Opus 02:  St. Peter’s Abbey, Muenster

St. Peter’s Abbey
Box 10
Muenster, SK
S0K 2Y0
(306) 682-1777 tel
(306) 682-1766 fax

The installation of this organ was completed October 29, 2004 and the dedication was held April 10, 2005. Abbot Peter Novecosky OSB officiated; Fr. Andrew Britz OSB gave a short talk on the history of the organ in the Catholic liturgy; the builder, Bill Thurmeier, gave a short explanation of the organ construction and a demonstration of the stops; Sr. Zita Maier OSU played for the Blessing; and Gregory Schulte gave a short recital following.

gal=PipeOpus02, img=StPetersAbbey

Stop List and Specifications

Swell: expressive Great: unenclosed
(except asterisk)
Pedal: unenclosed
(except asterisk)
8’ Koppelflöte 61
8’ Dulciana 61
8’ Gamba Celeste 61
4’ Principal 61
4’ Melodia 61
2 2/3’ Nazard 61
2’ Flautino 61
1 1/3’ Larigot (ext.) 12
8’ Trumpet 61
Antiphonal to Swell  
8’ Principal 61
8’ Gedeckt* 61
8’ Dulciana (Sw)*  
4’ Octave 61
4’ Dulcet* 61
2’ Fifteenth 61
1 1/3’ III Mixture 183
8’ Oboe 12
Swell to Great  
Antiphonal to Great 8’  
Antiphonal to Great 4’  
16’ Principal 32
16’ Gedeckt (Sw. ext.)* 12
8’ Octave (ext.) 12
8’ Koppelflute (Sw)*  
8’ Bourdon 32
4’ Choralbass (ext.) 12
4’ Flute d’Amour (Sw)*  
2 2/3’ II Mixture 44
16’ Fagotto 12
8’ Bassoon (ext) 32
Great to Pedal  
Swell to Pedal  
Antiphonal to Pedal  

* pipes with asterisk are enclosed in swell chamber

Total number of pipes: 1,237

Antiphonal Manual: (electronic, separate expression) Antiphonal Pedal: (electronic, under expression with Antiphonal Manual)

8’ Principal
8’ Gemshorn
8’ Concert Flute
8’ Chimney Flute
8’ Royal Trumpet
Unison Off
4’ Coupler
2’ Coupler

16’ Principal
16’ Violone
16’ Chimney Flute
16’ Posaune
16’ Fagotto
Manual to Pedal 8’
Manual to Pedal 4’
Manual to Pedal 2’

Total number of analog generators: 97

Memory System: (by Sonic Creations of Cortez Colorado)

Eight levels
EEPROM system needing no batteries. No static sensitive components.
Generals: 4 pistons on Swell keyboard and duplicated in toe studs
Swell:   5 pistons on Swell keyboard
Great:   5 pistons on Great Keyboard
Pedal:   5 toe studs
Antiphonal Manual and Pedal: 5 pistons on Great keyboard

This system has capacity for 16 pistons for each division and 32 generals.
It is expandable beyond that.


  • Tutti
  • Crescendo (no reeds or couplers, except Antiphonal couplers)
  • Antiphonal on Swell (switches Swell keyboard between Antiphonal and Swell divisions: reversible) piston and toe stud
  • Antiphonal on Great: piston and toe stud
  • Antiphonal on Pedal: toe stud between toe studs for Swell and Great so that a manual and pedal division can be switched at the same time.
  • Chimes (the chimes are mounted on the outside side of the Swell box)
  • Transposer (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)
  • Tuning (to tune Antiphonal and pipe divisions together)
  • Switches to power up the Antiphonal in the Main church and/or the Antiphonal in the Church Annex (Jerome Assembly Hall)
gal=PipeOpus02, img=StPetersConsole
gal=PipeOpus02, img=StPetersFrankT
gal=PipeOpus02, img=StPetersWorkers


Couplers: The intradivisional couplers in the Antiphonal divisions couple down to the keyboards and pedalboard as well as the speaking stops. This allows the organist to select these stops at a number of different pitches, giving much greater registration possibilities.
Antiphonal Speakers: There are two amplifier and speaker systems, one in the main church on top of the Swell Chamber, the other in the corner of the adjoining Annex to the church (Jerome Assembly Hall). This arrangement allows the organist to play antiphonally between two parts of the building (thus the name ‘Antiphonal’). The organist can also use the Antiphonal to lead singing in the annexed room more effectively than could be done with the pipe organ alone, since it is up high and behind a double pane thick glass wall.
Shutters: The shutters open sequentially, first the top section, then concurrently and finishing with the bottom section. This allows a much more gradual and smoother crescendo (and makes the organ very interesting to watch). The Swell chamber has a 4” wood stud wall filled with fiberglass insulation. The inside paneling is 3/4” (mostly solid) oak on the back wall and 3/4” birch on sides and ceiling. The outside is 5/8” drywall. The ceiling is thicker, with 2 x 6 wood joists. It is a very effective swell chamber, even in a rather small and very live acoustical environment.
Pressure: The entire organ is voiced on 3 1/4” wind pressure.
Console: The console is from Casavant Frères Ltée and made in 1945 for Stuart Kolbinson who then resided in Kindersly Saskatchewan. It was Casavant opus 1775. It has been refinished and keyboards and pedalboard refelted, cleaned, adjusted, etc. The interior and all controls and switches (including stop switches) are new. The music rack and lights are new. The original end of key roller contacts have been restored and rewired into an eight position transposer and the pneumatic action replaced with a solenoid action. The console is of birch exterior and walnut interior.
Antiphonal: The electronic voice system comes from Sonic Creations of Cortez Colorado. The voicing was done on site. The switching system for the Antiphonal is electronic using Sonic Creations boards. This system uses standard transistors and standard non-CMOS chips.
Main Switching System: The switching system for the pipe organ is electromechanical, using components from Reisner Inc. (now part of Organ Supply Industries). All switches and key contacts are well isolated from dust and contaminants. This system was used because of its ruggedness (in an area where electrical storms and power surges are common) and its simplicity to service. Parts can always be made to replace defective ones if the manufacturer should cease operations.


8’ Koppelflute: New, made by Organ Supply Industries and voiced by Golden Eagle Organ Co.
8’ Dulciana: 1-12 of unknown origin, revoiced on site.
13-61 by Casavant voicer René Bedard, probably 1944, from St. Michael’s church Saskatoon.
8’ Gamba Celeste: 1-12 from same source as Dulciana 1-12 revoiced on site.
13-61 was originally a Viola d’Gamba by Casavant René Bedard in 1944, revoiced and retuned as a Celeste on site. Purchased from St. Michael’s Church, Saskatoon.
4’ Principal: From Sacred Heart Cathedral, Prince Albert, O. Jacques Orgues Lteé, 1942, revoiced on site.
4’ Melodia: Labeled “4 Fusz, Flauto d’Amour”. This is a wooden German rank. The name mixes both Italian and French in one name. It came from St. Michael’s church in Saskatoon.
2 2/3’ Nazard: This is new made by Organ Supply Industries and voiced by Golden Eagle Organ Co.
2’ Flautino: Unknown origin.
1 1/3’ Larigot: Extension of 2 2/3’ Nazard.
8’ Trumpet: 1-12 are from two 8’ Cornopeans originally located in a Récit division and voiced by A. Lecomte. Rescaled, new tongues, and revoiced on site.
13-61 are of unknown origin, revoiced on site.
8’ Principal: 1-12 from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Prince Albert, O. Jacques Orgues, Lteé, 1942, opus 275 and revoiced on site.
13-61 from the St. Pierce Organ Co., made in 1877, revoiced on site.
8’ Gedeckt: Of wood, unknown origin.
4’ Octave: From a Belgian builder in the city of Liege. Rescaled some time in the past, revoiced on site.
4’ Dulcet: Unknown origin.
2’ Fifteenth: Originally by the Moller Organ Co., opus 5767 taken from a 2 rank Swell Mixture. The 2 2/3’ rank went into the Pedal 2 rank Mixture.
III Mixture: New, made by Organ Supply Industries and voiced by Golden Eagle Organ Co. on site.
8’ Oboe: Purchased second hand by Stuart Kolbinson form an Omaha builder in 1944.
16’, 8’, 4’, 2’ Principal: 1-12 from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Prince Albert, the original Stevens Co. tracker organ which was replaced by the 1942 O. Jacques Orgues Lteé. These pipes were revoiced on site to better match 13-36.
13-36 Casavant pipework revoiced on site.
37-68 by A. Gottfried & Co. of Erie Pennsylvania, taken from the second rank of a 4 rank Mixture and revoiced on site.
16’ Gedeckt: 1-12 by Franklin Legge and Sons of Ontario, made for Dr. Howard Hart of Saskatoon, along with the windchest it sits on.
8’ Bourdon: 1 – 12 from St. Michael’s Church, Saskatoon of unknown origin.
13 – 32 from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Prince Albert, O. Jacques Orgues Lteé, 1942, Opus 275.
II Mixture: 2 2/3’ rank from Moller 2 rank Swell Mixture opus 5767.
2’ rank an extension of the 16’ Principal
16’, 8’ Fagotto: 1-12 Casavant, voiced by M. Fontaine, 1944 with extensive revoicing on site.
13-44 from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Prince Albert, O. Jacques Orgues Lteé, 1942, Opus 275. It was originally an Hautbois. It was given extensive revoicing to match 1-12.
Chimes: 25 note Deagan chimes, electropneumatic relay chest. It was a gift from Dr. Howard and Cecilia Hart.

Design and Construction:

  • The over-all design of the case and support structure is by Bill Thurmeier.
  • The exterior of the lower part of the case was designed in consultation with Étien Gaboury, architect (Winnipeg, MB) of the building, and with the Art and Architecture committee of St. Peter’s Abbey.
  • The support structure was designed in consultation with the engineer for Gaboury Associates, Architects, Inc. of Winnipeg, MB. The final drawings and structural analysis were done by Robb - Kullman Engineering, Ltd. of Saskatoon, SK.
  • The lower section of the case was built primarily by Allan Vedress and Br. Wolfgang Thiem OSB.
  • The steel support structure was built by Harold Dyke and Br. Bernard Lange OSB.
  • The design of the upper part of the case was by Bill Thurmeier in consultation with the Art and Architecture committee of St. Peter’s Abbey, and built by him and Br. Wolfgang Thiem OSB.
  • The wiring of the switching system was done by Bill Thurmeier with the help of Br. Wolfgang Thiem OSB and Fr. Bernard Stauber OSB, and Frank Thurmeier.
  • Most of the exposed pipework was hand sanded and polished by Peter Zimmerman of Germany, with the help of Frank Thurmeier and many others.