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Valparaiso University
Valparaiso, Indiana

Chapel of the Resurrection

Valparaiso University, a Lutheran liberal arts institution, was founded in 1859. Under the dynamic leadership of Pres. O. P. Kretzmann, the University commissioned Buffalo, New York organbuilder Herman Schlicker to construct an organ for its recently completed chapel. A contract for the organ was signed on September 27, 1957 at a cost of $68,000. These funds paid for about three-quarters of the entire specification, the price of which would have been $98,000. Paul Bunjes of Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois, was retained as consultant. The instrument was dedicated at the morning Eucharist on September 27, 1959, and was featured that evening in a recital by E. Power Biggs to a record audience of over 2,000 people.

The famous collaboration between Schlicker and Bunjes resulted in a revolutionary and ground-breaking design for the organ. The instrument was an early example of Neo-Classic organ building, based on the then-novel Werkprinzip concept. The organ was the only American organ to be featured in the 14th edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, and most of the great concert organists of our time have performed on it.

Three purposes guided the building and design of this instrument: first, that it be a fitting leader for liturgical worship; second, that it faithfully accommodate a wide variety of organ literature in recital (particularly the music of Bach and his contemporaries); and finally, that it be a useful teaching instrument. It has been exemplary in all three respects throughout its many years of service.

Naturally enough, these years have taken their toll on the instrument. Furthermore, the fact that the organ had never been completed began to cause concern for its future as a pre-eminent teaching and recital instrument. By 1992 these concerns resulted in feasibility studies of its completion and restoration conducted by Jack Bethards and Lynn Dobson. As a result, on May 25, 1994, a contract was signed with the Dobson Pipe Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa to refurbish and complete the instrument.

Our work included the complete releathering of the organ, construction of an entirely new console to a design that honored Schlicker’s original while accommodating new features, installation of a new solid state electrical system, reconfiguration of the placement of the Great and Pedal chests, repair of the façade pipes with additional racking to better support them, and construction and voicing of new pipes and the necessary windchests to complete the organ. That Schlicker’s original tonal design should be respected was a guiding principle; nevertheless, some revoicing was undertaken to correct speech or to improve the balance between stops.

With the addition of 29 new ranks of pipes, the organ is now complete. The original specification called for several new flutes to be added to Great and Pedal, completion of the reed choruses in both of those divisions and the addition of a number of mutations so that each division now has a complete cornet. Some significant modifications were made to the Schlicker/Bunjes design. Instead of two soft 4’ reeds in Swell and Positiv, and Vox Humana and French Cromorne were substituted, respectively. More 8' sound seemed necessary, so the Salicional and Principal 8' were added to these divisions as well, taking the place of the envisioned Schwegelschwebung II (a 4' celeste) and an Quintadena 8', respectively. Originally, the fourth division was to be a Brustwerk based on a Principal 2'; however, an expressive Solo divisions was put in its place.

The instrument was re-dedicated at the morning Eucharist on September 15, 1996, and was featured that afternoon in a recital by John Scott, Organist and Director of Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, to an audience of over 2,000 people, echoing the record crowd of the 1959 dedication.

Schlicker Organ Company, 1959
Paul Bunjes, Consultant

Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, 1996

GREAT pipes
16' Principal 61
8' Aequalprincipal 61
8' Holzfloete * 61
8' Gedacktfloete 61
4' Octave 61
4' Hohfloete 61
2-2/3' Quinte 61
2' Octave 61
1-3/5' Grobterz * 61
V-VII Mixture 2' 389
IV Scharf 1' 314
16' Fagott* 61
8' Trompete 61
4' Klarine * 61
8' Trompeta Real (horizontal) 61
Swell I to Great 8'
Swell I to Great 4'
Swell II to Great 16'
Swell II to Great 8'
Swell II to Great 4'
Positiv I to Great 8'
Positiv II to Great 8'
Solo to Great 16'
Solo to Great 8'
Solo to Great 4'
SWELL (I and II separately expressive)
16' Gedacktpommer I 68
8' Principal I 68
8' Rohrfloete II 68
8' Salicional * II 61
8' Gamba II 68
8' Celeste FF II 63
4' Octave I 68
4' Spitzfloete II 68
2-2/3' Nasat II 61
2' Waldfloete II 61
II Schreipfeife * 1-3/5, TC II 93
IV-V Plein Jeu 1-1/3' I 292
16' Helle Fagott I 68
8' Helle Trompete I 68
8' Schalmei II 68
8' Vox Humana * II 61
4' Helle Klarine I 61
Tremolo I
Tremolo II
Swell I to Swell I 4'
Swell I Unison Off
Swell II to Swell II 16'
Swell II to Swell II 4'
Swell II Unison Off
Positiv I to Swell
Positiv II to Swell
Solo to Positiv
8' Principal * II 61
8' Holzgedackt I 61
4' Principal I 61
4' Rohrfloete II 61
2' Klein Octave II 61
2' Blockfloete I 61
1-1/3' Klein Nasat II 61
II Sesquialtera 2-2/3 I 122
IV-V Scharfmixture 1' I 297
III Klingende Zimbel 1/5' II 183
16' Holzdulzian I 61
8' Chalumeau * I 61
8' Krummhorn II 61
Tremolo I
Tremolo II
Positiv I Unison Off
Positiv II Unison Off
SOLO (expressive)
8' Principal * 68
8' Harmonic Flute * 68
8' Viola * 68
8' Celeste * FF 63
4' Octave * 68
4' Traverse Flute * 68
V Cornet 8' * (unenclosed, mounted) 160
8' Trumpet * 68
8' Clarinet * 68
8' Trompeta Real (Great)
Solo to Solo 16'
Solo to Solo 4'
Solo Unison Off
Great to Solo
Swell to Solo
Positiv to Solo
32' Principal (digital)
32' Bourdon (digital)
16' Holzprincipal 32
16' Principal (Great)
16' Kontrabass 32
16' Subbass 32
16' Gedacktpommer (Swell)
8' Octave 32
8' Gemshorn 32
8' Floetenbass * 32
5-1/3' Quinte * 32
4' Choralbass 32
4' Querfloete 32
2' Nachthorn * 32
III Rauschpfeife * 2-2/3' 96
V Mixture 2' 160
32' Bombarde (extension of Posaunenbass) 12
16' Posaunenbass 32
16' Trombone 32
16' Fagott (Great)
16' Dulzian (Positiv)
8' Trompete 32
4' Kornett 32
2' Zink 32
8' Trompeta Real (Great)
Great to Pedal
Swell I to Pedal
Swell II to Pedal
Positiv I to Pedal
Positiv II to Pedal
Solo to Pedal
* indicates stops added by Dobson in 1996
All Swells to Swell
Great/Positiv Manual Transfer
Pedal Divide
256 levels of memory
8 Great divisional thumb pistons
8 Swell divisional thumb pistons
8 Positiv divisional thumb pistons
8 Solo divisional thumb pistons
8 Pedal divisional thumb & toe pistons
Great to Pedal Reversible thumb & toe piston
Swell I to Pedal Reversible thumb & toe piston
Swell II to Pedal Reversible thumb & toe piston
Positiv I to Pedal Reversible thumb & toe piston
Positiv II to Pedal Reversible thumb & toe piston
Solo to Pedal Reversible thumb & toe piston
Tutti Reversible thumb & toe piston
4 Crescendo settings (one fixed, three programmable)
     with crescendo bar graph indicator
Solid State Logic List System (40 generals, 99 steps)
Solid State Logic MIDI system and performance recorder
MIDI stops not affected by couplers

View of the chapel through the Swell II expression shades.
Photo courtesy Paul Serresseque


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Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd.
200 North Illinois Street • Post Office Box 25
Lake City, Iowa 51449 USA
+1 712 464 8065

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