The tracker organ at Augustana Lutheran Church was installed in 1978. The organ is a beautiful instrument of high quality and is built according to principles which are widely acknowledged as the most reliable mechanically, and the most satisfying artistically. The instrument is comprised of two manual divisions plus pedal, and consists of 17 stops, or voices. The keyboard divisions are named HAUPTWERK (main keyboard or Great) and the BRUSTWERK (Swell). These divisions are clearly defined visually with the chief manual division and pedal located in the upper and larger section of the organ and the secondary manual division located just above the music rack behind hand-operated doors.
The playing action of the organ is “direct mechanical,” which means that a system of levers respond precisely to the player’s fingers in admitting wind to the pipes. The only electrical component of the organ is the blower motor which provides the wind for the instrument.
The placement of the organ in the front of the worship area at Augustana affords many musical advantages. Liturgically, the musical leadership is with the worshipping congregation rather than set apart in another room. This location permits an easy egress and rather even distribution of organ tone throughout the room, a factor which contributes greatly to the ease with which congregational singing is supported. Then, too, this location, along with the compactness of the organ, permits great flexibility in the arrangement of chairs for singers and instruments in this musically diverse congregation.
The case of the organ is made from solid white oak and serves as a “sounding board” or chief resonator for the pipes as well as projecting the sound into the room. The pipe shades located at the top of each pipe tower and in the Brustwerk doors are hand carved. These pipe shades provide an acoustical function as well as enhancing the visual appearance.
Karl Wilhelm, the builder of the organ, was originally from Germany and received most of his training in Europe, primarily in Germany and Switzerland. He came to North America to be the director of the mechanical action division of a large Canadian organ building firm. In 1966 he began his own shop and built many instruments throughout the United States and Canada. The organ at Augustana Lutheran Church was his first instrument in Minnesota.
HAUPTWERK BRUSTWERK PEDAL
Prinzipal 8’ Gedackt 8’ Subbass 16’
Rohrfloete Rohrfloete 4’ Offenfloete 8’
Oktabe Prinzipal 2’ Choralbass 4’
Nazard Quinte 1-1/3’ Trompete 8’
Superoktave Aimbel II-III 2/3’
Terz 1-3/5’ Regal 8’
Mixtur IV 1-1/3’ Tremelo
Zimbelstern (added later)
One manual coupler and two pedal couplers (1,126 pipes).
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