South Highland Presbyterian Church chapel
Birmingham, Alabama

Robert I. Coulter - Organbuilders

Opus 9 / II - 22 / 2013
(incorporating Skinner Organ Company Opus 576)

Opus 9, Great organ facade
(enlarge image)

Great Organ

Manual I (CC-c4)

16' Lieblich Gedeckt
8' Principal (tin, en facade)
8' Chimney Flute (ext)
8' Salicional (SW)
8' Voix Celeste (SW)
4' Octave
4' Flute Harmonic (SW)
2' Fifteenth
III-IV Mixture
16' Contre Trompette
8' Trompette (ext)
8' Hautbois (SW)

Pedal Organ

Unenclosed (CC-g1)

32' Resultant
16' Subbass
16' Lieblich Gedeckt (GT)
8' Octave
8' Bourdon (ext)
8' Gedeckt (SW)
4' Choral Bass (ext)
4' Flute Harmonic (SW)
16' Contre Trompette (GT)
8' Trompette (GT)
8' Hautbois (SW)

Swell Organ

Manual II (CC-c4) / Enclosed

8' Salicional
8' Voix Celeste (FF)
8' Aeoline
8' Aeoline Celeste (cO)
8' Gedeckt
4' Principal
4' Flute Harmonic
2 2/3' Nazard
2' Flautino
1 3/5' Tierce
8' Hautbois
8' Trompette (GT)

The E. M. Skinner organ company built in 1926 its Opus 576 for the Ensley-Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The instrument served this congregation, with some changes, until the church was closed by the Presbytery in 1991. The organ languished in a crumbling building until South Highland Presbyterian was afforded the ability to obtain the pipe organ. We were contracted by South Highland to remove this instrument to our shop and present a proposal to South Highland Presbyterian for its future.

The chapel at South Highland is one of considerable charm, and fine musical potential. We were honored to have been contracted by South Highland to build a new chapel organ for them utilizing the Skinner organ as a resource. Given the different requirements for installation, and the condition of the Skinner chests, new wind chests will be built in a sympathetic style to those of E. M. Skinner. In this instrument, the existing console and keyboards were retained. The Great organ will be located on the Gallery wall, along the center axis of the room for proper tonal egress. This division features a new 8' Principal of high content tin for a refined and elegant sound. The Swell and Pedal organs will be located in the chancel area.

Ultimately, architectural and structural anomalies in the chapel predicated the redesign and construction of the Great organ facade, Swell and Pedal organs after construction was underway. With schedule delays that accompanied these problems and the ripple effect they had through our company, and after 17/21 ranks of the organ were voiced and available for use, South Highland decided to have the final voicing completed by others.