A new standard of excellence in American organ building has been accomplished in the Isham Memorial Organ that has just been completely installed in the new Appleton Chapel, according to G. D. Harrison, who is supervising the work for the Acolian-Skinner Organ Co.
It was given by Ralph Isham '89, in memory of his son, A. K. Isham '15, who served in the World War as captain of the field artillery in the 42nd division. The instrument represents a return to traditional English and Continental design in that it is voiced as an ensemble rather than as an aggregation of solo effects. At one time the organ degenerated into a theatre instrument, but the Isham instrument is, to date, one of the most thorough-going attempts to treat the organ as an independent musical medium.
The original specification was drawn by W. C. Covell '28 and E. B. Gammons '31. The present scheme, based on it was worked out by Dr. A. T. Davison and G. W. Woodworth '24. The specifications of the main organ calls for 123 stops, of which 99 have actually been installed. Under ordinary circumstances, 123, or even 99 stops would be adequate for such a building. The Isham arms surmounts the pipes of the organ.