The church Sanctuary houses two pipe organs: a five-manual Aeolian-Skinner Organ of 96 ranks in the Chancel and a two-manual Schlicker Organ of 36 ranks in the Gallery.
The Chancel Organ
The Chancel Organ, Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1196, was contracted in 1949. Built in the company’s factory in Boston and stored there until completion of Covenant’s Sanctuary in 1953, the organ was voiced by G. Donald Harrison, president and tonal director. The console bears his signature name plate, a distinction reserved for the firm’s finest instruments. In 1975, concurrent with the installation of the Gallery Schlicker Organ, a four-manual console, capable of playing both the Chancel and Gallery Organs, replaced the original Aeolian-Skinner console. The organ received minor revisions and several additions over the years, as well as a complete renovation in 2003-2004. The renovation project included a new five-manual, Aeolian-Skinner style console built by Robert M. Turner of southern California. The console rests on an hydraulic lift and can be moved to the Chancel center for concerts. The five-manual console permits greater versatility in controlling the combined eight manual and two pedal divisions between the Chancel and Gallery Organs. David Nelms and the Mid-Atlantic Organ Company installed the new console and accomplished the renovation. Read more about Covenant's Chancel Organ in the Pipe Organ Database.
The Gallery Organ
Installed in 1975, the two-manual, mechanical action instrument was given by Marion Nebel in memory of her husband, Mr. William Nebel. Hermann Schlicker, founder of the Schlicker Organ Company of Buffalo, N.Y., built the Gallery Organ as the final instrument before his death. The organ case is constructed of Honduran mahogany. North German in design, this organ is especially suited to the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries and features façade pipes of burnished copper and polished tin. The Chancel console controls the Gallery Organ by means of electric pull-downs. In 1982 Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Berryhill donated a dramatic horizontal Spanish Trumpet, given in memory of parents Mr. and Mrs. William Scott Berryhill.
The Chapel Organ
The first organ in Morrison Chapel, an 1885 William Johnson and Sons instrument, came from the old St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Charlotte. Enlarged and rebuilt by the Schlicker Organ Company in 1962, the instrument served the congregation from that year until 2012. Gifts from individuals and local foundations established seed money for planning a new instrument. In 2010 a bequest from the estate of Esther L. and Charles E. Fishell provided the funds to build and endow a new organ as well as support other musical initiatives. Using information gathered in 2005, an ad hoc committee selected A.E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Company to build a 32-rank organ of great versatility and warmth. Its tonal palette, set in the American Classic Style, resembles the design of the Sanctuary’s Aeolian-Skinner Organ. Completed and dedicated in 2012, the instrument serves as both worship leader and concert organ. In January 2014, the organ will be the cover photo and feature article of The American Organist magazine. The picture at the top of this page is also of the Chapel Organ.
The Music Studio Organ
The Sanctuary building Music Studio houses a two-manual, ten rank, mechanical action Flentrop Organ. Built in Zaandam, Holland, this instrument was imported to the U.S. and installed in the Charlotte home of Henry and Daisy Bridges in 1968. Mr. and Mrs. Bridges donated it to Covenant Presbyterian Church in 2010, and David Nelms of Pipe Organs of the Carolinas relocated the instrument to the Music Studio. The instrument serves as a practice instrument as well as a rehearsal instrument for small ensembles and soloists.
Covenant Presbyterian Church's tower houses a 48-bell cast bell carillon and one pealing bell. The bells, which range in size from 22 pounds to 3,300 pounds were cast in Holland by Petit Fritsen.The original "A" bell was the gift of Mrs. Arnold Smith. Forty-one additional bells were given by Mr. and Mrs. James Barnhardt and their sons, James and Sadler, as a memorial to Alan Wilson Hayers, Jr. Later bells were donated by Mrs. Arnold Smith, Dr. George Culbreth and his mother, Mrs. C.B. Culbreth, Mrs. Robert Moore, Mrs. Charles Barnhardt, and the family of Richard Ramey and his mother, Mrs. Robert Ramey. Other bells were given in honor of individuals, whose names are inscribed on the bells along with those of the donors. A memorial plaque bearing the names of all those honored and their donors was placed in the north gallery stairwell as part of Covenant's 50th anniversary celebration. Covenant's memorial carillon was dedicated on Sept. 18, 1966, with a recital by the famed carilloneur Wendall Westcott of Michigan State University. On Jan. 11, 2001, the Low D#" was hoisted to the tower and installed by the Verdin Company of Ohio. The bell and a new Clavier were given in memory of George T. and Adelaide S. Williams by George M. and Sarah E. Williams, and George E. and Sylvia M. Williams.