Silencing the King: Coral Ridge’s Mighty Ruffatti is Now a Museum Piece
Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is home to a 7,000-pipe, 114-rank (178, including the 2004 digital expansion), five-manual Ruffatti organ. Built in 1974 and designed in part by the legendary Diane Bish, it was once the largest European-built organ in the country. From the church’s website:
“There are four sets of “en chamade” (horizontal) trumpets, including an 8-foot Italian-Spanish trumpet as well as 16-foot and 4-foot trumpets on the main organ. From the Antiphonal division, a large 8-foot Trompette de Fete is used for festive fanfares and in solo against the full organ. Accenting the Positive division is a cymbelstern in the shape of a gold star.”
For those of you who don’t speak the language, not only is it a high-quality instrument, it’s roughly the size of Vermont.
Coral Ridge is apparently quite proud of it. They feature it prominently in their concert series. They even recently hired a talented organist to play it.
They just no longer find it particularly useful for worship. Again, according to the church website:
“Our organist integrates the sounds of our beautiful Rufatti pipe organ into the more modern worship setting. While the organ is played throughout the worship set, it is most often featured in our prelude and during key moments of congregational song. The songs we sing come from many different eras of history, from re-imagined historic hymns, to modern worship choruses, to a few of our own—all set in modern musical styles.”