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The Peabody Memorial Organ

The Peabody Memorial Organ
Made by Ernest M. Skinner, 1925

St. Ann’s pipe organ was built in 1925 by Ernest M. Skinner (Opus #524), and is the third instrument to be installed since the church opened in 1847. The organ was designed by Louis Robert and was the gift to the church from financier George Foster Peabody in memory of his brother. Called the Peabody Memorial Organ, instrument comprises 4,718 pipes, ranging from 2 inches to 32 feet in length, as well as 20 chimes and a 61-note celesta. On Monday, November 30, 2915, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle published a report on the dedication of the organ the day before.

In 1999, it was recognized by the Organ Historical Society as “An Historic Instrument of Special Merit” — the musical equivalent of Landmark status. Many organs undergo “modernization” and changes in their tonality and character, however ours is the largest essentially unchanged E.M. Skinner organ in New York City and much valued for its original qualities. Over the years, the organ has developed many silent notes and failings calling for restoration, which is a continual funding challenge.

Generations of organists have sought the opportunity to play this instrument, and their audiences attest to the special nature of this instrument. We at St. Ann’s prize our Skinner organ for the beauty and power it brings to our worship, particularly at our main service at 11:15 am on Sundays.

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