A. Philip Randolph Campus High School - New York City
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A. Philip Randolph Campus High School

433 West 135th Street at St. Nicholas Terrace
New York, N.Y. 10031


Organ Specifications:
III/31 Estey Organ Company, Op. 2937 (1931)
II/3 Estey Organ Company, Op. 2832 (1929)



The A. Philip Randolph Campus High School, named for the black civic leader, is located in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem on the campus of the City College of New York. The school was established in 1979 as an educational collaboration between the Board of Education and The City College of New York. As one of the city's "magnet schools," Randolph has three programs or "houses" – medicine, engineering, and humanities.

New York Training School for Teachers - New York City (Photo: Estey Organ Company)  
Randolph High School occupies a building designed in the Collegiate Gothic style by William H. Gompert, Architect & Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education. Constructed from 1924 to 1926, the building opened as the first built for the New York Training School for Teachers, established in 1898 to provide elementary school teachers for the Board of Education. The Training School became the New York Teachers Training College in 1931, but a surplus of teachers during the Depression led to the abolishment of the school in 1933.

In 1936, Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia established the High School of Music & Art in the vacant facility, an event he described as “the most hopeful accomplishment” of his administration. The school was made up of three departments: Art, Instrumental Music, and Vocal Music. In 1984, Music & Art and its sister school, the High School of Performing Arts, were merged into a new school, the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts at a new building in the Lincoln Center area of Manhattan.

In 1997, the building was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
 
  Estey Organ, Op. 2937 (1931) at New York Training School for Teachers - New York (Photo: Estey Organ Company)
Estey Organ Company
Brattleboro, Vt. – Opus 2937 (1931)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 49 stops, 31 ranks


In the Great Depression year of 1931, the Estey Organ Company received a welcome and very large contract for seven identical organs to be installed in New York City high schools. The $168,000 contract made the average cost of each organ $24,000. Each organ was equipped with a three-manual console that included ivory keys and an automatic roll-player.

These organs were installed in Jamaica High School (Op. 2932), Far Rockaway High School (Op. 2933), and Richmond Hill High School (Op. 2938) in Queens; Theodore Roosevelt High School (Op. 2934), James Monroe High School (Op. 2935), and DeWitt Clinton High School (Op. 2936) in The Bronx; and the New York Training School for Teachers (Op. 2937), later the High School of Musical Art, in Manhattan.

The Estey organ in the New York Training School for Teachers was installed in two chambers, one on either side of the stage, that were masked with display pipes. This organ was discarded in the 1970s, although the display pipes are extant.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed with Choir (6" pressure)
8
  1st Open Diapason (Heavy)
73
2
  Fifteenth *
61
8
  2nd Open Diapason
73
1 1/3
  Nineteenth *
61
8
  Doppel Flute
73
    Mixture III ranks [draws * stops]
8
  Concert Flute
CH
16
  Tuba [10" pressure]
97
8
  Gamba
73
8
  Tromba [ext.]
8
  Dulciana
CH
4
  Clarion [ext.]
4
  Harmonic Flute
73
    Tremolo  
4
  Octave
73
   
Harp
61 bars
2 2/3
  Twelfth *
61
   
Celesta [TC, from Harp]
49 notes
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" pressure)
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
73
8
  Oboe [synthetic]
8
  Horn Diapason
73
16
  Waldhorn
85
8
  Stopped Flute
73
8
  Cornopean
8
  Viol d'Orchestra
73
4
  Clarion
8
  Viol Celeste
73
8
  Vox Humana [sep. trem. & box]
61
8
  Aeoline
73
    Tremolo  
4
  Traverse Flute
73
    Harp
GT
4
  Violino
73
    Celesta
GT
2
  Flautino
73
       
    Mixture III *
61
   
* 12th & 15th from Flautino; ind. Tierce
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" pressure)
16
  Contra Dulciana
85
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Geigen Principal
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Concert Flute
73
8
  English Horn
73
8
  Dulciana
    Tremolo  
8
  Unda Maris
73
    Harp
GT
4
  Harmonic Flute
GT
    Celesta
GT
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Acoustic Bass
8
  Major Flute [Op. Diap.]
16
  Open Diapason
44
8
  Flute [Bourdon]
16
  Bourdon
44
8
  Dulciana
CH
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
16
  Trombone
GT
16
  Contra Dulciana
CH
8
  Tromba
GT
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Great 16', 4', Unison Off
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell 16', 4', Unison Off
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir 16', 4' Unison Off
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'    
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb) *
Great & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb) *
Choir & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb) *
Pedal & its couplers Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Full Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb & toe)
  * double-touch brings on Pedal stops
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal (hand and foot)   Choir to Pedal (hand and foot)
    Swell to Pedal (hand and foot)   All Swells to Swell
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Crescendo Pedal with indicator
    Balanced Great & Choir Pedal   Sforzando Pedal with indicator
             
  Estey Organ Company "Minuette" onstage at NY Teachers Training School - New York City
  Estey Ad in The Diapason (Jan 1931)
 
  Estey Ad in The Diapason (Jan 1931)
  Estey Organ Company "Grand Minuette" model
  Interior of an Estey Grand Minuette
Estey Organ Company
Brattleboro, Vt. – Opus 2832 (1929)
Electro-pneumatic action
"Grand Minuette" model
2 manuals, 23 stops, 3 ranks



Included the January 1931 issue of The Diapason was an advertising insert for the Estey Organ Company. This insert included photos (shown at right) of an Estey "Grand Minuette" organ on the auditorium stage of the New York Training School for Teachers (now A. Philip Randolph Campus High School).

Estey's first example of a "Grand Minuette" (Op. 2800) was built in 1929 for Connie's Inn in Harlem. The Grand Minuette had three unified ranks on 8" wind pressure, and all of its pipes were contained in a grand piano-type case that measured 8'4" long by 5'5" wide by 3'3" high.

Estey's Opus 2832, also a "Grand Minuette" model, was shipped in September 1929 to Stix, Baer, & Fuller in St. Louis for a one-week trial. The store did not keep the organ, and it was shipped to the Chicago Studio of Estey. In October 1930 the organ was shipped to Teachers Training School in New York City, where it remained until March 1931, when it was sold to the Byers Record Station in Woodside, Queens. In June 1932, the organ was moved to Byers Recording Lab., Inc., 1780 Broadway, New York City. From there, it went back to Estey. In August 1934 i was sold to Rudy Vallee, the famous singer and bandleader, who had it installed in his lodge at Keezer Lake in Fryeburg, Maine. In May 1935, Mr. Vallee gave the organ to St. Mary's Church, Westbrook, Maine. More recently, the organ was owned by Larry Leonard, Nelson Pease, and Bob Hellstrom, East Hampton, Conn.

Opus 2832 was voiced on 5" wind pressure and its case and piano-type bench were finished in ivory and gold. Following is the specification of Opus 2832 from the Estey Shop Order.
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Tibia Clausa [TC]  
4
  Vox Humana  
16
  Bass Viol  
4
  Flute d'Amour  
8
  Vox Humana  
4
  Violina  
8
  Oboe (Syn.)  
2 2/3
  Twelfth  
8
  Clarinet (Syn.)  
2
  Piccolo  
8
  Tibia Clausa  
1 3/5
  Tierce  
8
  Violin      
Chimes
5 notes
8
  Saxophone (Syn.)          
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Violone  
4
  Vox Humana  
8
  Vox Humana  
4
  String  
8
  Viola  
4
  Flute  
8
  Gedeckt          
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Contra Viol  
8
  Flute  
8
  Viola          
               
Accessories and Special Features
    General Tremolo   5-note Chimes [E, F#, G#, A#, B]
    Balanced Swell Expression   Current Light
    Crescendo Pedal   Wind Light
               
Stop Analysis
16
  Viol d'Orchestre
85
8
  Stopped Flute
85
8
  Vox Humana
    61
   
Total
231
               
Sources:
     Carnahan, John. Factory Shop Order for Estey organ, Op. 2800 (1929) – Grand Minuette model.
     Carnahan, John. Factory Shop Order for Estey organ, Op. 2937 (1931).
     "City Will Open Schools of Art and Music In Fall to Encourage Gifted Students," The New York Times (May 29, 1935.
     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.
     Estey Pipe Organ web site: www.esteyorgan.com/Opus2832.html. Shop Order for Estey organ, Op. 2832 (1929).
     "Memorial for La Guardia," The New York Times (Sep. 27, 1947).
     "Two Test Schools Are Opened By City," The New York Times (Feb. 4, 1936).

Illustrations:
     Estey Organ Company advertisement, The Diapason (Jan. 1931, Vol. 22, No. 2). Photos of "Grand Minuette" organ onstage at New York Training School for Teachers. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Estey Pipe Organ web site. Exterior; Interior of auditorium, "Grand Minuette" model.
     Sol Architecture and Partners, LLC web site: http://www.sol-architecture.com/. Exterior (1983) of High School of Music & Art.