Christ Church/Newman Center

396 First Avenue S
St Cloud, MN 56301

Builder: Eric Fiss, 1967
Manuals: 1
Stops: 8
Ranks: 13
Action: Mechanical

Notes: From "Where Paths Cross: A History of the Newman Center at St. Cloud State University St. Cloud, MN": Christ Church Newman Center, 1999, pp 120-121: The organ which now stands in the Newman Center chapel is a wonderful piece designed by Eric Fiss from Fargo, ND. The total cost of the organ was $9,000. Information and photos from Carla Johnson.
See also the Fiss organ at St. John the Evangelist in Hopkins, MN. which also had divided stops on one manual.

8' Gedeckt
4' Principal
4' Blockfloete
2' Spillpfeife
1.1/3' Bauernfloete
    Mixtur IV-VI

8' Rohrgedeckt
4' Principal
4' Blockfloete
2' Spillpfeife
1.1/3' Bauernfloete
    Mixtur VI

16' Pommer
4' Scharfpfeife

Pedal Koppel

While the Knights of Columbus, other local church groups and some Newman parishioners made donations toward its cost, 1967 had dawned before sufficient funds were in hand to order and install it. Fiss sat for hours at a drawing board and created a compact, custom organ that would work effectively with the Newman chapel’s unique acoustical space. Unlike most other organs, the pipes were set with the instrument instead of separate and away from the keyboard; real tones would always be heard by the congregation, not echoes. Fiss then sent his plans to an organ factory in Germany [Laukhuff] where the instrument was built, then take apart with great care, boxed, shipped across the ocean and then reconstructed by the North Dakota craftsman. A March, 1967 parish bulletin announced:

You may want to stop in periodically to see what the ‘entrails’ of the organ are, and how they fit into place, and to meet Mr. Fiss… It is by no means the “grandest’ organ in the world, nor is it for ‘grand’ concerts. It will usually be played by non-professionals, and is to be an instrument of ‘service.’ For a very good lecture on the concept of ‘service’ in worship, talk to Mr. Fiss.

When Fiss finished putting the organ together, he proclaimed simply: “Anyone who hears my organ hears the truth. After all, isn’t that what people come to church for; to find the truth?”