Fratelli Ruffatti Organ

The Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and faith community of Charlotte, North Carolina, are extremely fortunate to be able to affirm the glory and majesty of God's presence through our Ruffatti organ. It avails the worshipper to experience a wide range of unique grandeur musically - through the soft strings to the bold trumpets sounds.

Part of the heritage of Friendship has always been a strong music program. From the days on Brevard Street, the Friendship family worshipped to the sounds of a Pilcher pipe organ. Moving onto Beatties Ford Road, through the tireless efforts of Gerardo Stroud, the church replaced the Rodgers electronic organ with a large four-manual pipe organ. Many famous organists have played that instrument as staff members, in recital and as guest musicians. Today, we rejoice in our past and look toward the future. The new pipe organ is not only "Friendship's organ," but it is for the community. The music it provides is for all. It will provide a unique arts presence in Charlotte, its dulcet tones will comfort those as it plays hymns of promise, the grand blaze of sound will herald wedding processions forward, and most of all it will bring worshippers closer to the presence of God. Mozart proclaimed the pipe organ the "King of Instruments" and it is only fitting that the house of God should have such a magnificent vehicle to worship the King of Kings.

With approximately 6,000 pipes ranging in size from ¼" to 32', the organ is capable of a larger range of sound than any symphony orchestra. The organ is also capable of a wider range of dynamics than any other musical instrument, or group of instruments. Thanks to research and development by the Ruffatti company, any musician who plays the organ installed at Friendship has a greater control over the range of dynamic expression than on any other pipe organ built in the world today!

All the interior woodwork of the organ is handcrafted of Sipo Mahogany from Africa and is finished both inside and out to furniture grade. This strong wood is selected for its straight grain, but the finishing process eliminates any warping or being affected by humidity or other climactic conditions. Wooden pipes are also made of the same wood and finished inside and out and are built with tongue and groove construction.

Metal pipes are made from either 95% pure Malaysian tin, or from tin/lead alloys of 70% tin or 50% tin. The Herald Trumpet, located on the rear wall of the church, is made of polished, spun brass. Each trumpet pipe is constructed like an orchestral trumpet with a flared bell which adds great visual beauty, but also helps with the tonal quality of the stop.

The solid cherry wood console is a marvel of modern technology. With over 225 stop knobs and over 150 pistons and toe studs to control all the pipes, it is run by several computers. A computer controlled record/playback system is built into the console and recordings may be saved via the USB port onto a flash memory stick and saved onto a computer for later editing and printing in music software.

Some stops that are on this organ that should be noted are:
SWELL 4' Flauto Veneziano—this is a copy of an antique rank of pipes by the 18th century Venetian organbuilder Gaetano Callido and is characterized by a clean, clear sound.

CHOIR 4' Flûte d'Amour—made of solid mahagony, this stop was common in organs in the early 20th century and features a unique design and the time taken to construct it truly was a labor of "love."

CHOIR 8' Dulciana/Unda Maris—these soft undulating stops are purposely tuned flat from each other in the Italian manner and the slight beat that results is said to resemble the "waves of the sea."

CHOIR 8' Tromba dell'Amicizia—the "Friendship Trumpet", a hooded, high pressure reed, enclosed in the Choir

GREAT 8' Harmonic Flute—this is a copy of the Harmonic Flute that Ruffatti built for their organ in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Fatima, Portugal.

SOLO 8' Tuba Mirabilis—this is a replica of a 1926 WurliTzer tuba and is characterized by a rich, smooth reed tone.

USIGNOLO—the "nightingale", five pipes submerged upside-down in oil that all play at once and replicate the sound of birds.

Click here to view the stoplist.