A Quaker Meeting
13205 Philadelphia Street
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The present instrument, a product of the Harris Organ Company here in Whittier, was purchased for the sum of $67,000 and installed in the meetinghouse in a space specifically designed by the architect in 1975. The casework and console are made of mahogany and construction took two years. Following is information supplied at the time by the manufacturer regarding the instrument:
“The new Harris organ for First Friends Church, which is presently under construction, will be contained within four basic tonal enclosures, which will be arranged across the front of the meetinghouse. The instrument will consist of 37 registers comprising 52 ranks and a total of 2,620 pipes. The largest bass pipes will be made of flamed copper and will be arranged across the font of the instrument’s case. The largest pipe will be approximately twelve inches in diameter and will be over sixteen feet tall. The balance of the interior pipe work will be made of a tin-lead alloy with some of the registers being made of wood.
A long study of more than 20 years by the builder sets the background for the design of this organ. His varied experiences included many journeys in Europe making technical studies of more than fifty important organs in France, Germany and Holland.
In addition to the tonal achievements of this instrument, the Harris Organ will contain many unique features in its construction. The wind system and the wind-chests are designed to be very compact and easily accessible for maintenance. A specially-designed all-electric action, along with an entirely solid-state key and stop action system, provide a precise and unusually responsive action.”
The instrument is equipped with a moveable four manual and pedal draw knob console. Originally equipped with a novel combination action developed by the builder utilizing a card reader that would read combination cards marked with a pencil like a school exam, the combination action has been replaced with a solid-state system with multiple memories. A quiet stop of two ranks, Unda Maris, was added to the original Swell division.
The late George L. Davidson (1918 - 2010) served as organist from 1946 until his retirement in 2005. Our present organist, Russ Litchfield, is a graduate of Whittier College and also serves as Director of Music Ministries.
The tradition of music—excellent—spiritually uplifting music from a variety of styles and genres—is deep-seated in the life of Whittier First Friends.
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Created 18-Oct-99 - Revised 18-Aug-2010