Opus 66: Holy Family Catholic | Sparta MI | 2000

Opus 66, Holy Family

Stop List

Holy Family Catholic Church

GREAT, 58 notes

Principal 8
Rohrflute 8
Octave 4
Octave 2
Mixture II-III

SWELL, 58 notes

Salicional 8
Voix céleste 8
Gedackt 8
Spitzflute 4
Nazard 2 2/3
Flute 2
Terce 1 3/5
Cromorne Bass 8
Trumpet Treble 8

PEDAL, 30 notes

Subbass 16
Flute 8



One day in 1999, Larry Barton, Director of Music at Holy Family Catholic Church in Sparta, a nice little village north of Grand Rapids, called and said there was a parishioner who had recently lost loved ones and was interested in providing funding for a pipe organ for the church. Larry asked if I thought Bedient Organ Company would be a good choice to build such an instrument. I must have fallen off my chair, but I regained composure and told Larry that such an eventuality would be marvelous for the people at Holy Family, and all of Western Michigan. I met the prospective donor, Bill Antor, who was a typically straight-forward, small-town farmer-well digger kind of man. My initial thought was: this gentleman will resonate well with Gene Bedient and his ethos of building fine quality organs, in the heartland of Nebraska. Shortly thereafter, Larry let me know that he and Bill would be traveling to Lincoln to meet with Gene at the Bedient shop… I thought, oh my goodness, that will absolutely seal the deal. After the trip, Larry contacted me again, and said that Bill had come to an immediate meeting of the minds with Gene and staffers in Lincoln, and had announced that, if an organ was commissioned, that instrument was to be a Bedient. Opus 66, a strikingly beautiful organ, was installed in the church in the summer of 2000.

During my undistinguished career in church music, I have played very nice organs by E.M. Skinner, Schlicker, Moller, and Wicks. I never expected to have the opportunity to practice on and play this particular Bedient organ, but now, in my fourth year as Music Director and Organist at Holy Family, can say that this 2-manual, 14 stop instrument is the most remarkable and rewarding of any organ I have played. The individual stops are each a marvel unto themselves, and blend so well in combination with others. I can’t choose favorites, but the II Cornet is just thrilling, the strings are perfect, the flutes (an 8′ on both manuals and pedal!) are wonderful, and the Principal Chorus (8, 4, 2, III Mixture) spectacular. I would say my first, and lasting, impression of Opus 66 is the full-bodied tone and richness of the fonds du orgue, Great and Swell 8′ stops. Holy Family Church seats about 350, with a live acoustic, and the assembly singing is robust. It is a joy to lead singing with the splendid sounds of the Bedient organ, along with a fine little re-built Steinway grand piano. Anyone visiting the Grand Rapids area should take a side trip to Sparta and experience and enjoy the multum in parvo, Bedient Opus 66.”

Richard T. Hoogterp, CAGO, Director of Music and Organist