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Hammond Castle Gloucester

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  • Hammond Castle Gloucester

    I visited Hammond Castle in Gloucester MA for the first time yesterday and there is a big pipe organ. I looked it up in the organ database, but does anyone know anything about it? I was going to ask to play it but never got the chance. This is the database I found https://pipeorgandatabase.org/organ/27156

  • #2
    Mr. Cant,

    Welcome to the Forum! You can start by reading information already posted here on the Forum here:Some posts may appear blank because they may have been lost in past Organ Forum software upgrades. However, you should find much of the information you require in those threads. Thanks for bringing up this organ again!

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      Virgil Fox had quite the connection to Hammond Castle and the organ, owning it for a period of time. Lots of information out there through use of a search engine.

      http://www.organarts.com/legacy02/history.html
      Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

      Comment


      • johnroper100
        johnroper100 commented
        Editing a comment
        Virgil never owned the castle, the money he paid was for a spot on the board of trustees that was set up by the Archdiocese after Hammond's death. He was given permission to run and live at the castle until his eventual departure due to social and financial issues.

    • #4
      The two posters above are very right. The organ is definitely one of the most interesting in the US even if it has lost its title as largest residence organ. Its core is Aeolian-Skinner, Welte, EM Skinner, Denison, and Aeolian, but it's had additions since. A new console was provided in the 1980s by Kim Bolton who was working under the EM Skinner name at the time. The instrument was playable up until the early 2000s, though in an ever-deteriorating state.

      On another note, you say you saw the instrument yesterday, but the castle is closed for the winter. Were you there for an event?
      Last edited by johnroper100; 01-19-2022, 09:37 AM.

      Comment


      • #5
        Sorry, I misspoke, I mean to say the other day, meaning a couple of weeks ago. The forum won't let me edit my post.

        Comment


        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Was it open during Christmas? I'm not far from there, and would like to see it again with less crowds around-in other words, not Summer.

          Michael

        • Admin
          Admin commented
          Editing a comment
          There's a 12 hour window for editing your posts.

        • johnroper100
          johnroper100 commented
          Editing a comment
          The castle was open until January 3rd and then it opens again in April.

      • #6
        Here are a couple of recordings of the instrument -

        Liszt Ad Nos:


        Concert Encores:


        Ellsasser Album:
        Last edited by Admin; 01-20-2022, 09:02 AM.

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      • #7
        Some historic photographs
        Attached Files

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        • #8
          Is that Virgil Fox in the last picture?
          Can't play an note but love all things "organ" Responsible for 2/10 Wurli pipe organ, Allen 3160(wife's), Allen LL324, Allen GW319EX, ADC4600, many others. E-organ shop to fund free organ lessons for kids.

          Comment


          • johnroper100
            johnroper100 commented
            Editing a comment
            myorgan He never owned the castle but simply lived there for about a year as a trustee.

          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            @johnroper100,

            I believe you're probably correct. I seem to remember that, but had forgotten. It's been several years since I went there.

            Michael

          • johnroper100
            johnroper100 commented
            Editing a comment
            myorgan the money that Virgil Fox paid in regards to the castle, was basically to secure himself a spot as a trustee. It was not a purchase of the building.

        • #9
          Originally posted by John Vanderlee View Post
          Is that Virgil Fox in the last picture?
          It is indeed. Virgil gave many concerts at the Castle and even lived there for a short time.
          Attached Files

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          • #10
            Thanks everyone, this is very interesting!

            Comment


            • #11
              Stephen,

              Did you need any additional information, or is your curiosity temporarily satisfied?😉

              Michael
              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
              • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

              Comment


              • #12
                I mean, anything else about this that people know is welcome. I'm just trying to lean as much as I can about these instruments.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Well, in that case, read away!

                  Don't overlook pipe organs, theatre organs (with "traps": what they call percussion and other sound effects), and church organs. They are all distinct types of organs, but sometimes have crossover between them all. There are some sites which provide great tutorials, depending on the type of organ you're interested in learning about.

                  If you liked the Hammond Castle organ, you may wish to check out the Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia, and others. Balboa Park organ in San Diego is another you might be interested in. Carol Williams plays a nice version of Flight of the Bumblebee on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHZvMAJUN5g.

                  Be more specific with your requests, and we can provide MUCH more specific information for you. Just let us know.

                  Michael
                  Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                  • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                  • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                  • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Does anyone have more information about Hammond Castle organ than what I have already shared here? I've tried to find as much as possible, but there isn't a lot online.

                    Comment


                    • myorgan
                      myorgan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      John,

                      If someone really wanted to do the research, there was an article in The American Organist. I believe most of the scholarly information could be found in relation to Richard Ellsasser (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Ellsasser), who made a couple of recordings there. Information about the Castle is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammond_Castle.

                      For more information you can go to the references section at the bottom of each article to see if the reference links still work. I hope that helps provide more information.

                      Michael

                    • Larrytow
                      Larrytow commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm pretty sure that Virgil Fox made an entire album on that organ. I believe the title is "Virgil Fox at Home". I own a copy of it that he autographed for me, when I met him after one of his concerts in Milwaukee. All my albums are currently packed away in storage crates, so I can't get anymore details off of it easily at the moment. If I am recalling correctly, most of the pieces on that album are more romantic in style; not the usual Virgil bombastic types.

                  • #15
                    I'm trying to recall a winter piece by Richard Elsasser, which I believe was recorded on the Hammond Castle Organ. I think it was some kind of a Suite, which included a segment about Santa on his sleigh, maybe "Jolly Fat Man on a Sleigh".
                    Stephen Cant might also get on the website for the Atlantic City Organ for news on the restoration of the worlds's largest pipe organ.
                    Can't play an note but love all things "organ" Responsible for 2/10 Wurli pipe organ, Allen 3160(wife's), Allen LL324, Allen GW319EX, ADC4600, many others. E-organ shop to fund free organ lessons for kids.

                    Comment


                    • myorgan
                      myorgan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      From IMDB: Works: "Greenwich Village" (ballet, which earned a Henry Levitt Award); "Scherzo on Mendelsohnnian Themes"; "Only the Valiant" (commissioned by the Methodist Church); "Toward Evening"; "March Fantastique"; "The Decalogue" (ten anthems); and "Organ Concerto".

                      Michael

                      P.S. Sadly, IMSLP doesn't even have him listed.
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