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Christ Church Organ
E.F. Walcker Orgelbau (1950)

Christ Church Organ.jpeg

Built in 1828, there is no evidence that Christ Church ever housed a pipe organ prior to the installation of the current instrument. Like Hungars Church, over the course of nearly two centuries, music at Christ Church was supported primarily by piano, manually-pumped reed organs (harmoniums), and electronic instruments. Through the years, the organs at Christ Church have lived in both the front (chancel) and back (gallery) of the church. At some points, there were actually electronic organs in both locations.

Our current organ was built in 1950 by the E.F. Walcker firm of Ludwigsburg, Germany, and was originally bound for a Catholic church in Nicaragua. Supposedly, the Nicaraguan church defaulted on payment, the shipment was intercepted, and the organ was sold to the Andover Organ Academy in Andover, MA, where it served as a teaching instrument until the academy closed in the 1970’s. If this narrative is accurate, our Walcker organ is likely the very first German pipe organ to be imported to the United States following World War II, at the very beginning of the American Organ Reform Movement. The organ was then moved to the residence of Katherine Hodgkins in Greensboro, NC, and later in 1976 to the Baltimore townhouse of Dr. Paul Davis. Upon Dr. Davis’s retirement, the organ was purchased by Christ Church and installed in our balcony in 1986.

The Walcker organ is a tracker instrument, meaning the playing mechanism is entirely mechanical between a key being pressed and a pipe playing. Designed in a neo-Baroque style, its clear and bright tone is ideal for authentically rendering the music of baroque composers such as Buxtehude, Bach, and Bruhns.

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