The Pillar Church Pipe Organ
When the congregation, which is now Pillar Church, first began to worship in western Michigan, the only music was the singing of the psalms led by a voorzinger who did little more than set the pitch. In July 1900 a pipe organ was ordered from the Barkhoff Organ Company at a cost of $1,809. Three members agreed to serve as organists. They would not be paid, but the consistory did agree to heat the sanctuary on Thursdays so they could practice. Since the organ was installed before the church was wired for electricity, it was pumped by hand.
The addition of a motor was considered in 1920, but rather than rebuild the organ, a contract was signed with the Hinner’s Organ Company in 1928 for a new electro-pneumatic organ. The Barkhoff organ was removed, so the oldest pipes in the present organ date back to the 1928 instrument.
The current organ has been rebuilt and expanded four times. In 1966, the Stoltz Piano and organ Company of Holland moved the console to the east side of the platform and 305 pipes were added. In 1996, as part of a major refurbishing of the sanctuary, the Lauck Pipe Organ Company was contracted to upgrade and rebuild the organ. The console was moved to the west side of the platform and some pipes were moved to the front. This improved sound and more closely resembles the façade of the Barkhoff organ of 1900. Twenty-five new ranks were also added.
In 1999, the Lauck Pipe Organ Company was again contracted to expand the organ with a new three manual console to accommodate additional stops and a new Choir division bringing the organ to a total of 32 ranks.
Another upgrade of the organ took place in the spring of 2003 by the Lauck Pipe Organ Company. Major construction took place in the organ chamber rearranging the entire configuration. New wind chests for the Great division and the Pedal division were built along with a new enclosure with expression shades for the Choir division. A total of nine new ranks of pipes were added including two 32’ electronic Bourdon tone generators. The organ is now at 44 ranks with a three manual console and can now be properly identified as a Lauck Pipe Organ.
The latest upgrade was completed in December, 2012.
Pillar Church hosts summer organ concerts on Wednesdays.
2016 Organ Concert Schedule:
JUNE 1 Marie Blauwkamp
JUNE 8 Dr. Carrie Groenewold DMA
JUNE 15 Julia Collingsworth
JUNE 22 Stephen Terpstra
JUNE 29 Dr. Chris Dekker DMA
JULY 6 Dr. Joy Schroeder DMA
JULY 13 Rob Hlebinsky
JULY 20 Dr. Thomas Fielding DMA
JULY 27 Benjamin Kolodziej
AUGUST 3 Dr. Pamela Ruiter Feenstra DMA
AUGUST 10 Richard VanOss
AUGUST 17 David Schout
AUGUST 24 David Heinze
AUGUST 31 Jonathan Tuuk
Lauck Pipe Organ, 3 Manuals, 44 Ranks.
Organ Specs: Download by clicking here.