Spring 2001
Volume 5 Number 3



If you have humorous anecdotes or photographs relating something funny from your days at Princeton Seminary, send them to us at Funny You Should Remember, c/o inSpire, P.O. Box 821, Princeton, NJ 08542-0803 or by email to inspire@ptsem.edu . Of course, the editors reserve the right to decide what is appropriate for this column.

Singing in Miller


 Fred E. Christian (’34B) shares a memory of Miller Chapel when it faced Mercer Street, before it was moved in 1933.

“When I first saw Miller Chapel in the fall of 1931 it faced on Mercer Street. Entrance into the main sanctuary then gave one quite a different picture from entering the chapel today. At the front was a small riser about six inches high that reached from one side of the chapel to the other. At the left were the organ and a small area for a choir. Behind this riser there was a second, much shorter riser, on which stood the central pulpit with appropriate pulpit seating behind it.

“It is in this setting that a memorable experience comes to my mind: the joy of singing in a quartet that included (at various times) names well-known in our church’s life in later years: Ray Lindquist, Sam Colman, John Gallaway, Bob Longacre, and others. We were paid the handsome sum of $10 per week, a most welcome boost to at least this student’s marginal resources. We were trained by a Mr. Rudy, choirmaster of the Episcopal church across the way. On occasion we were privileged to sing with his male choir for a special service. Our primary responsibility, however, was to sing each Sunday for the service held in Miller Chapel. The preacher was usually one of the older professors who did not serve somewhere else in a church in the area. Frequently, the preacher had few terminal facilities and would droll on for fifty minutes. This was a challenge in itself when one sat facing the congregation from the tiny choir area, especially if one had had a short night’s sleep. As the year progressed, attendance began to wane since the Princeton University chapel had recently opened, with a good incumbent as chaplain who was crafting an attractive service each week by inviting notable preachers of the time such as the late Harry Emerson Fosdick. Who could forego such an opportunity to have this added lesson in homiletics?”


Early Organ Donor

Gordon M. Loos of Haverford, Pennsylvania, shares some organ memories.

“Growing up in Princeton, I have some early memories of the organ when it was located in the basement of Miller Chapel from 1933 to 1964. The instrument was originally located in the home of Mrs. Ethel Taylor, who was a benefactor of both the Westminster Choir College and the Seminary. As I heard the story, in donating the organ Mrs. Taylor stipulated that it was to be installed in Miller Chapel in just the same way it had stood in her home (what town/city I do not know). It was a fairly large instrument, occupying perhaps half of the chapel basement. I believe it was built by a Pennsylvania firm named Gottfried, and I think it was Mr. Gottfried himself who supervised the installation in Princeton. I recall meeting this bearded old gentleman at the time (I was about seven and quite fascinated by pipe organs).

“I was familiar with the instrument when I was permitted to practice in the chapel as a high school organ student. The console was not in any way conventional. The four manuals each had a row of small concave stop tabs, each about 3/4 inches square, at the far edge of the keys, just under the edge of the manual above. They were hinged and could be flipped down to activate the corresponding stop. There were additional tabs marked with dots or circles in various configurations, serving to activate groups of stops—a primitive combination action. The pedal board was non-radiating, all pedals being parallel. 

“The organ had no direct access for speaking into the chapel. The sound was channeled from the basement up through a semicircular sound duct with a quarter dome, located behind the communion table. There were a few grilles in the chancel floor, looking like hot-air registers, which perhaps slightly augmented the sound allowed to escape from below. To hear the instrument was something like listening through the wrong end of a telescope! What a tribute to the stick-to-it-iveness of the long-suffering David Hugh Jones, Seminary organist and choir director during those decades.”


If you have humorous anecdotes or photographs relating something funny from your days at Princeton Seminary, send them to us at Funny You Should Remember, c/o inSpire, P. O. Box 821, Princeton, NJ 08542-0803 or by email to inspire@ptsem.edu. Of course, the editors reserve the right to decide what is appropriate for this column.


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In This Issue

Features

A World of Students: Valuable Exchanges
Welcome Them in My Name
Fighting for Children and Parents

Departments

From the President's desk
Letters to the Editor
Outstanding in the Field
Class Notes
End Things
Student Life
On & Off Campus
Alumni/ae Update
Investing in Ministry
inSpire Staff
InSpire Archives