Organ

Coming in 2025…Orgues Létourneau Ltée (Opus 140)!!!! 

St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown San Antonio, is thrilled to announce that Orgues Létourneau of Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec—an international leader in pipe organ design, construction, restoration and tonal finishing for over 40 years—is under contract to replace the church’s two existing organs with the Orgues Létourneau Ltée, Opus 140 at a cost of $2 million. Rooted in Lutheranism’s strong musical heritage, organ music has been at the heart of St. John’s since the church was established in 1857. Investing in a world-class instrument of incomparable quality, St. John’s reaffirms its commitment to the future excellence of fine and sacred arts in the community.

Considerable deliberation went into finding the right design and builder, and Orgues Létourneau Ltée provided the best fit for St. John’s unique project, despite the company’s three-year-plus waitlist for their highly demanded instruments. The new organ is designed not only for the space and acoustical character of St. John’s but to provide for extreme performance versatility, making it like none other in the South Texas region.

While some churches or venues may have two organs, they are usually separate types of instruments such as an electric or continuo organ in one area and a separate pipe organ in another. Other spaces have only one console (or keyboard) and lack the ability to play the instrument from more than one place even though they may have pipe divisions in separate locations, restricting performance possibilities.

The newly built Létourneau instrument will have pipework divided between both ends of the nave for superior “surround-sound” acoustics. The entire organ will be playable from one of two identical 3-manual consoles, also located at either end of the space, with 56 stops, 52 ranks, and 2,936 pipes. The instrument will be prepared for the later addition of seven stops, which will increase the organ’s totals to 64 stops, 60 ranks, and 3,347 pipes once installed. Létourneau’s design will refurbish 27 ranks of pipework from the church’s existing Möller organs, thus preserving an extensive part of St. John’s legacy and honoring the investments of the past.

Because of the impeccable reputation of the Létourneau company, installing this instrument will not only be a great enhancement for worship at St. John’s, but leverage and grow our community outreach, allowing us to establish an organ recital series; offer innovative performance and collaborative possibilities; attract musicians of international renown; and develop educational programs such as an “Organ Scholar” program similar to our Choral Scholars where students can learn the art of organ playing.

The award-winning Killis Almond Architects, which specializes in historic preservation and restoration, will oversee the restoration of original 1932 building aspects and the re-design of the gallery in preparation for the organ installation. Elevated pipe chambers in the gallery will facilitate a much-improved layout of the choir loft, adding floor space for the choir and improving overall safety and visual aesthetics in the loft. Design of the organ chambers and gallery will be made in consultation with architectural acoustician Anthony Shou of Kirkegaard South LLC to maximize the acoustical impact of the space and the new instrument.

If you would like to help support this exciting organ project, please click here.  For more information on partnering with St. John’s Music Series for events once the organ is installed, contact the church at info@stjohnssa.org.

Donate to the Church Organ Fund

If you would like to contribute to this exciting organ project, please click here.

Before and After – Click to Enlarge

Financing for this project was secured through the Mission Investment Fund.

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