The Miller-Scott Organ

Summer Carvings

Click or tap the image below to see Summer '16 work from the carving shop of Dennis Collier. Highlights include:

  • Work on the St Mark shade portrait sculpture and a finished master sculpture of the same shade.
  • An example of a lower wing corner bracket.
  • Completed panels for the lower section of the organ case.

The master carving of the St Mark shade.

Conservation and Preparation

Many tasks are necessary in order to receive the new Miller-Scott organ, particularly the large new case on the south side of the chancel. Click or tap the photo below to see and learn more. In the photos you'll see the work that's being done in:

  • Andrew Hall: a major element in attaching the new organ case to the building is the introduction of a steel beam inside the common wall of the south organ chamber and Andrew Hall. Many months ago, the wall paneling was removed so that no time would be wasted in the compressed 12-month schedule for completing all renovations necessary to receive the new organ. Work began immediately following the completion of the removal of the Arents organ. The scaffold and protection aids the restoration and reinstallation of stained glass windows along the 53rd Street wall. The tile wall construction in this area is being removed and prepared to receive the steel beam.
  • The Nave: in the nave, a basic cleaning of the reredos stone has already been completed. The north side scaffolding enables specialist conservation workers to reach every crevice of the 1913 organ case. The goal here is to clean and wax this century-old wood, and to repair any minor cracks or damage encountered.
  • The North and South Case: not only is the main organ case being conserved, so too are the intricate decorative screens that front the two organ chamber openings nearest the reredos. Smaller scaffolding setup has been erected for that purpose.

Scaffolding on the north and south chambers

The Decommissioning of the Arents Memorial Organ

During the weeks of June 12 and June 19 the Arents Memorial, the great organ of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue for 60 years, was deconstructed and removed from the church in preparation for the installation of the Miller-Scott Organ. You can click or tap the photo below to see a photo gallery chronicling the decommissioning process.

A view from the east gallery

Time Lapse Video: Windline Construction

Here we see the process of making a few windlines for the new organ. These are ducts that carry the pressurized air through the organ.

Leather Skiving

In this video we see the skiving of leather used for expansion joints. These joints are placed at strategic places in the wooden ductwork that connects the organ’s bellows to the windchests, on which the pipes stand. Skiving prevents the edge of the leather from being snagged, and gives a tidy cosmetic finish."

In this video, you can see the long edges of a strip of specially tanned cowhide being skived, or thinned by cutting. This operation can be done by hand with a very sharp knife, but it is much faster and more consistent to use a special skiving machine to do it. Our particular machine was originally used in a Tennessee shoe factory.

Slider Solenoid Boards

Individual sets of pipes or “stops” in the organ are turned on by admitting air into them through perforated strips called “sliders”. The sliders are moved by specially-designed solenoids, which are magnetic linear motors. Each stop is operated by one solenoid.

Below you can access a gallery of some of these slider solenoid boards for the Miller-Scott Organ. Each photo contains a caption with a brief explanation of the image.

Slider Solenoid Boards