Metropolitan United Church
The History of the Organ - 1897 to 2022
Abstract - The History of the Organ at Metropolitan United by Barbara M Hallam (1989)
In 1897, Casavant Frères Limitée installed the first organ in first Methodist Church in London, Ontario. The instrument was typical of the 19th century, and Casavant was regarded as a well-established builder in Canada. During the following 90 years, four major changes occurred, which affected the development of the instrument.
For several years, the organ was adequate, but after World War I, a thicker, heavier sounding instrument was more fashionable. In 19 14–15, first, Methodist Church added a fourth manual to the organ. This allowed for larger scope and a stronger orchestral sound. It was not until the 1950s that another change was made. Wind pressures were decreased, so that mutations and mixtures would achieve a brighter sound. 10 years later, organist were still intent in achieving clearer and brighter sounds from their instruments due to the Baroque revival. The 1960s sparked an interest in Baroque performance practice and organist wanted to perform, works on instruments that were not muddy and muffled in tone. The latest revision to the organ in Metropolitan United Church was completed in 1980. Casavant Frères Limitée was hired to implement a complete total revision of the instrument. This was done to improve the total quality of the organ, specifically the chorus reeds.