Since Epiphany was founded in 1842, music has played a vital role in the life of the parish. Today, Epiphany has fine musical instruments frequently used in both concert and worship.
The Steinway D 9’ concert grand piano
The Steinway D 9’ concert grand piano was a gift to the church in 1984, in memory of parishioner and vestry member Betty Shinkman. It is used frequently in both worship and the Tuesday Concert Series. In addition, a 1916 Steinway 5’7” baby grand is located in the second-floor Choir Room.
Epiphany’s grand 64-rank, 3,467-pipe Æolian-Skinner pipe organ
Epiphany’s grand 64-rank, 3,467-pipe Æolian-Skinner pipe organ, one of the last instruments of the Æolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston, Massachusetts, was installed in 1968 and has recently been restored by the Di Gennaro-Hart Co. of Washington, D.C. It was originally given in memory of Adolf Torovsky, Epiphany’s organist and choirmaster for nearly fifty years, and it replaced the Ernest M. Skinner Organ Co. instrument of 1911. However, pipes from the Roosevelt (1874) and the Skinner (1911) instruments were incorporated into the current instrument. Notable Music Directors at Epiphany in the recent past have included: Garnell Copeland (1966–1977), in whose memory the Trompette-en-Chamade (1978) was given (Epiphany remains the only organ to contain two en-chamade reed stops in the D.C. metro area), Charles Callahan (1977–1986), James Buonamani (prior to his move to St. James Episcopal Church, Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles), Eric Plutz (1995–2005), now Organist at Princeton University, and Christian Clough (2005-2011). The organ’s curator is Bard Wickkeiser, curator of the organs in Washington National Cathedral and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The Church of the Epiphany is pleased to allow the use of this instrument in situ or outside by individuals, business and musical groups. The organ has 3 stops; 8’, 4’ and 2’. It is transposable up and down a half step from A440. The casework is of oak. The manual keys have plum naturals and ebony sharps. Its use is at the discretion of the Director of Music and the cost of hire is $250. For additional information and rental policies for this organ, please see our Booking Form.
The original Epiphany tower, built in 1857, contained a single bell. However, during the Civil War, it was removed and melted down for its metal. A new tower built in 1922 allowed for a chime of bells to be placed there as a tribute to the seventh rector, Dr. Randolph Harrison McKim. These were the first true set of church bells in the city of Washington and contain 15 bells made by Meneely & Company of Watervliet, New York. The largest bell is the only one with an inscription: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth Peace, Good Will Toward Men”. The bells have been rung for the inauguration of every president from Calvin Coolidge onward. After President Truman’s inauguration in 1949 and President Eisenhower’s in 1953 and 1957, a recording of the bells was featured on national radio. Today, the bells ring on a regular basis chiming the quarter hours and hymn-based peals on Sunday mornings and weekdays at noon.