Organ Installation at UT

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The new organ has 41 sets of pipes and three keyboards.
June 23, 2006

One-of-a-Kind Concert Organ Installed at UT

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee’s handcrafted, one-of-a-kind concert organ is an awe-inspiring instrument. At more than 20 feet tall, with nearly 2,500 pipes and three keyboards, the organ will be a beautiful addition to the recently renovated Alumni Memorial Building.

Built by Richards Fowkes & Co. in Ooltewah, Tenn., craftsmen began installation of the organ Friday, June 16, to the left of the stage in Alumni Memorial Building’s Cox Auditorium.

Pre-installation work began in late May as the wind system was installed and pieces of the instrument were brought to Knoxville.

Each piece of the organ is hand-made and was already assembled once in its entirety in Ooltewah to ensure everything works as it should, explained John Brock, a sacred music professor in the School of Music. The craftsmen then disassembled the organ to move each piece and reconstruct it in the auditorium, he said.

Plans to renovate the Cox Auditorium began in the mid-1990s, said Brock, and the plan has always included an organ. The auditorium’s renovations were completed in 2003, transforming the school’s historical basketball gymnasium into a state-of-the-art auditorium.

Read the full story at The Tennessee Today: Current News from UT.

View the original concept drawings of the organ at Richards, Fowkes & Co.

More articles about this organ and the installation can be found in The Tennessee Alumnus, The Knoxville News Sentinel, The Daily Beacon, and on WATE, Channel 6 news website.