About Our Historic Instrument
Trinity is home to an historic George Stevens pipe organ.Stevens was a popular 19th century builder of organs based in Massachusetts. The organ was built in 1866 for Calvary Episcopal Church, in Tarboro, NC. In 1914, the organ was sold to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Wilmington, NC, where it lead worship for 30 years before being moved to Trinity in 1944.
The instrument is tracker action. This means that when a key is pressed, a wooden "tracker" or rod mechanically moves to release air into a pipe. The pressurized air moves through the pipe to create a sound. Pipes of different materials, sizes, and shapes produce different sounds.
In 2005, the instrument was in dire need of repair. The vestry determined that the pipe organ was such a fixture of the church that it would be worth the repair effort rather than replacing it with an electric or digital organ. Mary Ann Newman St. John undertook the tremendous task of raising the funds necessary to complete the restoration and repair.
John Allen Farmer of Farmer Pipe Organs in Winston-Salem, NC, was engaged to carry out the work. The work required the removal of the instrument to his workshop in Winston-Salem. Charles Edward Powell, Jr., rebuilt and repaired the organ chamber (room) for the organ's return.
After a thorough rebuild and restoration, which included some additions that increased the number of pipes from 453 to 607, the organ was reinstalled in 2008. The instrument now has 12 ranks and 13 stops to lead singing to the glory of God. Colin Andrews, a renowned concert organist, played the inaugural recital.
A Hymn Festival celebrating 150 years of singing with this historic pipe organ now gracing Trinity Church was held on June 5, 2016.
The organ has three divisions of pipework: swell (upper manual/keyboard), great (lower manual), and pedal (keys played with feet).