Albert Schweitzer Organ vs. Mighty Mo: How does the new size up with the old?

Compared to the Fox Theatre’s 88-year-old instrument, Clayton State’s 25-year-old Schweitzer Organ is just a babe
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Albert Schweitzer Memorial

Illustration by Diego Patino

The mere sound of air shrilling through metal organ pipes summons images of cavernous churches and movie houses and long-dead virtuosos. In that context, Spivey Hall’s 25-year-old Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ is just a babe. So how does this newcomer size up against metro Atlanta’s ranking piper, the Fox Theatre’s “Mighty Mo?

Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ
Nickname None
Installed 1992
Made in Padua, Italy, by Fratelli Ruffatti
Number of pipes 4,413
Longest pipe 32 feet
Shortest pipe 1/4 inch
First performance A concert by British organist Dame Gillian Weir in May 1992
Connection to famous organist Virgil Fox Fox was good friends with developer Emilie Parmalee Spivey, for whom Spivey Hall is named.

Möller Opus 5566 Theatre Organ
Nickname 
Mighty Mo
Installed 1929
Made in 
Hagerstown, Maryland, by M.P. Möller Organ Co.
Number of pipes 3,622
Longest pipe 32 feet
Shortest pipe 6 inches
First performance 
A musical accompaniment to Steamboat Willie, Disney’s first Mickey Mouse feature on Christmas Day 1929
Connection to famous organist Virgil Fox 
The organist headlined several “Fox at the Fox” concerts in the 1970s.

Hear it in person: On May 13, you can experience the 50-foot-tall Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ in its full, thundering glory in a concert by master organists. Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ 25th Anniversary Celebration starts at 3 p.m. at Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall.

This article originally appeared in our May 2017 issue.

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