Jon Riss, Director of
As part of its historical commitment to the central role of music
in worship, in 1999 the church decided to provide its congregation
with a world-class pipe organ and turned to the acclaimed Klais
Orgelbau pipe organ design firm located in Bonn, Germany. The process
of renovating the sanctuary and installing the massive organ took
the better part of two years. Under the guidance of Philipp Klais
(great grandson of the founder of the company), the instrument was
designed by Gesa Graumann, voiced by Heinz-Günther Habbig,
all under the watchful eye of consultants Barbara Owen and McNeil
Robinson, and former Director of Music F. Anthony Thurman. The organ
had its debut on Easter Sunday, 2001.
This 3-manual, 29-stop, 35-rank mechanical-action instrument is
the firm’s seventh U.S. installa¬tion, the first organ
built for an American destination in more than a decade.
Photos: Courtesy of Virginia