The Hauptwerk console, built by Ortloff Organ Co of Brookline, Mass., was installed in August 2016. Its initial purpose is to provide temporary organ leadership in the chancel of Saint Thomas Church in the 22-month period between the removal of the Arents Organ and the arrival of the Miller-Scott. At that time, the Hauptwerk console moves to Saint Thomas Choir School to serve as a practice instrument.
Hauptwerk technology reflects a new idea in digital organ thinking. Most digital organs have attempted to simulate a pipe organ through sounds sampled from various instruments. The Hauptwerk model does not try to create its own tonal palette, but instead to recreate specific historic instruments through intensive, specific sampling. Thus, Hauptwerk technology has found widespread application in homes and studios, allowing regular exposure to the timbres and balances of historic organs for practice and study. Dozens of historic organs are available; the 1874/1934 Willis at Salisbury Cathedral is the sample set presently loaded onto the Saint Thomas Hauptwerk.
During this interim period, the principal instrument for hymns and voluntaries remains the Loening-Hancock (Taylor & Boody 1996, expanded in 2016 with a third manual and additional registers).