Wicks has a long history of romantic instruments, and that influence was put to use here. Wicks Opus 1228 was built in 1934 in the Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori, “The Rock Church”, of St. Louis, Missouri under the direction of John Henry Wick, son of company founder John Wick. This grand instrument served as the genesis for this project. This instrument contains some of the first work done by Henry Vincent Willis for the Wicks firm. Voicing untouched, this instrument has remained “as installed” with the exception of an updated relay in the 1980’s. It was not our intention to use leathered upper lips or strings the size of soda straws, but the over all sound, that grand and glorious sound, was a shoe-in once the music ministry of Christ Church heard it. St. Alphonsus was also used for the concept of the modern façade. Our intention was not to turn back the clock but rather to find the best possible place to stop its pendulum. This concept is long overdue: the return to instruments that inspire players to play them, and inspire the listener to something larger than mere sound or force. The intention was to build an instrument that wanted to be played by a musician as well as a technician, one that promoted improvisation as well as recitation.
Excerpt from the April 2002 edition of The Diapason about the Christ Church, Episcopal (Plano, Texas) Wicks organ (Opus 6390)