John Brombaugh and Associates opus 9
Sonoma State University
Opus 9 was built in 1971 by John Brombaugh and Company Middletown, Ohio for Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, Toledo Ohio.    This organ was the iconic instrument of the historic organ reform movement in the United States.   It incorporated many features that were to become important to organ building for the next thirty years.  The pipes were made of hammered high lead alloys in the old European style.   The key and stop action were purely mechanical giving the player a close and intimate control of the instrument.   The wind system with a single wedge shaped bellows gave a flexible and sympathetic supply to the pipes.  The voicing was vocal and focused giving the organ a strong and vigorous chorus.  The first use of a historic tuning system in unequal temperament gave the organ a powerful and focused sound.  The case utilized a system of historic,  Golden Section  proportions in the design.

Opus 9 in Toledo
When Ashland Avenue Baptist closed in 2005 the organ was offered for sale.     It was Bruce Walker at Sonoma who had the vision of a fine pipe organ for the new Green Music Center.   The organ was purchased in 2005 and Taylor and Boody Organbuilders of Staunton, Virginia was contracted to remove the organ from Toledo.   George Taylor and John Boody were both involved with the original design and building of the organ in 1971.

Opus 9 in it's current location, St. Michaels
in Rochester, NY
The subsequent moving of the organ is a story in itself.   First the organ was installed in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, NY to serve as an interim instrument while the cathedral awaited the new Paul Fritts organ.   When the Fritts organ was delivered in 2008, opus 9 moved again to St. Michael's Roman Catholic in Rochester where it is under the care and use of the Eastman School of Music.
 
Opus 9 is world-renowned musical instrument that will be the center- piece for the new recital hall, the Green Music Center.   This fine pipe organ has attracted the attention of the best organists worldwide.   It will be an invaluable addition to the musical life at Sonoma State University.
 
Rendering of opus 9 in the Green Music Center
 
 

 


Phone 540.886.3583