MPAC Wurlitzer

MPAC Wurlitzer Console

The core of the MPAC Mighty Wurlitzer comes from the Ponca Theatre in Ponca City, Oklahoma. This modest Wurlitzer was a Style (model) 190 instrument. That is, it was a 2-manual (keyboard) organ consisting of 8-ranks (sets) of pipes plus tuned percussion instruments, traps (drums, cymbals etc) and special effects (Ahooga Horn, siren, etc). The organ's Opus (serial) Number was 1632 and it was shipped from the Wurlitzer Factory in North Tonawanda, New York on December 5, 1927. In 1946, Mr. Paul Williamson of Oklahoma City acquired the organ and it became the basis for the pipe organ installation in his home. The organ remained in Mr. Williamson's home until 2004. After his death, the organ was acquired to become the nucleus for the "new" Wurlitzer for the MPAC.

In order to provide an instrument that is well balanced and musically complete for the varied needs of MPAC, the organ has been expanded from its original 8 ranks to 17 ranks of pipes using carefully selected original Wurlitzer ranks that the NTC has been collecting over a period of years. A larger 3 manual (keyboard) console was also acquired. The console is an original Wurlitzer console from Opus Number 2071, which was shipped from the Wurlitzer factory on September 25, 1929. The console came to us from the First Baptist Church in Dothan, Alabama. The restoration and installation of the organ was carried out by Dallas Organ Works LLC, with assistance from members of the NTC who have volunteered their time over a three-year period.

A theatre organ is like an iceberg in that the audience only sees the console on the stage. The console is merely the control center for the several tons of equipment installed in the pipe chambers. There are two chambers on the third floor containing all the pipes, tuned percussion instruments, traps (drums, cymbals, castanets, etc.) and special effects.

Facing the stage, the right hand chamber is the Solo Chamber. In addition to the ranks of pipes listed, are the following tuned percussion instruments: Marimba Harp, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, and Cathedral Chimes. In the Main Chamber, on the left, there is another tuned percussion instrument; the Chrysoglott which makes a sound much like a Celesta in an orchestra. These are real instruments with each bar being struck by pneumatically driven hammers. Also in the Solo Chamber are the Traps (non-tuned percussions), and the "Toy Counter" which is where the special effects like the Fire Gong and the Train Whistle are located.

Specification

Main (left) Chamber Solo (right) Chamber
Tuba Profunda8'61 pipes
Diaphone/Open Diapason16'-4'85 pipes
Oboe Horn8'61 pipes
Clarinet8'61 pipes
Concert Flute/Bourdon16'-2'97 pipes
Viol d' Orchestre8'-4'73 pipes
Viol Celeste4'61 pipes
Quintadena8'61 pipes
Chrysoglott 49 bars
English Post Horn8'61 pipes
Trumpet8'61 pipes
Tibia Clausa8'-2'85 pipes
Vox Humana8'61 pipes
Brass Saxophone8'61 pipes
Orchestral Oboe8'61 pipes
Kinura8'61 pipes
Salicional4'61 pipes
Salicional Celeste4'61 pipes
Xylophone 37 bars
Marimba Harp 49 bars
Glockenspiel 30 bars
Cathedral Chimes 25 tubes
Traps, Toy Counter & Special Effects

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