St. Mary's Pipe Organ
Music has always been an important part of the liturgical life of St. Mary’s. Originally, there was a pipe organ installed in the church. There is no record, however, of the make or what happened to it. In 1978, Fr. Haley purchased the current organ at St. Mary’s. It was built by the Hutchings Votey Organ Company in 1905 for St. Mary's Church in Southbridge. The people of Southbridge disposed of it in the early 1970s and it was found in a barn at the Laws Organ Company in Wenham, Massachusetts, where it was covered with dirt and in a million pieces. It was transferred to the barn at St. Mary's where it sat while Fr. Haley negotiated with various organ builders, finally selecting Kinsey-Angestein Organ Company of Wrentham, Massachusetts.
This company went over every piece (1, 165 pipes alone), refurbishing and replacing where necessary. The whole instrument was assembled in their shop at Wrentham, then brought to St. Mary's. The lovely wood case is the original 1905 wood, stripped, glued, and refinished. It is truly a beautiful sight in the loft.
The rebuilt Hutchings-Votey instrument is an encased mechanical action (tracker) pipe organ with two key-boards of 61 notes each and pedal with 30 notes. Both the key-playing action and the stop draw mechanism are mechanically operated. The organ has 17 registers of pipes and 21 ranks. This is because the Mixture on the Great Windchest has 4 ranks, or 4 pipes for each note. This is called a compound stop. The combining of unisons and fifths (much like the ancient Gregorian chant utilized) creates a tonal pattern which tops off the ensemble of stops for leading congregational singing.
In addition to the principals, flutes and strings, the organ has 3 solo stops. These are the trumpet, oboe, and the cornet. These stops can also be used with the other stops for added variety of tonal color. There are 1,165 pipes in the organ, ranging from 16" to 1/16" in length. Some of the pipes are of pine, although most are metal composed of 40% tin and 60% lead, something like pewter.
The dimensions of the organ case are approximately 15 feet wide by 9 feet deep by 15 feet tall.
The organ was dedicated on Friday, September 8, 1979 at 8:00 p.m. on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.