Welte Tripp Organ
Installed in 1929, and lovingly restored in 2001, the Welte-Tripp organ at Church of the Covenant is a masterpiece in the American Symphonic Organ tradition. The pipes are designed to imitate an array of instruments, ranging from the harp to the French horn, this organ is especially well-suited for orchestral transcriptions which were so popular during the early part of the 20th century. (Imagine Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre or Wagner’s Prelude to Tristan und Isolde, played on the pipe organ…). An eclectic repertoire is typical for Church of the Covenant where, on any given Sunday, you might hear the music of Messiaen and Michael Jackson, or Bob Marley and Bach.
The Welte-Tripp Philharmonic Organ, Opus 287, is the last original installation of the renowned German-American firm. It’s a testament to the company’s symphonic ideals and artistic voicing.
The instrument was contracted in 1927, and even though the Welte Corporation was near bankruptcy, the entire effort of the failing company was dedicated to completing its last instrument to the usual standards of perfection. It was finished in April 1929.
A major restorative reconstruction was completed with a rededication concert in September 2001.
The organ contains more than 4,500 pipes ranging in length from 30 feet to less than an inch. The pipes are located behind the ornamental oak and plaster grill work on either side of the chancel. The Swell and Solo Divisions on the left, and the Choir and Great Divisions on the right.
Wind pressures from the 25 horsepower blower range from 3 1/2 inches for the unenclosed Great Diapasons to 15 inches for the Solo Tuba. Tonal additions and alterations have altered the character of the instrument toward greater flexibility in worship service playing.