LEARN MORE about why Episcopalians value organs [PDF]

Why can't we just repair the current organ?

We could. However, electro-pneumatic organs like the Reuter organ are only designed to last for 30-35 years. In contrast, a new tracker organ (if properly maintained) will last hundreds of years. Over time, the cost of a new tracker organ is significantly lower than renovating our existing organ or purchasing another electro-pneumatic instrument.

VIEW the budget and financial information

What type of organ are we getting?

Our new organ will be a tracker (or mechanical action) organ. In a tracker organ there is a physical connection between the keys and the pipes. This long lasting technology does not depend on electrical or mass-produced components and can last for hundreds of years.

LEARN MORE about the new organ
LEARN MORE about tracker organs [PDF]
LEARN how a tracker organ is made [PDF]
VIEW a short history of the organs of St. Andrew's [PDF]

How much will it cost?

Our estimated project budget is over $1.8 million. As of January 2016, nearly $1.2 million has been raised.

If funds we raise exceed the budget, the surplus will be placed in a special maintenance fund for ongoing care of the organ, allowing future generations to continue St. Andrew's rich musical heritage.

VIEW the budget and financial information

How long will the project take?

We hope to complete the fundraising for the project by the end of 2016. In 2017 architects will draw up designs for the placement of the organ. Construction of the instrument is scheduled to begin in 2019, and will take 14-18 months. Installation of the instrument should start in 2020.

Are the designs drawn?

Designs have not yet been drawn. The plan is that the organ will be installed in the first bay along the north wall of the church (where the bell choir currently plays). The wheelchair ramp will be moved to the south side of the chancel.

What will happen to the Bishop Brent (N1) and Venerable Bede (N2) windows?

The windows will be moved to the rear of the north wall and installed in the N11 and N12 locations which currently have painted glass windows instead of stained glass.

Who is building the new organ?

In November 2015 the Vestry authorized the signing of a contract with Richards, Fowkes & Co. of Ooltewah, Tennessee.

Richards & Fowkes have made several visits to St. Andrew's to learn about our sanctuary and parish. We are confident that they will build an instrument that will serve St. Andrew's well into the future.

LEARN why Richards, Fowkes & Co. is right for St. Andrew's [PDF]
VIEW Richards, Fowkes & Co.'s overview of our organ

How can I contribute to the Organ Project Fund?

We invite you to contribute to the building of this beautiful new instrument and we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you in person to answer any questions that you may have before you pledge. Pledges can be paid at once, or they can be paid in increments over a period of up to four years. The pledge form can be downloaded HERE. Once you have filled it in, please mail it to the church office:

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
Attn. Kathy McPherson
306 N. Division St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104