In the mid 1990's St. John's was faced with a choral program that was outgrowing the existing liturgical space and an aging and increasingly unreliable organ. To address these challenges the parish conceived a bold vision that included not only a new instrument to lead its liturgies, but an architectural and acoustical renaissance that created a worship space of singular elegance, style, and sound.
Beginning in 2002 the church undertook an extensive renovation, which preserved much of the fabric and feel of the 1881 Stick Gothic interior while adding a balcony at the rear for a new instrument. The new structure allowed for the optimum placement of the organ, provided space for the substantial parish choral program, and expanded the space at the altar rail, easing "traffic" flow during Communion. Visually and tonally, the organ fits effortlessly into the gallery and reflects the architecture and liturgical aesthetics of St. John's Church.
Opus 127 is a versatile instrument capable of playing the wide variety of music found in the Episcopal liturgies, the Anglican choral tradition, and in organ repertoire. The two-manual and pedal instrument contains thirty-one stops and thirty-nine ranks. The Great division pipework is made entirely of lead in the manner of the Germanic schools of organbuilding. The Swell division is inspired by 19th century French Romantic instruments, particularly those of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and has a higher tin content. After the signing of the contract in 2001, the size of the organ was reduced by six stops in order to apply the resulting savings to necessary acoustical alterations. Thanks to the generosity of many parishioners, all six of the stops were reinstated late in the construction process, and the organ was delivered as originally designed.