The prototype for these eight small practice instruments was Opus 37, built at the request of Melville Smith, renowned organ instructor at Wellesley College, and for many years Director of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. Organs numbered 47, 48, 48a and 59 differ from Smith’s instrument in that they have an additional stop, Sesquialtera I-II on the Great, and an extended Pedal Bourdon mechanically duplexed at 16′ and 8′ pitches. See the specifications page for detailed information.
With the closure of the organ department at Boston University, Opus 47 was purchased by St. John on the Mountain Episcopal Church, Bernardsville, New Jersey, and rebuilt with significant revisions by A. David Moore, of North Pomfret, Vermont.
Opus 59a was built on speculation to be identical to the others, but was purchased before completion by Frank Taylor for his home. Taylor, a student of Melville Smith, and enamored of French classical instruments, requested a number of modifications and additions: a Cromorne on the second manual, a 16′ Basson in the Pedal (unified at 16′, 8′, and 4′), and a Tremulant. The stop action is electrical, and includes a combination action. Although the stops are essentially the same as those in its sister “Wellesley” organs, the drawknob nomenclature is in French.
The organ was moved to nearby St. Barnabas following Taylor’s death in 1985.
Opus 77, built for Duke University, and Opus 77A, built for St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia, are identical instruments. They differ from Opus 37 by an additional stop, the Cornet I-II on the Great, and by a Pedal compass reduced from 32 to 30 notes. The Cornet and the Fourniture on Manual I are double draws, allowing their Nazard 2 2/3' and Doublet 2' ranks to be used separately.
In 2000 Opus 77A was moved to a private residence in Charleston, SC.