History of the St. Joseph Organs
In 1981-82, Moller Opus 7972 was enlarged by the M.P. Möller Company and became Möller Opus R-128. Two sets of the original pipes were retained and revoiced and 11 new independent voices were added to the organ’s “prepared” stops on the console. In addition to the chamber on the left, a new chamber was created on the right side of the gallery.
Three more voices were added in 1999 by TriVo pipemakers, also located in Hagerstown, and Donald Chance Organ Company, Greensboro, GA.
Moller Opus R-128 received regular maintenance and tuning over the years. However, the console and wind chest electro-pneumatic actions became more and more unreliable beginning around 2008-09. In Fall 2009 the organ’s fate was sealed when someone climbed into the right pipe chamber and crushed many of the smaller pipes underfoot. The organ ceased to be usable and was replaced by a small, temporary Allen electronic organ (still in use today). None of the pipes you see in the gallery nor any of the additional 1,186 pipes inside the pipe chambers have been heard since 2009.
The first St. Joseph organ was built by M.P. Möller Company of Hagerstown, Maryland as Opus 7972 in 1948-49. Its four sets of pipes were under expression in a single chamber in the gallery on the left. In correspondence between Moller and St. Joseph pastor, Fthr. Kamler, it was noted that the new organ did not have a sufficient number of stops. However, it would have to do for the time being. Several blank (prepared) stops were built into the console in the event funds became available to make the organ more suitable for the liturgy.