The concert hall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay was designed as a multi-purpose auditorium to be used by the university and community for a variety of musical and non-musical events. In concert halls where there is a need to have fly space for dramatic and operatic performances, placing the organ at the back of the stage can cause acoustical difficulties with the projection of the organ’s sound into the auditorium. In Green Bay the solution was found by having the orchestra perform on a thrust stage in front of the proscenium arch. This places the orchestra directly in the hall and permitted the organ to be installed to the right side of the stage in an elevated position from where it not only speaks directly into the hall but also maintains close proximity to the orchestra and other performers on the stage. Marilyn Mason, who served as consultant for the Wood Family Organ, inaugurated the instrument to a standing-room only audience on September 19, 1993.
The excellent acoustics in this building allow the instrument to speak easily and freely into the large space. The Grand Orgue is based upon a sixteen-foot plenum, which is appropriate for both the size of the building and the use of the instrument to provide a grand sound when played as a solo instrument or in ensemble with an orchestra. The two other manual divisions are enclosed and contain complete ensembles and colors needed for the performance of a wide range of literature. The Grand Chœur consists of a battery of high pressure reed stops and a large Cornet, available at sixteen and eight foot pitch to provide additional power in musical climaxes.
The Wood Family Organ Technical information
- Three manuals and pedals, 44 stops, 68 ranks
- Movable drawknob console, compass 61/32
- Opus 3702, 1993