The Pipe Organ, built by J.W. Walker & Sons, is located in Nordhoff Hall, room 107. With twenty-three ranks and 1,777 pipes, it was built to the sound of a French-classical instrument.
About the Organ
Following an aggressive campaign for contributions to the "Organ Fund," the Music Department's concert organ was delivered, installed and ready for performances in the Fall of 1992. Located in an "acoustically friendly space," the Northridge Center of the University Student Union, the organ brought together large audiences during its Inaugural Organ Concert Series beginning with a Dedicatory Recital performed bye the late Dr. Samuel John Swartz, on September 12, 1992.
The beautiful organ's sound was silenced, however, following $28,000 worth of damage caused by the 1994 Earthquake. In August of 1994, the organ was dismantled and sent to its builder in England to begin the repair process. Experts at J.W. Walker & Sons, Ltd., established what could be salvaged and began the long task of rebuilding the organ. It was during the repair process that a decision was made by the Music Department to make alterations and augmentations to the original instrument and bring it to the style of the French-classical organ.
An entire year went by and the organ, finally was returned to the campus in the Summer of 1995. This organ, built by the J.W. Walker & Sons Company, Suffolk England, is in the style of the 19th century French Romantic Symphonic school. It consists of 20 stops and 23 ranks. Of the 23 ranks, 3 are completely made of wood and 2 are partially made of wood.
Wood stops add warmth and "full bodiedness" to the sound that is critical for a perfect balance. It has 1,777 pipes, the smallest being 3/8 of an inch and the tallest being 16 feet. It is mechanical action -- meaning that the connection between the keys and pipes is all done with wood and metal rods and no electricity is involved.
The case is made of American Red Oak and the interior is Rock Maple and Poplar for the frame and windchests. The key and pedalboards are made of Maple and Black Wood and the entire instrument weighs in at a graceful 17,000 pounds.
The pressure dispositions are as follows - the Grand Orgue is under 3-3/16 inches of pressure, the Recít is under 3-3/8 inches of pressure and the substantial foundation of the organ, the Pedalé is pumping 4 inches through its pipes.
About the Organ Maker
J.W. Walker & Sons, Ltd., Organ Makers
J.W. Walker and Sons (England), can trace roots back to the celebrated 16th century builder, Thomas Dallam. The oldest surviving Walker instrument is a small chamber organ dating from 1832 which is in the company's possession. J.W. Walker has installed over 2000 organs since 1828.
Royal patronage came to the company in 1880 and it proudly holds the Royal Warrant to this day. After a century and a half in London, Walker's moved to the country and built a workshop in the Thetford Forest where traditional crafts flourish beside modern technology such as computer-aided design and manufacturing.