Construction begins on Raleigh cathedral's pipe organ

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Construction begins on the massive pipe organ at Holy Name of Jesus in Raleigh.

Two massive trailers delivered the first components of a mighty pipe organ to the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral on Monday morning.

Taking those parts from the trucks to the cathedral's nave was a labor of love for the men and women tasked with moving them as a light drizzle fell on the campus.

"It's really another dimension of prayer and also the beauty, and wonder, of music," said Monsignor David Brockman, the Diocese of Raleigh's Vicar General.

He told ABC11 that after five years of planning, construction's scheduled from noon until 10 p.m.

"Every day, during the weekdays. Some weekends, only on Saturdays, but mostly on the weekdays from now until December," he said.

He describes the sound of the organ as English Romantic, a more robust version of the tone generated by a much smaller electric organ now used by the cathedral.

The job of assembling and installing those components is handled by CB Fisk, a New England company that specializes in pipe-organ work.



The company has an on-site supervisor, Vice-President Greg Bover, who said there'll be plenty to do here before they're done. Plans call for a break during Holy Week.

"We'll come back just after Easter and begin installing the 3,737 pipes that will go in the organ," Bover said.

"As Catholics, one thing we always do is try to engage all the senses," said Monsignor Bookman, "so this is that dimension of sound. And the pipes are going to have the ability to project all the way up the entire facade of 58 feet."

After additional components are delivered in a few months, the projected finish date is near the end of December.

Michael Accurso is director of music for the cathedral. He played a few bars of Tocata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach to demonstrate the English Romantic tones that will echo though the spacious house of worship when the pipe organ's installed.

"If it's finished by Christmas," Accurso told ABC11, "then the first song it'll play will probably be O Come All Ye Faithful."

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While the story airs - get a unique view of the unloading of the church's new organ.

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