Shelton Chapel Pipe Organ Restoration

 Shelton Chapel has become the iconic landmark of Austin Seminary. This Gothic-style chapel has served as the backdrop for hundreds of worship services, lectures, weddings, memorials, music lessons, concerts, even a movie since its construction in 1942. The beauty of Shelton Chapel comes in part from the intricate carvings of wood and stone but also from the majestic sounds of its pipe organ, which recently underwent restoration.

The pipe organ was installed in Shelton Chapel in 1983. Scott McNulty, the coordinator of chapel music, was an intern at Austin Seminary when the organ was selected and installed. He says that they “fit a lot of pipe organ into a small space. It has beautiful color.” What he likes most is its versatility and ease in going from playing J.S. Bach to 21st century music. The organ is ideal for accompanying a choir, soloist, cantor, or a full congregation.

After 28 years, the organ needed 53 pipes replaced, but the process required the disassembly of nearly 1,000 pipes, ranging from the size of needles to 16-feet tall. The installation is part of a larger three-part renovation. The next phase, he says, is to replace smaller pipes that no longer stay in tune, and finally install new pipes that will offer another dimension of sound.

As the coordinator of chapel music, Scott plans the music for all of the chapel services with the worship team. “I love putting worship together with faculty and students, and I don’t repeat many or any hymns in a year,” he said.

He loves that his role allows him to sit at the front of the chapel and take in the depth and the sound of everyone singing in the chapel. The organ, he says, is another form of worshipping the glory of God—the organ uses wind just like we do when we praise and sing.

The new pipes will be in inaugurated during the opening convocation on September 4. Scott also welcomes those who would like a tour to contact him for arrangements.

Did you have a celebration in Shelton Chapel?

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Art in the Chapel Tour with J.U. Salvant

Wednesday, September 12 | 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the construction of Shelton Chapel with a guided tour of the history, artistry, and architecture of Shelton Chapel. Local artist J.U. Salvant will lead the 1.5-hour tour.

J.U. Salvant (Joan) is an Austin artist known for her watercolors and paintings of landscape and historic buildings. She began her career in architectural drawing and commercial art. She has illustrated a number of historical books and been featured several times in Texas Highways Magazine. Her artwork can be found in art collections of two U.S. presidents, U.S. congressmen, governors, and several museums.

Joan is the wife of The Rev. Edwin Salvant Jr., who is a 1964 graduate of Austin Seminary.

The tour is open to the public. Registration is requested at

or by phone 512-404-4886.