First Presbyterian Church, Gastonia, NC
First Presbyterian Church of Gastonia, NC houses one of the most notable pipe organs designed by the late Lawrence Phelps, tonal director (1958-71) of Casavant Fréres, Ltée of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec-Canada. Built in 1961 and funded by a $68,000 memorial gift of the late Mary Sexton Smyre & Elmer Templeton, the instrument is valued at $1,200,000 today. The organ has benefitted from regular tuning and routine maintenance. However, after decades of continual use, the instrument showed alarming signs of aging. Our firm was thoughtfully selected to perform the complete restoration of this beautiful instrument. Over the period of six months all pipes were removed and cleaned, more than 3,000 keying pneumatic mechanisms were re-leathered, expression shutters retrofitted with solid-state swell engines, and the console control system updated with the most sophisticated technology. We also added a brand new, high pressure Trumpet Harmonique, as well as performed an overhaul of the console according to a new, clear and user-friendly design. All work was completed in November of 2014.