Reuter Organ Co. Opus 1906, IV/80
The Thomson-Mingenback Concert Organ at Bethany College is one of the largest pipe organs (no electronic or digital additions) in the central United States. It is an extremely versatile instrument that gives organists a wide range of expression, from the softest 8’ Salicional in the Swell, to the commanding 8’ Trompette en Chamade. It has a full stoplist that lends itself to performing literature from many periods.
The organ was designed in 1976 by Paul Bunjes of River Forest, IL, and built by the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence, KS. There are 80 ranks (sets of pipes), four manual keyboards, and pedalboard. There are 4,329 pipes in total, from the shortest flute pipe (the size of a pencil) to the longest (32 feet pedal reed pipe). There are two sets of Zimblestern, which are similar to wind chimes. There are two ranks of high-pressure reeds mounted horizontally on the front of the case.
The instrument is visually and musically commanding, and fits the aesthetic design of historic Presser Hall auditorium. It is used for faculty and student concerts and rehearsal, worship services, and in the famed Handel’s Messiah.
Reuter Organ Co. Opus 1858, II/8
The Reuter Pipe Organ in the Swensson Chapel was built in 1974 by the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence, Kansas. It was a gift from the Julia J. Mingenback Foundation of McPherson, Kansas. The instrument is mounted in the southeast corner of the Chapel, and has 8 ranks of pipes, controlled by an electro-pneumatic console. It has two manuals and pedal, and all 8 ranks of pipes are free-standing, exposed without expression. It was used regularly as the primary chapel instrument, until 2014, when the new Pearson Chapel was built. It is used as a teaching instrument, and also faculty and student rehearsal.
Rieger Orgelbau, 1977, I/7
The Rieger Positif Organ was built by was built by Rieger Orgelbau, of Schwarzach, Austria in 1977. It is a portable pipe organ, with one 56 key manual, 6 stops, and 7 ranks of pipes. It has flutes at 8’, 4’, 1 1/3’, a 2’ principal, a two-rank mixture, and an 8’ reed. It sounds similar to a church organ, and plays exactly like the larger organs on campus, but the pipes are smaller, and somewhat softer, so that it can be used for choral accompanying and chamber music. The scaling and voicing of the pipes is toned down, so that it doesn’t blast. The sound, however, projects well and can carry due to its unique design.
Along with accompanying choirs and chamber ensembles, the Positif organ is used to perform the continuo role in the famed St. Matthew Passion, by J.S. Bach. It has been performed annually since 1929 by the Bethany Oratorio Society.
Klug and Schumacher, Opus 8, 1982, II/3
Opus 8, a practice organ, was built in 1982 by the Klug and Schumacher firm of Lakeland, Florida. It has three ranks of pipes, and has a mechanical (tracker) key action. The three distinct voices (Principal, Bourdon, and Gedackt), along with a sound and responsive key and pedal action, make it a useful practice instrument for both faculty and students. It is located in Presser 319, one of the music classrooms in the DeWitt Center for Music.