Opus 118 is a three-manual studio organ, built in collaboration with Schreiner Pipe Organs, Ltd. for Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Conceived as a simulator for Opus 109, located just down the hallway, the studio organ quickly became a favorite practice instrument due to its precise, responsive action and its rich tone.
Of the four ranks of pipes available on the manuals, three are at eight-foot pitch for a variety of color and volume. When all of the stops are played together, they produce a warm, full sound without harshness. All of the pipework is under expression, with the swell shades controlled by the center Récit pedal. Movable “dummy” Positif and Crescendo pedals mimic the expression pedals on the concert organ. Indeed, the entire console, from the pedalboard springs to the location of the music rack, is copied from Opus 109.
The elegant mahogany casework is based on the lower case of the concert organ and is finished using the same dye and lacquer treatment.