Organ and Carillon

The Organ and Carillon are key components of music at the Cathedral

The Organ

Aeolian-Skinner, Boston, 1961, Opus 1343. Designed and Voiced by Joseph Whiteford

The Cathedral organ, designed, built and installed by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston, consists of three divisions and pedals plus a gallery division, totaling more than 4,000 pipes. The pipes are installed in two chambers high above the entrance from the crossing to the chancel, with four ranks and the state trumpets mounted above the balcony just under the Rose Window, at the west end of the Cathedral. In 2000, the console underwent major renovation and received new keyboards, drawknobs, digital combination action and digital control for all the pipework, which was done by Marceau and Associates Pipe Organ Builders of Portland, Oregon.

An instrument of this size (86 stops) would normally be played from a console of four or even five manuals. But this organ is built with only three manuals in order to coincide with the tonal design—the gallery division being playable from any of the three manuals. The state trumpets are hooded and voiced so that they can be played in ensemble with the full chorus.

The console is located on the north side of the Great Choir. The Great and Swell divisions are located above the south Choir chamber, the Choir and Pedal divisions above the north Choir and the Gallery under the Rose Window.

The Cathedral’s authentic Gothic architecture and construction materials combined with the artistry of the organ’s design create an outstanding environment for organ music.

The Carillon

The carillon in Bishop Cross Tower is one of very few in the Pacific Northwest and consists of 49 cast bells. They were cast and installed by John Taylor and Sons of Loughborough, Leicestershire, England.

The bells are sounded by mechanical operation from a clavier on which levers are arranged in sequence like a piano keyboard with a footboard like an organ. The carillonneur strikes the levers with the bottom of a cupped fist and feet. Above the levers, like the upright insides of a piano, stainless wires and turnbuckles are each linked to a single bell and pull the clapper against the bells.

There is no public access to the tower. The carillon is heard best from the lawns surrounding the Cathedral.

Concerts are played on the carillon each week before the Sunday 10:30am service. We also have a concert preceding the Fourth of July fireworks, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and at other times as announced.