The first step in the installation of this Viscount and Austin Organ Hybrid is updating the acoustical cloth located behind the beautiful plaster filigree panels of the chambers.  The current cloth material is a heavy drape, and not the best type of material to transmit sound.  Here is the before…


As you can see, the fabric was worn, and certainly dated.  It served the church well for many years, but was time for a change.  The acoustical cloth Whitesel Church Organs uses is more conducive to allowing sound to pass through, and it also meets certain updated fire codes that weren’t even in existence when the original drape style curtains were installed over 50 years ago.

First, new custom frames were made by the construction manager, Jeff.  Special care was taken for each of the frames to meet behind the plaster, this way the seams are completely hidden, and can’t be seen.  This gives the illusion of each chamber having one solid piece of fabric.  Here are the frames…


If you look closely, you can see through the fabric.  This is incredibly important to allow sound to escape the chambers.  Many churches don’t know the difference, and often use regular fabrics.  This type of acoustical cloth also allows for proper ventilation of the chambers where pipes reside.  This assists with tuning stability of the real windblown Austin Pipes.


Here is the first frame installed in the Swell Chamber.  We removed almost all pipes, and also the swell shades in order to perform this work.  And finally, the finished result can be seen below!


The new fabric gives the illusion there is nothing there, and highlights the beauty, intricate lines, and craftsmanship of the plaster filigree.  Things are coming together!  We look forward to posting more info soon!