The Miller-Scott Organ

Overview

The Miller-Scott Organ is one of North America’s most significant new pipe organs. In addition to supporting the parish’s internationally-renowned liturgical and musical life, the Miller-Scott Organ serves as a showcase for recitalists from all over the world and helps Saint Thomas train the next generation of organists.

In this article from the September 2017 issue of Organists’ Review Erik Wm. Suter provides a brief history of organs at Saint Thomas Church since 1913. He explains how the Miller-Scott Organ fits into this tradition and the ways in which it fulfills the complex needs of both performers and parishioners at the church. Mr. Suter delves into the technical and aesthetic considerations of both the organ itself and how it interacts with the rest of the building both visually and sonically.

Great planning was put into the complex and intricate Miller-Scott Organ. It is a tribute to John Scott, the musical excellence at Saint Thomas, and the dedication of its parishioners.

Complete Specifications


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How large is the Miller-Scott Organ?
It contains 7,069 pipes.

2. Does it contain any pipes from the former instrument (the Arents Memorial Organ)?
Absolutely. Fifteen sets of pipes, including some of the largest existing wooden ones, have been rebuilt and reinstated; these include the very softest sounds, several flutes and strings, and some specialty trumpet stops.

3. How is the new case designed and decorated?
Much of the form is derived from precedents throughout the rest of the building, and Gothic revival style in general. In the 1913 north organ case, the imagery is taken from Psalm 150: trumpet and lyre, string and well-tuned cymbal, are now visible as never before, thanks to new lighting. The new case takes as its program the themes of Music, Ministry and Praise. Engraved texts include “Soli Deo Gloria” (to God alone the Glory), and quotations from the Psalms. There are portraits of those important in the recent life of Saint Thomas Church, including Dr. Gerre Hancock and Dr. John Scott, our Rector Emeritus, Fr. Mead, and Irene and William Miller, whose benefaction has been central to the creation of the Miller-Scott Organ.


Dedication of the Irene D. and William R. Miller Chancel Organ in Memory of John Scott

You can listen to the Dedication Recital, played October 5, 2018, by Daniel Hyde. The liturgical dedication took place at Solemn Eucharist on October 7, 2018, which, appropriately, was also the Feast of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church. That Mass, featuring Jean Langlais’ Messe Solenelle and music of former St Thomas Organists and Choirmasters. You can listen to an on-demand webcast of this service as well.