Organ

The Cathedral has a magnificent four-manual French Romantic organ built by the firm of Lively-Fulcher. In addition to being played at Mass and other liturgies, the organ is featured each year in concerts and recitals that are always free and open to the public.

Great Organ Completion Update - 175th Anniversary Campaign 

We are thrilled that 160 households have contributed more than $60,000 to our campaign to complete our wonderful organ in time for the 175th Anniversary of the Parish. We still have quite a ways to go, but we are confident that we will achieve our goal. This month we are hoping you will consider making a donation to this worthy effort or adding to your existing contribution.

If you are 70 ½ or older, you may wish to take advantage of a Charitable IRA Rollover, which allows you to make charitable distributions from you IRA accounts directly to the Organ Completion Fund. Gifts can be made up to $100,000 and can be used to offset your minimum required distribution. Your charitable distribution must be arranged through your IRA plan administrator no later than December 31, 2013, at which time the law governing Charitable IRA Rollovers will expire.

Making a gift of appreciated stock is another tax-friendly way to make a year-end gift. With the stock market at an all-time high, this is the perfect time to consider transferring highly appreciated stocks to the St. Matthew’s Organ Completion Fund. You will avoid capital gains tax, and will get a charitable deduction equal to the full value of the donated stock.  Most importantly you will be helping us to complete this last project that remains from the Cathedral Restoration.

Please consult your tax or financial advisor before making a gift. For more information, please contact Tom Stehle at tstehle@stmatthewscathedral.org.

History of the Organ

The Cathedral has enjoyed a rich musical tradition dating back nearly 100 years. Its first instrument is said to have been a mechanical action organ that was placed in the wall opening of the former Sacred Heart Chapel, the present Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

In 1951, that first instrument was replaced by a large electro-pneumatic organ contained in a chamber behind the wall of the chapel. Because of the unfavorable location of the instrument, it was difficult for the sound to reach the body of the Cathedral. An antiphonal division was added on the back wall during the 1970s in an attempt to correct this problem.

In the early 1980s, mechanical failures in the instrument had become increasingly frequent, much to the dismay of the clergy, musicians, and parishioners. Many parts of the instrument had not worked for years. Following a thorough study of the situation, the clergy and music staff of the Cathedral concluded that, even after costly repairs, the existing instrument would have been unable to perform its primary liturgical functions. The Cathedral decided to obtain a completely new organ that would be free-standing and encased, employing mechanical actions as its primary means of control.

The new organ case allows the instrument to project its sound directly into the Cathedral nave and eliminates many of the tuning and tonal problems encountered with the previous organ. Mechanical action was chosen for the key action because of its durability and