The Daniels Recital Hall Organ

Music From Organ Concert


The majestic pipe organ in Daniels Recital Hall (former First United Methodist Church) contains over 4,000 pipes from 32" in length down to less than 2" in length. It was built as Opus 2479 meaning that it was the 2,479th pipe organ built by Austin Pipe Organs of Hartford, CT. Austin is the same company that built the Mormon Tabernacle Organ console as well as many other fine, historic instruments across the world. Some of the pipes in this wonderful organ date back to the year the church was originally built. Austin made use of some of the fine historic pipes already in the church when they designed and built Opus 2479. It is an instrument built in the American Classic style of pipe organ building making it one of the largest and most flexible pipe organs in the Northwest. The building and voicing of this organ especially for the space makes it one of the finest pipe organs in America built in the American Classic Style.

Austin Pipe Organs is the only remaining Great Name from the Grand Period of American organ building. Companies like M.P. MÖller, Aeolian-Skinner, Kimball and a host of others have closed their doors and passed from living to legend. By good management of a good product, and by moderation in all things, Austin has survived the vicissitudes of economic hardship and perhaps of greater significance: stylistic change, to emerge with the experience that comes from over a century of works of all kinds, styles and sizes, from grand concert organs to small chapel instruments.




The Austin organ is deeply rooted in the creative resourcefulness of John Turnell Austin. An Englishman who came to America in 1889, Mr. Austin first worked for Farand and Votey, where he developed his famous Universal Air Chest system. At a time when electro-pneumatic actions could be more troublesome than helpful, the Universal Chest was an enormous breakthrough. It was a large, air-tight, walk-in room, with the chest action on the ceiling.


Since the chest could be entered with the wind on, all adjustments and maintenance were easily accomplished. The first Austin-patent organs were built at the Clough & Warren factory in 1893, and Mr. Austin established his own company in Hartford in 1899. Austin organs have been built at this Woodland Street location ever since. By 1910, the Austin Organ Company was recognized as a leader in the field, helped by the extraordinary reliability of the Universal Chest. Organs from the 1890s are still in use today, because Mr. Austin's design has proven so reliable that the mechanism rarely requires maintenance and is extremely long-lived.


A tour through the Austin factory is an object lesson in the mechanical ingenuity of John T. Austin. He not only developed unique organ actions, but fantastic machines which helped to build them. His designs have proven timeless; while taking advantage of modern materials, a new Austin is still fashioned on the same principles developed more than a century ago.