Organ

1914 marked the formal opening of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. The beautiful architecture cannot go unnoticed. Distinguished musical tradition was accompanied with its magnificent Casavant Frères organ, the world-renowned Canadian firm’s Opus 583. An important figurative echo of our church arrived in 2014 - Timothy Eaton Memorial Church’s Organ Century.

   



MORE THAN INSTRUMENTS

The organ at TEMC plays a significant role in the life of the church, accompanying weekly church services, weddings, concerts and other events.

Built in 1914 by Casavant Frères (Opus 583), the instrument is one of the largest pipe organs in Canada.  It consists of five manuals, 101 ranks, 95 stops and nearly 7000 pipes. The majority of the pipes are located within the walls on either side of the chancel, with the remainder situated at the back of the church.

Toronto is home to three of Canada’s largest pipe organs*, all being Casavants. Another 1914 Casavant of St. Paul’s Bloor Street is a 137 rank, 4-manual organ boasting 7000 pipes. However, this is in turn dwarfed by the 8092 pipes of the much younger (1930) 5-manual cousin at Metropolitan United Church. It is by number of pipes Canada’s largest and just squeaks into the top 50 in the world.

There can be no question that organs in this category are not simply musical instruments. They are marvels of engineering, stunning works of art and craftsmanship. The great church organs have become objects and arbiters of beauty, icons of culture and history, and perhaps most pertinently on occasions like the TEMC Organ Century year, legacies of faith, love and hope. We have surely been bequeathed this musical treasure by those who came before us, and it is our privilege and joy to bequeath it to those who will come after us. 

(*In the rest of Canada, only three churches belong to this club, all having between 6000 and 7000 pipes. They are all located in Montreal: Basilique Notre-Dame, Oratoire St-Joseph, and the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul.)



THE CELEBRATION OF TEMC ORGAN'S FIRST CENTURY

      

Photographs from TEMC`s Organ Symphony Concert. The concert featured the majestic, Symphony No. 3 by Camille Saint-Saëns. The Toronto Concert Orchestra under Maestro Kerry Stratton, with the TEMC Sanctuary Choir under Music Director, Elaine Choi, and Christopher Dawes, Principal Organist.

 

2016 ORGAN PROJECT

To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the instrument, plans were made to update the organ console and add an additional division of pipes at the back of the church, made possible by the generous donations by members of TEMC.

"Phase One" of the project involved the refurbishment of the organ console, which was done by Pole & Kingham. This included the refinishing of the wood, keys, pedals and stop knobs after many decades of use. The organ console looks as if it were brand new again.
 
There were also some major changes made to the electronics and functionality of the organ which will be very useful for the performer. These include the addition of a 200 memory level system on which to set stop combinations for various pieces (previously there were only 8), the addition of a sequencer (an easy way to change stop combinations), a transposer and many additional options that will make the instrument much easier to use and bring it up to par with other major organs in the world.
 
"Phase Two" involved the addition of a new Antiphonal division at the back of the church between the stained glass windows.  The work was done by Casavant Frères.
 
The new division, which includes 11 stops and 1080 pipes, serves to improve the worship experience at the church, adding a “surround-sound” like quality as there are now pipes at both the front and back of the sanctuary. One of the most exciting new stops is the Festival Trumpet 8’, which can be used for trumpet fanfares and the like.  Another unique solo voice added was the Grand Cornet, and finally an array of chorus stops to be used to accompany and alternate with the pipes at the front of the church, including flutes, strings, diapasons and a Mixture.