Church of the Ascension - NYC (Photo: John Rust)
  Click on images to enlarge
Church of the Ascension
(Episcopal)

36 Fifth Avenue at 10th Street
New York, N.Y. 10011
http://www.ascensionnyc.org


Organ Specifications:
36 Fifth Avenue at 10th Street (since 1841)
IV/111 Pascal Quoirin (2010)
IV/81 Holtkamp Organ Company, Op. 1809 (1967)
IV/69 Skinner Organ Company, Op. 860 (1931)
III/48 J. W. Steere & Son (1912)
• III/42 George S. Hutchings, Op. 388 (1895)
II/24 Hilborne L. Roosevelt, Op. 129 (1884) – Gallery
II/21 Thomas Hall or Henry Erben (1842) – Gallery
Canal Street, near Broadway (1829-burned 1839)
• Henry Erben (1830) – burned (1839)


1831 etching of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension - New York City (H. Fossette, NYPL)  
Church of the Ascension (1831)  
The Protestant Episcopal Church of the Ascension was organized in 1827. Construction began the next year on the society's first edifice, located on the north side of Canal Street, just east of Broadway. Designed in the Greek Revival style by Ithiel Town and Martin E. Thompson, the church was completed and consecrated in 1829. Only ten years later, in 1839, this edifice burned to the ground, and the society met in various places for the next two years while making plans to erect a new church. On the Canal Street plot would rise the French Catholic Church of St. Vincent de Paul, completed in 1841.

The present edifice, notable as the first church to be built on Fifth Avenue, was designed by Richard Upjohn and consecrated in November 1841. The interior was remodeled in 1885-89 by McKim, Mead, and White, and includes many outstanding sculptures, mosaics and paintings.
         
  Pascal Quoirin organ (2010) in Church of the Ascension (Episcopal) - New York City (photo: Tom Ligamari)
Pascal Quoirin
Saint Didier, Provence, France (2010)
Mechanical action with 3-manual console
Electric action with 4-manual console
99 stops, 111 ranks







A new organ for the Church of the Ascension was built by Pascal Quoirin of St. Didier, a town near Carpentras in Provence, France. This organ is the first French-built organ ever to be installed in New York City. The core of the instrument is a three-manual classical organ (Grand-Orgue, Positif, Echo/Récit, and Pédale) controlled by a three-manual mechanical action console. A second, movable console of four manuals with electric action controls the classical core as well as many other stops intended for symphonic repertory, including a large French Romantic Grand Récit Expressif. In particular, the organ has been designed to play the works of Olivier Messiaen, and includes every registration called for by Messiaen.

Pascal Quoirin organ (2010) in Church of the Ascension (Episcopal) - New York City (photo: Tom Ligamari)  
The instrument is situated in the front of the church on two sides of the chancel. Four organ facades—two on each side—include elaborate wood carvings of peacocks, inspired by the peacocks of the 1880 marble reredos. Two trompettes en chamade, one on each side of the chancel, face each other in the manner of the historic Spanish organs.

The organ was dedicated on Sunday, May 1, 2011, in a service featuring Dennis Keene, organist & choirmaster, and the choir of the Church of the Ascension. Jon Gillock played the first inaugural recital on May 5, 2011. The dedicatory series continued with concerts by the Voices of Ascension, and solo recitals by Francis Chapelet and Christoph Bossert.
               
Grand-Orgue (Manual I) – 61 notes
16
  Montre
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
16
  Bourdon
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Montre
61
2
  Flûte
61
8
*
Second
61
    Grande Fourniture 2 rgs
122
8
  Flûte traversière
61
    Fourniture 4 rgs
244
8
  Bourdon
61
    Cymbale 4 rgs
244
8
  Gambe
61
    Cornet 7 rgs [TF]
308
5 1/3
  Gros Nasard
61
16
  Bombarde
61
4
  Prestant
61
8
  1ère Trompette
61
4
*
Second
61
8
  2ème Trompette [chamade]
61
4
  Flûte ouverte
61
4
  Clairon
61
3 1/5
  Grosse Tierce
61
    Tremblant
61
2 2/3
  Quinte
61
8
*
Trompette harmonique
GRéc
               
Positif (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Quintaton
61
1
  Flageolet
61
8
  Montre
61
    Fourniture 4 rgs
244
8
  Flûte conique
61
    Cymbale 3 rgs
183
8
  Bourdon
61
16
  Basson
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Trompette
61
4
  Prestant
61
4
  Clairon
61
4
  Flûte conique
61
8
  Cromorne
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
    Tremblant  
2
  Doublette
61
 
*
Positif 16'  
2
  Quarte de Nasard
61
 
*
Positif Annule Unisson
 
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
 
*
Positif 4'  
1 1/3
  Larigot
61
8
*
Trompette harmonique
GRéc
               
Récit-Echo (Expressif) (Manual III – mechanical console; Manual IV – electric console) – 61 notes
8
  Bourdon
61
8
  Basson
61
4
  Flûte allemande
61
8
  Hautbois
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
8
  Voix humaine
61
2
  Flûte
61
8
  Clarinette
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
    Tremblant  
8
  Trompette
61
8
*
Trompette harmonique
GRéc
               
Grand-Récit Expressif (Manual III – electric console only) – 61 notes
16
*
Bourdon
61
 
*
Plein-jeu 5 rgs
305
8
*
Principal
61
 
*
Sur-cymbale 3 rgs
183
8
*
Flûte harmonique
61
16
*
Basson
61
8
*
Bourdon
61
8
*
Trompette harmonique
61
8
*
Gambe
61
4
*
Clairon harmonique
61
8
*
Voix céleste
61
8
*
Basson-Hautbois
61
8
*
Aéoline
61
8
*
Voix humaine
61
8
*
Aéoline céleste
61
 
*
Tremblant  
4
*
Prestant
61
 
*
Récit 16'  
4
*
Flûte octaviante
61
 
*
Récit Annule Unisson  
2 2/3
*
Nasard harmonique
61
 
*
Récit 4'
 
2
*
Octavin
61
8
*
Trompette harmonique
61
1 3/5
*
Tierce harmonique
61
       
               
Pédale – 32 notes
32
  Bourdon
32
4
  Flûte [ext. 8' Bourdon]
12
16
  Flûte
32
3 1/5
  Tierce [ext. 6 2/5']
12
16
  Principal
32
2
  Quinzième [ext. 4' Prestant]
12
16
  Bourdon [ext. 32']
12
    Plein-jeu 4 rgs
128
16
*
Petit Bourdon
GRéc
32
  Bombarde
32
10 2/3
  Grande Quinte
32
16
  Bombarde [ext. 32']
12
8
  Flûte [ext. 16']
12
16
  Basson
32
8
  Violoncelle [ext. 16' Principal]
12
8
  Trompette
32
8
  Bourdon
32
8
  Basson [ext. 16']
12
6 2/5
  Grande Tierce
32
4
  Clairon [ext. 8' Trompette]
12
5 1/3
  Quinte [ext. 10 2/3']
12
8
*
Trompette harmonique
GRéc
4
  Prestant
32
       
             
Couplers
    Tirasse G.O. 8'
*
Récit – G.O. 16'
 
*
Tirasse G.O. 4'
*
Récit – G.O. 8'
    Tirasse Pos. 8'
*
Récit – G.O. 4'
 
*
Tirasse Pos. 4'
*
Echo – G.O. 16'
 
*
Tirasse Réc. 8'   Echo – G.O. 8'
 
*
Tirasse Réc. 4'
*
Echo – G.O. 4'
    Tirasse Echo 8'
*
Récit – Positif 16'
 
*
Tirasse Echo 4'
*
Récit – Positif 8'
 
*
Positif – G.O. 16'
*
Récit – Positif 4'
    Positif – G.O. 8'
*
Echo – Positif 16'
 
*
Positif – G.O. 4'   Echo – Positif 8'
     
*
Echo – Positif 4'
             
Adjustable Combinations
   
  Mechanical Console
Grand-Orgue  
Positif  
Récit-Echo  
Grand-Récit  
Pédale  
General 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb & toe)
  Enregistrer [Set] (thumb)
  Annuler [General Cancel] (thumb)
  Tirasse G.O. (thumb & toe)
  Tutti (thumb & toe)
Electric Console
    1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
    1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
    1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
 
*
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
    1-2-3-4-5 (toe)
    1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb & toe)
    Enregistrer (thumb)
    Annuler (thumb)
    Tirasse G.O. (thumb & toe)
    Tutti (thumb & toe)
             
Piston Sequencer Controls (◄= Previous; ►= Next)
   
  Mechanical Console
Man. I   ► under e29/f30
Man. II ◄ under d3 ► under e29/f30
Man. III ◄ under d3 ► under e29/f30
Man. IV n/a n/a
Pédale ◄ left of Exp. ► right of Exp.
Console Shell ◄ & ► on both sides
Electric Console
  ► under e29/f30
◄ under d3 ► under e29/f30
  ► under e29/f30
◄ under d3 ► under e29/f30
◄ left of Exp. ► right of Exp.
◄ & ► on both sides
             
Accessories
    Expression Pedal – Echo-Récit   Rossignol (drawknob)
 
*
Expression Pedal – Grand-Récit (Chancel shades)
*
Cloches [Tower Bells] – coupler rail
 
*
Expression Pedal – Grand-Récit (Nave shades)
*
Récit Boîtes II / I – coupler rail
 
*
Expression Pedal – Crescendo
*
Annuler Crescendo Péd. – toe stud
           
* electric console only
           
  Holtkamp Organ (1967) in the Episcopal Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
   
  Holtkamp Organ (1967) in the Episcopal Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Holtkamp Organ Company
Cleveland, Ohio – Opus 1809 (1967)
Electric key, stop and combination action
4 manuals, 67 stops, 81 ranks



Under the leadership of Vernon de Tar, Organist and Choirmaster from 1939-1981, a new organ was built in 1967 by the Holtkamp Organ Company of Cleveland, Ohio. At Mr. de Tar's insistence, Holtkamp provided a fourth manual for a Solo division that incorporated selected ranks from the previous Ernest M. Skinner Organ, Opus 860 (1931), although the Skinner reeds were revoiced to play on lower pressure. The retained Skinner ranks were from the Solo (Flauto Dolce, Flute Celeste, English Horn, French Horn and Orchestral Oboe), Swell (Vox Humana) and Choir: (Clarinet).

Holtkamp installed the organ on both sides of the chancel. To the left of the chancel were exposed pipes of the Great, Positiv and Pedal divisions, behind which was the enclosed Swell division. On the opposite side of the chancel was a chamber for the enclosed Solo division, the tonal opening of which was masked by a façade. The detached four-manual stop-key console was on a raised platform between the choir stalls and pulpit, allowing the organist to direct and hear the divided choir.

The organ was dedicated at the 11am Morning Prayer service on Sunday, January 15, 1967. In lieu of the usual sermon, Vernon de Tar played a "sermon in music" – organ works from many centuries and nationalities – and the choir sang grand anthems. One week later, Mr. de Tar played the dedicatory concert. In the next months several great organists were heard in recitals, including Robert Baker, André Marchal, Charles Krigbaum, Jack Hennigan, Marilyn Mason and Leonard Raver.

After 43 years of service, the Holtkamp organ was used for the last time on Sunday, December 27, 2009. The organ was sold to a family for their Oregon residence.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Quintadena
61
2
  Hohlflöte
61
8
  Principal
61
1 1/3
  Quinte
61
8
  Gemshorn
61
 
  Mixture IV ranks
244
8
  Gedackt
61
 
  Scharf III ranks
183
4
  Octave
61
16
  Dulzian
61
4
  Spitzflöte
61
8
  Trumpet
61
2
  Superoctave
61
 
     
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
1
  Octavin
61
8
  Geigen Principal
61
 
  Sesquialtera II ranks
`122
8
  Gamba
61
 
  Plein Jeu V ranks
305
8
  Voix Celeste [GG]
54
16
  Fagott
61
8
  Rohrflöte
61
8
  Trumpet
61
8
  Dolce
61
8
  Oboe
61
4
  Gemshorn
61
4
  Clairon
61
4
  Bourdon
61
 
  Tremolo  
2
  Doublette
61
 
     
               
Positiv Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Spitzflöte
61
2
  Blockflöte
61
8
  Copula
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
4
  Praestant
61
1 1/3
  Quinte
61
4
  Rohrflöte
61
 
  Fourniture III ranks
183
2 2/3
  Nazard
61
 
  Cymbal III ranks
183
2
  Octave
61
8
  Cromorne
61
               
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed [from Skinner Organ, Op. 860]
8
  Flauto Dolce
61
8
  Orchestral Oboe
61
8
  Flute Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Vox Humana
61
4
  Principal
61
    Solo Unison Off  
16
  English Horn
61
    Solo to Solo 16'  
8
  Trompette
61
    Solo to Solo 4'  
8
  French Horn
61
    Clarinet to Positiv  
8
  Clarinet
61
    Tremolo  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Untersatz [ext.]
12
2
  Nachthorn
32
16
  Principal
32
 
  Rauschquinte II ranks
64
16
  Subbass
32
 
  Mixture IV ranks
128
16
  Quintadena
GT
32
  Basun
32
16
  Bourdon
SW
16
  Posaune
32
8
  Octave
32
16
  Dulzian
GT
8
  Flauto
32
8
  Trumpet
32
4
  Choralbass
32
4
  Schalmey
32
4
  Flute
32
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal   Swell to Great
    Swell to Pedal   Positiv to Great
    Positiv to Pedal   Solo to Great
    Solo to Pedal   Swell to Positiv
               
Adjustable Combinations (by Setterboards inside chamber)
   
Solo Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Positiv Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb & toe)
Entire Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb & toe)
Entire Organ Pistons 9-10 (toe only) – added later
  General Cancel (thumb)
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)   Solo to Pedal (toe)
    Swell to Pedal (toe)   Full Organ (toe)
    Positiv to Pedal (toe)    
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal      
    Balanced Solo Pedal      
    Crescendo Pedal      
           
   
  Holtkamp Organ (1967) in the Episcopal Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
     
Holtkamp Organ (1967) in the Episcopal Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)   Two Setterboards of the Holtkamp Organ (1967) in the Episcopal Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
  Vernon de Tar at the Skinner Organ, Op. 860 (1931) in Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Robert Lockridge)
  Vernon de Tar at Skinner Console
  Rebuilt console of Skinner Organ, Op. 860 (1931) originally in Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Robert Lockridge)
  Renovated Skinner Console
Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 860 (1931)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 70 stops, 69 ranks, 4,251 pipes




In 1931, the Skinner Organ Company of Boston rebuilt and enlarged the 1912 J. W. Steere & Son organ, itself a rebuild of the original chancel organ built in 1895 by George S. Hutchings. Skinner added a Solo division in a new chamber on the right side, and an Echo division in a gallery chamber. Tone openings of the chancel divisions were masked by pipe screens. The four-manual drawknob console was in a shallow pit and attached to the case on the left side of the chancel.

The Skinner organ was replaced in 1967 by a new Holtkamp organ that retained five of the Solo stops (Flauto Dolce, Flute Celeste, English Horn, French Horn and Orchestral Oboe), plus the old Swell Vox Humana and Choir Clarinet. The Echo division was sold to St. Paul's Church, Chestnut Hill, Penn. The console was removed by James McGregor, organ curator from 1949-2009, and sold to Douglas Pennoyer, Bernardsville, N.J. In 1983, the console was acquired by Robert Lockridge, who renovated it by replacing the removed combination action, swell shoes, etc. The color photo at right shows the Ascension console after the renovation.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes (5" pressure)
16
  Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  First Diapason
61
4
  Harmonic Flute
61
8
  Second Diapason
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth *
61
8
  Third Diapason *
61
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Doppel Flute
61
   
Harmonics V * [15,17,19,b21,28]
305
8
  Gemshorn
61
    Chimes +
SO
8
  Flute Harmonique *
61
 
 
+ This knob to cancel Great stops
and Great couplers
8
  Viol d'Amour *
61
   
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (5" pressure)
16
  Contra Gamba
61
2
  Flautino
61
8
  Diapason
61
 
  Mixture V * [15,19,22.26,29]
305
8
  Hohlflöte
61
 16
 
Posaune [new + existing Cornopean]
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Cornopean *
61
8
  Viole
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Viole Celeste
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Quintadena
61
4
  Clarion *
61
4
  Octave Viole
61
 
  Tremolo  
4
  Flauto Traverso
61
 
     
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (5" pressure)
16
  Dulciana
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Diapason
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Melodia
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Keraulophone
61
    Chimes
EC
8
  Aeoline
61
8
  Harp
SO
8
  Unda Maris
61
4
  Celesta
SO
4
  Flute d'Amore
61
       
               
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" pressure)
8
  Diapason *
73
16
  English Horn *
73
8
 
Gross Flute [existing Great rank]
73
8
  Orchestral Oboe *
73
8
  Orchestral Flute *
73
8
  French Horn * [12"]
73
8
  Flauto Dolce *
73
8
  Tuba * [12"]
73
8
  Flute Celeste [TC] *
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Gamba *
73
   
Chimes *
25 tubes
8
  Gamba Celeste *
73
8
 
Harp
61 bars
4
  Chimney Flute *
73
4
  Celesta
               
Echo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed (5" pressure)
8
  Echo Dulcet *
61
8
  Vox Humana *
61
8
  Echo Dulcet Celeste *
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Cor de Nuit *
61
   
Chimes [from old organ]
25 tubes
4
  Fern Flute *
61
       
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes ("Augmented")
32
  Bourdon
54
8
  Gross Flute [Diap. Metal]
16
  Diapason (Wood)
42
8
  Violoncello
16
  Diapason (Metal)
54
8
  Gedeckt
16
  Violone
42
4
  Fifteenth * [Diap. Metal]
16
  Bourdon
16
  English Horn
SO
16
  Dulciana *
CH
16
  Trombone * [12"]
42
10 2/3
  Quint
8
  Tromba *
8
  Octave [Diap. Wood]
    Chimes
SO
           
* new ranks added by Skinner
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir 8'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Solo to Choir 8'
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Great to Solo 8'
    Solo to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Solo 8'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir to Solo 8'
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Swell 16', 4'
    Solo to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir 16', Unison Off, 4'
    Solo to Swell 8'   Solo 16', Unison Off, 4'
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-0 (thumb) Pedal to Man. Combs. On & Off
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-0 (thumb) Pedal to Man. Combs. On & Off
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-0 (thumb) Pedal to Man. Combs. On & Off
Solo Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-0 (thumb) Pedal to Man. Combs. On & Off
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-0 (toe)  
Entire Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)  
  General Cancel (thumb)  
               
Mechanicals
    Swell Expression [Mechanical]   Solo to Great Reversible
    Choir Expression [Mechanical]   Solo to Pedal Reversible
    Solo & Echo Expression [Electric]   New Booster blower for Solo
    General Crescendo Pedal       and Pedal H.P. wind
        with indicators as at Brick Church   Reversibles for Tremolos by pedals
    Sforzando Reversible   Echo On and Off
    Great to Pedal Reversible   Solo On and Off
    Swell to Great Reversible   Solo Off Crescendo
           
J. W. Steere & Son
Springfield, Mass. (1912)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 46 stops, 48 ranks



In 1912, the Hutchings chancel organ (Op. 388, 1895) was rebuilt by J.W. Steere & Son, who reused many pipes from the previous organ. Dr. William C. Carl, organist at nearby First Presbyterian Church, opened the new organ, and subsequent recitals were given by Scott Wheeler and Felix Lamonde.

Lynnwood Farnam (1885-1930), noted concert organist of the early 20th century, was in the habit of writing down specifications and comments of the organs he visited and played. An entry dated February 16, 1922, includes the following specification of the 1912 Steere organ at Church of the Ascension. Farnam commented: "Beautiful-toned instrument. Effective pedal. 32 unusually good. ORGANIST – Miss Jessie Craig Adam."
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Diapason
61
8
  Gross Flöte
61
8
  First Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Second Diapason
61
4
  Flue Harmonique
61
8
  Gamba
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Gemshorn
61
    Mixture, 5 ranks
305
8
  Gedeckt
61
8
  Trumpet
61
8
  Doppelflote
61
 
     
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Viol
61
4
  Flauto Traverso
61
8
  Diapason
61
 2
  Flautino
61
8
  Viol
61
    Dolce Mixture, 5 ranks
305
8
  Viol Celeste
61
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Hohlfloete
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Quintadena
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Octave Viol
61
       
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Dulciana
61
8
  Unda Maris
61
8
  Diapason
61
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
8
  Keraulophone
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Melodia
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Aeoline
61
 
  Tremolo  
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
32
  Bourdon
54
10 2/3
  Quint
16
  First Diapason (Wood)
42
8
  Flute [1st Diap.]
16
  Second Diapason (Metal)
42
8
  Octave [2nd Diap.]
16
  Violone [unit]
42
8
  Violoncello
16
  Bourdon
8
  Gedeckt
       
 
     
Couplers (rocking tablets)
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell 16', 4', Unison Off
    Choir to Pedal   Choir 16', 4', Unison Off
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'    
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Chimes to Great
    Great to Swell 8'   Chimes to Swell
               
Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 & Release (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 & Release (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2 & Release (thumb)
  Pedal Release (0)
  General Release (00)
         
Pedal Movements/Accessories
    Balanced Choir pedal   Great to Pedal reversible (foot)
    Balanced Swell pedal   Sforzando reversible (foot)
    Balanced Crescendo pedal   Swell Tremolo reversible foot)
        Choir Tremolo reversible (foot)
           
George S. Hutchings Co.
Boston, Mass. – Opus 388 (1895)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 42 ranks



At the end of the 19th century, the Church of the Ascension, like so many other churches, reconfigured their building and moved the choir from the gallery to the chancel. To accompany the choir, a chancel organ was built in 1895 by the George S. Hutchings Co. of Boston. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Hilborne L. Roosevelt
New York City – Opus 129 (1884)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 22 stops, 24 ranks



In 1884, Hilborne L. Roosevelt of New York City built a new gallery organ, replacing the earlier Henry Erben organ from 1842.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Rohr Flöte
58
8
  Viola di Gamba
58
2 2/3
  Octave Quint *
58
8
  Dulciana
58
2
  Super Octave *
58
8
  Melodia
58
8
  Clarinet *
58
4
  Octave
58
   
* enclosed in Swell box
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
4
  Gemshorn
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Hohl Flöte
58
8
  Salicional
58
    Cornet, 3 ranks
174
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Quintadena
58
8
  Oboe
58
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
       
               
Couplers (operated by On and Off pistons under manuals)
    Swell to Pedal       Swell to Great  
    Great to Pedal       Swell to Great Octaves  
               
Mechanical Accessories
    Swell Tremulant   Eclipse Wind Indicator
    Bellows Signal    
               
Pedal Movements
    Great Organ Forte   Swell Organ Forte
    Great Organ Mezzo   Swell Organ Mezzo
    Great Organ Piano   Swell Organ Piano
         
    Balanced Swell Pedal  
[Great to Pedal Reversible?]
           

Original organ in present church:

Thomas Hall or Henry Erben
New York City (1842)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 19 stops, 21 ranks



The original organ in the present edifice was built in 1842, allegedly by Henry Erben of New York City, and installed in the rear gallery. However, according to the American Musical Directory of 1861, this organ had "2 banks keys, 20 stops, 2 octaves pedals" and was "Built by Thomas Hall, in 1842." In the Hall & Labagh Ledger the specifications of the organ are transcribed twice, so it seems quite possible that the organ was in fact built by Thomas Hall.

A description and specification of the this organ appeared in The New York Herald (Aug. 11, 1842):

"THE NEW ORGAN in the elegant church of Ascension, corner of Fifth Avenue and Tenth street, was publicly exhibited yesterday afternoon to a large concourse of ladies, gentlemen, amateurs and laymen. It was constructed by Henry Erben, the organ builder of this city, whose reputation and works extend throughout all our populous towns. The front of this magnificent instrument is finished in black walnut, to correspond with other parts of the church, the appearance of which would be materially improved, however, by reducing the height of the railing around the enclosure that encompasses the choir. While present, "God save the King," with variations, was elegantly played by Mr. Alpers, and "Hail Columbia" by Harrison. Mr. Timms also gave some specimens of his execution, which combined, presented the powers of the noble instrument to the audience, which appeared highly gratified.

"The full notes of the trumpet and dulcet tones of the flute were remarked as quite superior. The peculiarities of this instrument are, that the swell runs the whole gamut of the keys. The large pedal stop is 16 feet in height, with 37 pipes. It also has two sets of finger keys, one set of pedal keys, three composition pedals, with two couplers, one of which connects the great organ and swell, and one the octaves. Another connects the pedal and great organ, and a fourth the pedal and swell. The great organ contains the following stops: [see below]

"The cost of the instrument is $3,500.

"The seat of the organist, with the keys and stops, are thrown forward of the instrument in such a manner as to allow him to sit upright instead of the customary leaning position, which is a valuable improvement in its construction. The performance of the organ was such as gave full satisfaction to all who witnessed it."
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 54 notes
  Open Diapason
54
  Twelfth
54
  Stop Diapason
54
  Fifteenth
54
  German Flute *
54
    Sixqualtra [sic] [3 ranks]
162
  Principal
54
  Trumpet
54
           
* may have been an 8' stop starting at t.c.
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 54 notes, enclosed
  Open Diapason
54
  Cornet, 2 ranks
74?
  Stop Diapason
54
  Trumpet
37
  Dulciana
42
  Clarionet
37
  Flute
42
  Hautboy
37
  Principal
42
  Bassoon Bass
17
               
Pedal Organ – 25 notes?
[16]
  [Open Diapason]
37
       
[8]
  [Open Diapason]
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great       Great to Pedal  
    Swell to Great Octaves       Swell to Pedal  
               
Mechanicals
    3 Composition Pedals   [Tremulant?]
    [Swell Pedal]   [Bellows Signal]
           
Organ in church on Canal Street:

Henry Erben
New York City (1830)
Mechanical action


In the gallery of the original Church of the Ascension was an organ built in 1830 by Henry Erben of New York City. This organ burned with the church in 1839. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolian-skinner.110mb.com/
     American Musical Directory. New York: Thomas Hutchinson, 1861.
     American Organ Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specifications of Hilborne L. Roosevelt organ, Op. 129 (1884). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     "Ascension Organ Rebuilt by Steere," The Diapason (April 1, 1913).
     "Church of the Ascension, New York, New York," The American Organist (April 2011).
     Church of the Ascension web site: http://www.ascensionnyc.org
     Dolkart, Andrew S. and Matthew A. Postal. Guide to New York City Landmarks (Third Edition). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004.
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Farnam, Lynnwood. Specification of J. W. Steere & Son organ (1912) in an "Organ Notebook" (p. 1475). John de Lancie Library, The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia; Sally Branca, Archivist. Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Holden, Dorothy. The Life and Work of Ernest M. Skinner. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1987.
     Holtkamp Organ Company advertisement, The American Organist (March 1966). Specifications of Holtkamp Organ (1967).
     Keene, Dennis. "Farewell, Dear Friend. Goodbye to the Holtkamp organ," life at ASCENSION newsletter (Dec. 2009-Jan. 2010). Published by the church.
     Keene, Dennis. Specifications of the Pascal Quoirin organ (2010).
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn, comp. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List (New Revised Edition). Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     The New York Herald (Aug. 11, 1842). Item about Henry Erben organ (1842). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977.
     "Pipework," The American Organist (Sept. 2008). Description of Pascal Quoirin organ (2010).
     Skinner Organ Company Shop Notes for Skinner organ, Op. 860 (1931). Courtesy Allen Kinzey.
     Trupiano, Larry. Electronic correspondence (3/10/2013) with information about 1842 in Hall & Labagh Ledger.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications (Apr. 20, 1931) of Skinner Organ, Op. 860.

Illustrations:
     Burton, Charles (artist); engraved by H. Fossette (1831). Church of the Ascension on Canal Street at Exchange Place. Collection of New York Public Library.
     Lawson, Steven E. Interior; Holtkamp Organ (1967).
     Ligamari, Tom. Pascal Quoirin organ (2010).
     Lockridge, Robert. Vernon de Tar at console of Skinner Organ, Op. 860 (1931); renovated Skinner console. Courtesy Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site.
     Shankbone, David. Exterior.