The history of the organ begins in the middle of the 19 th century with George Stevens (1834-1892), a very famous organ builder in his day. He built the very fine casework (woodwork) for the organ. This instrument consisted of only one manual (keyboard) and used façade pipes (just for show, they did not sound) in the front. After World War II, the Andrews Organ Company of Essex, Massachusetts removed the original Stevens organ and substituted a new
instrument… however, they left the casework from George Stevens and still left façade pipes in the front.

In 1972, this organ needed replacement. A committee was formed by the church and through their due diligence, and after what was much discussion, the committee decided that a pipe organ, as opposed to an electronic instrument, was the path the church would take. The Andrews Organ Company was no longer in existence; therefore, the committee
selected the Berkshire Organ Company of West Springfield to build another organ. It was decided that the façade pipes and the casework would be incorporated into the new instrument.

The casework was slightly cut down and a new console was installed using the footprint of the prior organ. A second manual was added and the pipes for this manual were placed on a “projection” from the loft railing… that is what one sees when looking at the organ… all those pipes sticking out. The façade pipes were used for the pedals. The tonal design for the organ was a classic “Northern German” sound which was chosen to insure maximum versatility and
suitability for the accompaniment of hymns and service music for South Church. The organ was fitted with electric actions controlled by solid-state switching and coupling. (Some of these solid-state switches were the reason the organ needed some work this past summer to get it to a functioning capacity.)

The new instrument from the Berkshire Organ Company cost $16,375. A dedicatory recital was held on Jun 1, 1975 by a guest organist from North Carolina, Dr. Harold Andrews, Jr; however, Dr. Andrews was a Cape Codder who received his earliest music instruction from Virginia Fuller, who also served on the Organ Committee. Dr. Andrews played many pieces of which have been played recently by me… mostly Bach.

From that recital comes this “Litany of Dedication”:

Minister: To the glory of Almighty God, Author of all goodness and beauty, Giver of all skill of mind and hand, who has dealt so wondrously with us; That we may add to our worship of Him through the singing of hymns of praise,
People: We dedicate this organ.
Minister: To a telling through music of the old, old story of redeeming love: That men may be led to surrender their lives and hearts to Christ,
People: We dedicate this organ.
Minister: To bear up the melody of psalm and hymn and anthem in such wise: That men may go forth from this house of God with high resolve to do His holy will,
People: We dedicate this organ.
Minister: To comfort the sorrowful, To cheer the faint, To bring purity and peace into human hearts,
And to lead all who hear it in the way of eternal life.
People: We dedicate this organ.