For more than 130 years, the organ in the University Church brought a distinctly French baroque sound to the center of spiritual life at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.
Today, however, the University's liturgical needs require an instrument capable of more flexibility. "The [old] organ lack[ed] a lot of what we call color stops," said Robert Minotti, the music director at Fordham. "It doesn’t have the variety of sounds that are expected today in liturgical celebrations, which often go from baroque music to contemporary music to supporting hymns."
Thanks to the generosity of several benefactors—Stephen E. Bepler, FCRH '64; Kim B. Bepler; the late George Doty, FCRH '38; Joelle and Brian Kelly, LAW '95; and John C. Walton, FCRH '72, and Jeanette D. Walton, TMC '71, GSAS '73—Fordham has a new custom-made organ.
The Maior Dei Gloria ("Greater Glory to God") organ, built in San Francisco by Schoenstein & Co, was brought in, pipe by pipe, and installed in November 2012.
"The new organ consists of over 2,776 pipes that combined create a myriad of tonal sounds" and a bolder, "much more symphonic" effect than the old organ, Minotti said. Plus, the new organ is equipped with technology that fosters better coordination between it and the smaller organ at the front of the church.
Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, vice president for University mission and ministry, said the new organ has enhanced concerts and liturgies at Fordham.
"Thanks to the selfless generosity of some very special friends of Fordham, the installation of a world-class organ in our University Church has signaled for Fordham the start of a new era of lifting hearts and voices in praise of God."