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In 1907, Ernest M. Skinner Company of Boston installed a four manual organ in Tompkins Avenue Church. Skinner retained the existing facade and 28 ranks from the previous Midmer organ, and also installed an early example of his Orchestral Oboe stop. The organ was played from a compact four-manual "bat-wing" console, its nickname derived from the hinged stop jambs ("wings") on each side that could be positioned at the desired angle; when the jambs were pulled close to the keyboards, a roll-top cover could be closed over the keyboards. Due to their compactness, many did not have enough room for drawknob actions that could be moved by the combinations. However, for this organ Skinner was able to have the knobs visibly move when a combination was engaged. 

 

The organ was dedicated on March 2, 1908 by Clarence Eddy, who was then the organist and choirmaster of the church. On December 3, 1937, famous French organist, Marcel Dupré presented his last American concert for his 1937 tour on this organ, performing Bach's Fantasy and Fugue in G minor; the Allegro from Handel's Organ Concerto No. 10; Mozart's Fantasy in F minor; Sowerby's "Comes Autumn Time," and works of Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Reger, Russell, Schubert and Dupré.

 

The location of the original Skinner console is unknown, however all 49 ranks of this organ are still contained in the chambers. Currently a proposal is being written for the Joseph G. Bradley Foundation, Inc. to help fund the restoration of this organ.

For more information on the AME Zion organization please follow the link below.

http://www.amez.org

 

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