The Sarah Graham Kenan Memorial Organ, Opus 75, is a fitting testament to Mrs. Kenan and the seven generations of her family that have worked for the welfare of North Carolina and its citizens. Thomas S. Kenan III, in consultation with Dr. James G. Ferguson, and John Mueller, organist at NCSA, selected Charles Fisk as the builder.
The organ is situated at the back wall of the stage of Crawford Hall. The low ceiling of the stage area presented challenges both aesthetic and practical. The Swell division could not be placed over the Choir division, so was instead mounted immediately behind the Choir with the swell shades placed in the angles of the upper case.
The organ’s contemporary case is built of red oak with oiled Honduras mahogany trim and keydesk. While modern in appearance, the central section is designed with the same proportions as the Gottfried Silbermann organ at Grosshartmannsdorf, Germany. Designed as both a teaching and a concert instrument, the organ has the versatility necessary for playing the repertoire of all periods. Silbermann's free winding maxims were followed to give the early literature a human dimension and liveliness. There is a system for stabilizing the wind to meet the demands of the Romantic and Contemporary chordal literature.
The key action, suspended mechanical, was designed to provide students the most sensitive action possible. The trackers are installed at a ten-degree angle, permitting the keyboards to be placed outward from the case, giving performers aural contact with the instrument not possible at a keydesk within the case. Opus 75 is the first organ in which C. B. Fisk used a substantial amount of hammered lead as pipe metal, resulting in a warm, dark, and cohesive sound. The use of tin mixture pipes added a characteristic brilliance to the choruses of both the Great and the Positive.