South Tampa’s largest pipe organ to make its newly remodeled grand debut on Christmas Eve

Christ the King Catholic Church is unveiling their newly renovated pipe organ just in time for the holidays. 

"This instrument has been years in the making," stated Stephen Banyra, director of music at Christ the King. "It represents a remodeling of what was already the largest pipe organ in South Tampa."

The original 40-rank organ was a three-manual, or keyboard system, with 2,500 pipes including 16-foot pipes for the low notes.

The updated organ now features a custom made four-manual console with new "digital pipe voices," essentially doubling the size and sounds of the instrument.

"Some of the sounds were custom made for Christ the King. My favorite is Tuba Pontificalis which is a trumpet sound that is echoing the Vatican," said Banyra. 

With the updated size and more playing variety, it gives a more immersive experience. 

"We were able to reimagine the organ. The organ was really loud in the choir. But the sound wasn't going out to the church. We were able to move things around and added pipe sounds up to the front of the church," added Banyra. 

"We had an organ concert here," shared Father Len Plazewski of Christ the King. "It was so beautiful, and for an hour, I forgot about the pandemic, I forgot about all the problems we're facing."

The big debut for this organ will be December 24 when Banyra says they will be pulling out all the stops. 

You can experience the Christ the King service in person at their South Dale Mabry campus. Service times and safety protocols can be found here

Click here to see the service live online. It can also be found on Vimeo here.

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