St. Jude Parish 3/16 Griffith-Beach

Experience the sound of the Theatre Pipe Organ

St. Jude RC Parish,
40 Maxim Dr. Hoptacong, N.J.

The late Frank Cimmino plays the St. Jude’s Griffith Beach

In the early 1920’s the Griffith Beach Organ Co of Newark, headed by Earle Beach, was contracted to build a memorial organ to be installed at the Elliott Street Grammar School in Newark, N.J.

The idea of an organ to memorialize 15 alumni who died in WWI was conceived by Charles Grant Shaffer, Principal of the school, who was the driving force behind the
effort. Two years of subscription fundraising resulted in enough money to cover the $10,300 purchase price.

Installed in the auditorium of the school, the instrument was dedicated as part of an elaborate musical program on Tuesday night, April 22, 1924. The dedicatory organist was Rodney Saylor. Virtually all of the works played that night were classical in nature.

At some point in the 1960s the school auditorium was converted into a cafeteria/gathering room. The organ console was removed, and the chambers sealed off from the room. The instrument, still in the chambers had been silent for over 20 years when the school PTA, fearing it would be junked, sought a new home for it where it would be appreciated. The PTA stipulated that the memorial nature of the instrument be maintained.

In 1985, the organ was finally “rescued”. It was removed from the school and installed at St Jude RC Church at Lake Hopatcong, N.J., also as a memorial instrument. A book in the vestibule of the church records all those remembered – both Elliot Street alumni and Parish Members.

The re-installation crew was lead by GSTOS founder Walter Froehlich, and included brothers Peter Panos and Fr. Pat Panos. GSTOS member Noel Mackisoc, who ran an electronics design business, designed and built a new multiplex relay for the organ’s installation in its new home. By today’s standards this relay is very slow and primitive, but at the time it was built it was quite state of the art, using Cmos micro-processing chips. Significantly, it is still working as designed 30 years later!

As it turned out, this move saved the organ in more than one sense. The Elliott Street School was later destroyed by fire in 2006.

The current configuration of the organ is a bit more unified due to the new multiplex
relay. The Gottfried pipework is all original except for the tuba. This rank was destroyed in the school and was replaced with a Möller trumpet (down to 16′) when installed in the church. Part of the original tibia clausa was lost to “organ pirates” but the replacement pipes blend in well with what’s left of the original Gottfried pipes. Unfortunately, the original horseshoe console was lost when removed from the school in the
1960s, but it was replaced with a used standard three manual classic console. This console was only supposed to be a temporary replacement, but has hung in there for the 25 plus years that the organ has been in service.

The organ is not in good shape right now (2014) and is ready for a rejuvenation if funding ever becomes available.

When reinstalled in the Church, Ashley Miller played the first public concert. Ralph Ringstad, Jr. played the formal dedication program less than a year later.

Ashley Miller at the St. Jude’s Griffith Beach first public concert May, 1988

Walter Froehlich, Peter Panos, Fr. Pat Panos at the St. Jude’s Console after preparing the organ for Ashley’s concert.

A Listing of the organ’s ranks is as follows:

  1. Open Diapason/Octave 16, 8, 4
  2. Bourdon/Concert Flute 16, 8
  3. Lieblich Gedeckt 16
  4. Tuba/Clarion 8, 4 (Replaced by Möller Trumpet)
  5. Cello 8
  6. Tibia Clausa 8
  7. Dulciana/Dulcet 8, 4
  8. French Horn 8
  9. Vox Humana 8
  10. Salicional 8
  11. Gross Flute 8
  12. Gamba 8
  13. Gamba Celeste 8
  14. Violina 4
  15. Clarinet 8
  16. Dulciana 8


  • One tuned percussion – Cathedral Chimes
  • Tremulants
  • Intermanual Couplers and Intramanual Couplers
  • Church organ nomenclature is used to name the manuals: Swell, Great and Choir

Elliott Street School Griffith-Beach Stoplist as installed in 1924


  • 16′ Open
  • 16′ Bourdon
  • 16′ Lieb. Gedk.
  • 8′ Tuba
  • 8′ Open
  • 8′ Cello
  • 4′ Octave
  • Choir-Pedal
  • Swell- Pedal
  • Great-Pedal


  • 16′ Open
  • 8′ Open
  • 8′ Gross Flute
  • 8′ Tibia Clausa
  • 8′ Gamba
  • 8′ Tuba
  • 4′ Octave
  • 2/2/3′ Twelfth
  • 4′ Violina
  • 4′ Clarion
  • Swell-Great 16′
  • Swell-Great 8′
  • Swell-Great 4′
  • Great-Great 8′
  • Tremulant


    • 16′ Bourdon
    • 8′ Open
    • 8′ Tibia Clausa
    • 8′ Concert Flute
    • 8′ Dulciana
    • 8′ French Horn
    • 8′ Vox Humana
    • 8′ Salicional
    • 4′ Flute
    • 4′ Dulcet
    • 2′ Piccolo
    • Chimes
    • Swell-Swell 16′
    • Swell-Swell 8′
    • Swell-Swell 4′
    • Tremulant



  • 16′ Lieb. Gedk.
  • 8′ Open
  • 8′ Clarinet
  • 8′ Concert Flute
  • 8′ Gamba
  • 8′ Gamba Cel.
  • 8′ Dulciana
  • 4′ Violina
  • 8′ Salicional
  • 4′ Flute
  • Cathedral Chimes
  • Choir-Choir 16′
  • Choir-Choir 8′
  • Choir-Choir 4′
  • Swell-Choir 8′