EAST TEXAS PIPE ORGAN FESTIVAL
Honoring the Life and Work of Roy Perry (1906- 1978)
ROY PERRY (1906-1978) was organist-choirmaster at First Presbyterian Church, Kilgore, Texas from 1932 to 1972. After meeting G. Donald Harrison, Mr. Perry worked for Aeolian-Skinner as a sales representative, designer, and tonal finisher, and was responsible for many of the company’s instruments throughout Texas and the South, working with T. J. Williams and his family of organ technicians from New Orleans. In this capacity, Mr. Perry designed and finished organs in Harrison’s concept of the American Classic Organ and developed his skills as a tonal finisher. It was in this latter area that he excelled, and his organs are characterized by unusual polish and coherence both in the build-up of stops and within the individual ranks. As a designer, he had influence over the organs he sold, and he developed many theories in pipe scaling and in the complex composition of mixture stops, but was probably best known in his field as a designer and finisher of string celeste tone of the most notable character and beauty. These latter elements are especially evident in his last major work, the supervision of the three-year renovation (1973-1975) of the Great Organ in Washington Cathedral, where, among his many tasks, he designed two sets of specially scaled wide-mouth string celestes – a construction unique to that installation.
Throughout his career as an organ builder, Roy Perry remained most dedicated to the preparation and performance of church music of the highest caliber, and he taught the legacies and principles of church music to those who passed through his choir and congregation..
East Texas Pipe Organ Festival, Honoring the Life and Work of Roy Perry (1906 - 1978).