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College Heights United Methodist Church, Lakeland, Fla

Three Manuals, Thirty-One Ranks

Front view photo of new 3-manual, 31-rank Schlueter pipe organ installed at College Heights United Methodist Church in Lakeland, Florida

The new organ at College Heights United Methodist Church replaced their existing pipe organ that was constructed out of a 1920’s theater organ converted for church use. This instrument was located on the third floor in chambers to the right and left of the chancel with an exposed cantilevered chest for the Great Principal.

The new instrument is in chambers that were con-structed on the central axis of the building behind new grilles in the chancel wall. An exposed speaking faηade was conceived of bass pipes from the Great and Pedal divisions that followed an arched pattern and are divided to each side of the cross. The church also remodeled the room to provide better acoustics. The rear wall of the church was improved with solid surfaces by the elimination of ornamental Masonite and felt. Additionally the front of the chancel was re-designed with the chancel receiving a hardwood floor. The wooden floors under the pews were retained.

The organ as designed includes unenclosed Great and expressive Swell and Choir/Positiv divisions. The Great division is designed after American Classic traditions while the Swell is designed along Franco/ English tonal lines. It acts as a foil to the Great, and provides sufficient expressive resources for accompaniment of the choir. The Choir/Positiv division is a bridge between the choral accompaniment needs and a literature-inspired division.

The console is built of soft maple for the exterior with an interior of mahogany with ebony division dividers. The movable console features multiple memory levels, programmable crescendo, programmable sforzando, and MIDI with record and playback capability.