The Martin Ott Organ
Through the generosity of 276 donors, the Saint Brigid custom-made, mechanical “tracker” organ was built by Martin Ott of St. Louis, Missouri and dedicated on October 3, 1993. The 37-stop, 51-rank organ was built in Gottingen, Germany and St. Louis. With 2,536 pipes, it was the largest ever built by Ott and is the largest of its kind in San Diego. Pipes range in length from 3/8 inch to 18 feet. Pipe cases are made of American red oak, stained to walnut finish and feature gold-leaf embellishments in the shape of Celtic designs from the Book of Kells.
“Trackers” are long, narrow strips of wood, linking the manuals (keyboards) to valves in the windchest. Pressing a key opens the corresponding valve, allowing air to enter the pipe and produce sound. Electrical power is only used to pull stops and supply the blower. Developed in Germany, tracker organs “live” for centuries – some 17th century instruments are still in regular use.
The organ console holds three manuals and one pedal keyboard. The music rack contains a wood-inlay image of the Cross of St. Brigid. The Ruckpositive Division hanging off the rail of the gallery contains nine racks of pipes. That division enhances congregational singing during liturgies. The organ provides excellent resources for solo literature and choral accompaniment.