St. Mary’s RC Church

103 W Seventh St

Oswego, New York 13126

What a grand instrument in a wonderful room! This instrument was manufactured by Casavant Fréres Ltée in 1925 as their Op. 1071. It is located in a tower chamber on the right side of the chancel, with façades facing into the chancel as well as the nave.

The instrument’s location under the tower has caused numerous problems over time, with roof leaks drenching the instrument. Casavant completely releathered the organ and made a few tonal changes in 1990. Unfortunately, the roof leaked yet again soon thereafter and a portion of the instrument became unplayable.

After further roof work was done, the church contracted with Kerner & Merchant to make substantial repairs. The first order of business was installing a pitched roof of corrugated plastic above the instrument to prevent any further water leakage from reaching any part of the organ.

Further work included replacing the original Great and Choir wind chests. The non-duplexed stops of the Great are placed on pitman chests, and the stops duplexed between the Choir and Great are on electro-pneumatic unit chests. In 1990, Casavant installed a new Mixture for the Great, placing it outside of the expression chamber which housed all other Great stops. In our rebuild, we placed the mixture with the rest of the Great division, and added a three rank Cornet. We also moved one of the Great Open Diapason ranks to just behind the façade facing into the nave, to provide more support for congregational singing.

The majestic façade had also experienced some nature aging issues. Over the years, the case towers had started to sag. We installed extra supports to brace them, correct the issue and prevent any further sagging in the future. At some point in the instrument’s past, the case pipes had been repainted silver. Not only was the paint not applied well, it also showed every speck of dust and dirt imaginable. We removed all of the case pipes, hammered out all of the dents, stripped, and refinished them with gold automotive lacquer. This will ensure that the organ looks as wonderful as it sounds for many decades to come.

As one might expect from an instrument of this vintage, the original combination system, keying system, coupler switches and unit switches were showing signs of age. Thus, the console was fully rebuilt and the entire instrument was rewired with a new control system from Matters, Inc.

This generously scaled instrument has never sounded better!