If you've been to St. Thomas Aquinas, you'll remember that the towers on either side of the organ stood empty... until this week! The Bedient Opus 8 was designed and built by Gene Bedient of Lincoln in 1973. The style and sound of the tracker organ has a strong late 18th Century North German influence.
The organ was originally located in the Cornerstone Methodist Church building on UNL's Greek Row, which the Newman Center acquired to use as a temporary space during St. Thomas Aquinas's demolition and rebuild. It contains 23 ranks (1278 pipes) and, after finding its home in the new St. Thomas Aquinas in spring of 2015, is having 7 new stops (185 pipes) added this week. The tallest stands over 18 feet.
The original pedal division, which was designed for a smaller space, is almost entirely borrowed from the manual (keyboard) stops. The new additions will create a profound bass of breadth, nobility, and grandeur; which will tonally complete the organ and enhance the worship experience. The completed principal chorus will permit more authentic renderings of baroque music, especially polyphonic music.
The acoustical design of St. Thomas Aquinas church was carefully engineered to maximize the finished instrument’s sound. Be sure to stop by for a Mass that showcases the power of this beautiful piece.