Saint Barnabas celebrates pipe organ

Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Cortez is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its pipe organ.

Saint Barnabas of the Valley Episcopal Church in Cortez will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its Bozeman-Gibson pipe organ with a recital performed by one of its builders, George Bozeman. The recital will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 25, 2014, and the public is invited. A reception will follow.

The organ was installed and dedicated on Saturday, July 13, 1974, and has been a happy source of beautiful music ever since. Organists have included Alicia Fraley Glass and Ingrid Hartley. Nancy Colbert was there at the beginning and still plays every Sunday.

The organ in Saint Barnabas Church has two keyboards for the hands and a pedalboard. There are 13 sets of pipes or stops, and some 700 pipes. The case is constructed of white oak with a hand-rubbed oil finish. All of the pipes in the facade actually play and are made of highly polished tin. The keys and stops operate by mechanical action; the only electricity used is to power the blower to supply wind to the bellows. Because of the altitude of Cortez a slightly larger blower motor than usual was necessary. The largest pipe is of wood and is about 8 feet long. It produces a tone pitched at about 32 Hz; the smallest pipe has a speaking length of about 1/4 inch and a pitch of about 6,000 Hz.

Most of the music Bozeman will play was performed at the dedication recital in 1974. An offertory by Domenico Zipoli will open the program with a pedal-point, that is to say, a low bass note that is held continuously while the music moves briskly above it, until a sudden new harmony stops the bass drone, and the final cadences end the piece.

Since one of the things Saint Barnabas’ organ does well is to play certain types of classical French organ music, Bozeman will perform two examples from this genre. Bach, Franck, and Dubois, and Hindemith will also be represented in the concert.

Recitalist George Bozeman has retired from organ building but he continues the performance career he has maintained throughout his life. He has played recitals across the United States and in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe. He has made several commercial recordings including two in Berlin, Germany. Bozeman is the organist and choirmaster of the First Congregational Church in Pembroke, New Hampshire.