Van Der Molen

4/26 Robert Morton

Design & Construction

Organ Specification - Clark Wilson

Mechanical Installation - Fred Gollnick

Electrical Installation - Robert Wilhelm

Console Restoration - Dave Krall

Console Refinishing - Tony D'Angelo

About The Instrument

Paul and Linda Van Der Molen of Wheaton, Illinois embarked on a major renovation of their home three years ago and the 20 ranks of organ, traps, and percussions, were placed in storage. The 3 manual Robert Morton console (originally from Lowe's Fairmont in the Bronx, New York) that played the instrument was donated to the Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Ohio where it will be used as a slave console. Its decoration is identical to the 4 manual Robert Morton console in the Ohio which is an original installation. For the past 18 months organ builders Fred Gollnick, Dave Krall, and Robert Wilhelm, have been working to not only reinstall the instrument but to enlarge it as well.

The instrument will now be played by one of the 5 "Wonder Morton" consoles that were built, this one coming from Lowe's Kings in Brooklyn, New York. They were all 4/23's as originally delivered by Robert Morton. As part of the reinstallation the Van Der Molen residence theatre organ was enlarged by six ranks. Clark Wilson who serves as technical consultant for Paul's installation drafted the 4/26's specification. As the condition of the console when Paul purchased it was "poor" at best, it was totally restored by Dave Krall. Once complete, Tony D'Angelo meticulously performed the final painting, gold leafing, and antiquing.

The removal, storage, and reinstallation of the instrument occurred under the leadership of Fred Gollnick. The original installation placed the chambers to the right of the listener as they faced the console. The redesigned music room allows the organ to speak from two chambers on either side of the console with a third percussion chamber in the apex of the ceiling above the console. A basement below the chamber floor houses the 15 horsepower Spencer Orgoblo (which replaced a 10 horsepower Spencer) from the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia along with all regulators, reservoirs, and tremolos. The organ is served by a dedicated heating & air conditioning system and the shade panels are acrylic so that the pipework may be viewed. Unenclosed sound effects and untuned percussions are located in the ceiling area along with the xylophone, sleigh bells, and chimes.

Robert Wilhelm provided integration of the relay, MIDI, and combination action systems for the instrument. Paul's original instrument operated with a Z-tronics relay, so that system was chosen for the new installation to avoid having to rewire the chests. Component delivery took nine months and assembly required another three months with console installation requiring about a month. All stop tablets are mounted on Syndyne SAMs with Hesco engraving closely matching Morton's original. The console sits on a motorized platform designed by Fred and runs in and out of an alcove on a small stage identical to the implementation at Radio City Music Hall. The console includes 64 levels of memory, 92 pistons, 15 for each manual, 6 for the pedal, 20 manual generals, 5 pedal generals, and cancels for all manuals, pedal and the complete organ. The crescendo is selectable to any of 4 artist programmable builds. The console has 286 stop tabs. This was accomplished by filling out the 2 main stop rails and adding two partial stop rails, one on each side. The console has second touch for the Accompaniment and Great manuals, along with MIDI capability for each manual. The record/playback system is operable by the artist at the console or from the sound/lighting control desk at the rear of the room. 

This installation is unique in that it includes two independent MIDI systems. The first MIDI system serves as a recorder/player for the console/instrument. Recorded data may be edited using standard computer software programs such as Cakewalk. The second MIDI system functions to play the 9' Steinway Grand Piano (signed by Van Cliburn no less) connected to the instrument as well as provides full MIDI sound module capability for future use. Perhaps for the first time ever in association with a theatre organ, the Steinway includes a PianoDisk MIDI recording strip which is connected to the organ's record/play system in order that duet performances by organists and pianists may be recorded live and later played back.

Also unique to this instrument is a PTC (positive temperature coefficient) fusing system for the SAM combination action circuits. Bob Wilhelm initiated the use of PTCs for pipe organ SAM circuitry protection and this is the first instrument to use PTCs in this manner. PTCs are polymer-based fuses that are fully approved by UL and similar safety organizations for use in computers, cell phones, and similar electronic devices and applications. They are unique in that they provide the same protective action of a circuit breaker or fuse however they will self-reset when the overcurrent cause is corrected and power cycled.

Click Here for a Detailed Image of the Horseshoe

Click here for Additional Photos of the Instrument Installation and Chambers.

Click Here For A Detailed Stop Specification

 

Chamber Analysis

Solo (12 ranks)

English Post Horn

8'

Trumpet

8'

Diaphonic Horn Diapason

16'-4'

Solo Tibia Clausa

32'-1'

Saxophone

8'

Orchestral Oboe

8'

Kinura

8'

Gamba

16'-2'

Gamba Celeste

8'-4'

Solo Vox Humana

8'-4'

Spitz Flute

8'-4'

Spitz Flute Celeste

4'

 

Main (14 ranks)

Tuba

16'-8'

Diaphonic Diapason

16'-4'

Tibia Clausa

8'-2'

French Horn

8'

Clarinet

8'-4'

Oboe Horn

16'-8'

Cor Anglais

16'-8'

Concert Violin

8'-4'

Concert Violin Celeste

4'

Muted Viol

8'-4'

Muted Viol Celeste

8'-4'

Concert Flute

32'-1'

Concert Flute Celeste

4'

Vox Humana

8'

Percussions & Effects

Percussion

Harp

49 bars

Percussion

Glockenspiel

37 bars

Percussion

Chrysoglott

49 bars

Percussion

Cymbals

 

Unenclosed

9' Concert Steinway Piano

85 notes

Unenclosed

Xylophone

49 bars

Unenclosed

Chimes

25 tubes

Unenclosed

Sleigh Bells

25 bells

Unenclosed

Untuned Percussions

 

Unenclosed

Sound Effects

 

Design by: Robert E. Wilhelm, Jr.
Photos by: Linda Van Der Molen
February 2006-2013