Author Topic: Reinstating a pipe organ.  (Read 8497 times)

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matt h

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Reinstating a pipe organ.
« on: June 10, 2012, 05:54:08 PM »
Hi!
Hi

The ageing toaster at the church where I play has finally started to show the signs of it's 30 odd years.  I've been asked to look at options to update\replace it.

Obviously my goal is to get a pipe organ installed.

So, has anybody got any advice on the financial side of this. Being as the Methodist Church is besotted with committees I am well aware that I will most likely be called on to explain my intentions, and it would be helpful if anyone had a set of projected costs of maintaining both electronic and pipe organs for comparison. My suspicion is that a good pipe organ could be made to pay for itself, but any arguments I could use would be helpful.

Any other advice gladly received!
Matt

Barrie Davis

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 06:33:41 PM »
Hi

A pipeorgan properly installed and looked after will outlive any toaster. A toaster always seems to be the cheapest way aroung things, but in the long term its not their life expectancy is 20 or so years, you also have to bear in mind that the parts are not always available. A methodist church near me had a toaster by a dutch firm one of the generator boards went down and a replacement could not be found even from the manufacturers or their agents in this country.
A pipeorgan, preferably tracker will carry on working well for over 100 years and apart from tuning costs is by far the better option. I would look to a reputable builder to do the work for you and listen to their advice. I know initialy this will not be cheap but in the long term the church will reap the benefits from both a cost and sound aspect.

Barrie

matt h

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 06:38:38 PM »
Barrie

Thanks for the advice, and  the example of non availability of parts; I'll add that one to the list.
Has anyone experience of a church which has successfully replaced their toaster with a pipe organ?

Matt.

KB7DQH

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 07:40:29 PM »
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Has anyone experience of a church which has successfully replaced their toaster with a pipe organ?

Unfortunately, personally, not directly.  However I have found dozens of news reports of churches and the odd "town hall" who have replaced non-pipe organs with the real deal:)   And the stories can truly be inspiring 8) which is why I bring these to the forum's attention as I get the opportunity...

My guess is you have read through a good many of these?   If you wish, I could drill down through my thousands of posts and pick out the most relevant ;) 

For example...http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,1078.0.html and http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,766.0.html or http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,127.msg372.html#msg372

It certainly wouldn't hurt to consult the advice of experienced organ consultants to primarily determine the "type and size" of instrument which would fit the requirements of the church music program, now, and for generations into the future.   Once this requirement is determined, one can then "go shopping" for a suitable instrument on either the new or "used" market... 

At some point I may have to kick loose another topic on this board dealing with the specifics of developing the "acoustical specifications" which could be included with stoplists and dimensions of
redundant instruments or individual ranks of pipes from salvage, so as to take much of the "guesswork" out of the decision to pursue purchase of a specific redundant instrument or parts, for a given application.   

This would certainly make the decision to "jump" on an opportunity to remove a "free" redundant instrument should one present itself in a timely manner...  As part of this process one might put together a sort of "strike team" who could be mobilized to accomplish this work should it be required ;)

Just some thoughts...
Eric
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« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 08:31:52 PM by KB7DQH »
The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

revtonynewnham

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 07:56:40 PM »
Barrie

Thanks for the advice, and  the example of non availability of parts; I'll add that one to the list.
Has anyone experience of a church which has successfully replaced their toaster with a pipe organ?

Matt.

Hi

There's a significant project doing just this in Lancaster Priory at present - replacing a 4-manual custom electronic with no less than 2 redundant pipe organs.

As to Eric's suggestion of a team to remove redundant organs - that would be feasible - the problem, in the UK at least, is the sheer scale of the problem and the availability (and cost) of storage.  I know of an organ builder who has several redundant organs in stock, and no space for any more.

I'm hopefully going to look at an organ in a redundant Baptist Church next weekend - but I guess unless it's something really special, it will be impossible to find it a new home - especially as it needs to be removed (I'm told) before the building is sold.

Every Blessing

Tony

matt h

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 08:39:08 PM »
Eric
I have read through a great many of your posts. If you consider any to be of particular relevance I would appriciate knowing which ones. Thanks for your help.

Tony
I'd forgotton about Lancaster, I'll go back and read the posts again. Although I must admit we won't be installing anything on that scale. Thanks to you also.

Just as background we would be looking to have a medium sized 2 manual + pedal, tracker for preference, capable of accompanying a congregation of approx. 150 in a chapel with reasonable accoustics.

Regards,
Matt.

David Pinnegar

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 10:04:17 PM »
I know of an organ builder who has several redundant organs in stock, and no space for any more.

I'm hopefully going to look at an organ in a redundant Baptist Church next weekend - but I guess unless it's something really special, it will be impossible to find it a new home - especially as it needs to be removed (I'm told) before the building is sold.

Dear Tony

Perhaps it might be a good idea to give name and contact details of the organ builder?

I know that Matthew Copley 020 8390 5059 is normally in a similar position with instruments in store and possibly Jonathan Lane too 01202 601254 and it might be worth giving both a ring . . .

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Jonathan Lane

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 10:45:49 PM »
Best number to get me on is 07836 299025.  We're having new phones put in at work, they'll be a new landline number soon, but the present one isn't the best!

In answer to the question, we are being offered a lot of organs and turning most of them down.  Some of them are excellent, so very reliable and reasonably good instruments and some need too much work for their re-use to be economical.  However, my advice would be to find another Methodist church with an organ they are disposing of and which suits your requirements, usually a mutually acceptable price is found (ignore some of the stupid prices found on eBay), then find a friendly organ builder (a lot are, we certainly are!) and raise sufficient sums to get them to do the transplant and any restoration work.  If all things work out, and there is no reason why they shouldn't, you could have a very fine instrument at the end of the process.

I'd be interest to know more and if you want further information please feel free to email me: organbuilder@jonathan-lane.org.uk

Jonathan

David Drinkell

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 04:27:39 AM »
I mentioned this outfit before, but I know they do good work and have a number of redundant organs available (including a small 2m 1907 Lewis with tracker action).

Pipe Organ Preservation Company

www.organ.dnet.co.uk/popco/

David Pinnegar

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 11:33:53 AM »
Hi!

Possibly the major argument for a pipe organ is that even after moving parts are dead and gone (time variable) the investment and availability of pipes enures . . . 100, 200, 300 years . . .

Best wishes

David P

David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Barrie Davis

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 07:27:51 PM »
Matt can you pm me please and let me know your locality.

Barrie

matt h

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 09:23:56 PM »
Hi.
This is getting a bit ahead of where we are at the moment (although I hope we will get to the stage where it is all useful). What I could do with is ideas on how to convince our property committee that the best way forward is to install a pipe organ.
Regards,
Matt.

pcnd5584

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 10:21:24 PM »
Barrie

Thanks for the advice, and  the example of non availability of parts; I'll add that one to the list.
Has anyone experience of a church which has successfully replaced their toaster with a pipe organ?

Matt.

Yes - Christchurch Priory, in Dorset; although in this case, the pipe organ had remained in the church, standing slient for a quarter of a century, unitl it was re-commissioned in 1999.
Pierre Cochereau rocked, man

matt h

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2012, 09:23:19 AM »
Hi pcnd.
Thanks for that, I'll have a look for it on google. I seem to remember that one of the cathedrals (was it Chicester?) did something similar when they couldn't afford to restore the pipe organ.
Did you have experience of the project? It would be great to hear from someone who has been involved with this sort of thing.
Regards,
Matt

revtonynewnham

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 09:56:06 AM »
Hi

Chichester Cathedral used an Allen for many years until the recent, very nice, rebuild of the Hill pipe organ.  I think they retained the Allen for use at the West End when required.

Sheffield I think is also using an electronic at present.

Every Blessing

Tony

matt h

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2012, 12:28:03 PM »
Tony

Sheffield are indeed using a digital at present,"in anticipation of the commissioning of a new pipe organ" (from their website).
Regards,
Matt

KB7DQH

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The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

matt h

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2012, 06:30:21 PM »
Eric

Thanks for that, some of those stories are truly inspiring! 

Is it just me or are pipe organs held in much higher regard on your side of the pond?

Anyway that's just the kind of thing I was looking for, proof that if you look in the right places you can see the tide turning away from the digital and back towards pipes!

Regards,
Matt.

KB7DQH

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2012, 06:32:47 PM »
I a m far from being an "expert" but nevertheless a "motivated enthusiast"...  A statement by a now deceased comedian comes to mind here-- "Interests are quite free, hobbies cost money"... 

So digging around on the Web by inefficiently utilizing a search engine turned up some interesting stuff worth sharing and I knew a friend who kept abreast of local news activity by utilizing a function provided by Google... and I set up a "Google Alert" which doesn't catch "everything" on the Web but still has been remarkably effective in gathering current, and for the most part relevant news articles, blogs, or updated webpage activity.  The "Alert" search term is simply "pipe organ"...  I believe I specifically excluded "forums" from the search activity to prevent "looping" of information as anything posted here would be automatically and eventually cycled back into my email inbox ;)   

Obviously I don't forward "everything" to this forum because some of what Google digs up is just plain silly, or contains so little information to be significant to a "global audience"...  Moreover, including "pipe" means the information I receive is "biased" in that direction to begin with... and as English is the only language with which I have any reasonable competency, this, too, presents a limitation as to the information I can sort through...

As far as higher regard and ponds go,  someone with a greater familiarity with the non-English languages may be better prepared to evaluate the "chatter" in the rest of Europe.  However, if Youtube is any indication at all, both in terms of what is posted and the comments received, there are certainly indications of a higher regard for pipe instruments outside the U. K. than inside... 

There does seem to be a resurgence of interest in the pipe organ in more secular environments here in the USA as of late, despite what may be happening in the "church"...  Fortunately for those restoring cinemas, one can still find original cinema organs, often rescued from redundant facilities and installed in private residences which become available from time to time...  And no new concert hall built in the USA in the last 20 years or so isn't without space for a "proper pipe organ"...  Some "old" concert halls have added new or refurbished pipe instruments, and still others have gone to the trouble and expense of restoring or replacing unreliable or unplayable pipe organs...

Elsewhere on this forum are some posts which may shed some light on the "non-economic" superiority of a pipe organ as compared to either non-pipe or "non-organ" instruments in Christian worship...
Or restated... There is more than one way to measure the "value" of the "quality" of the worship experience,  and it is this "value" which needs to be balanced against mere economic or monetary considerations...

Eric
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The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

KB7DQH

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Re: Reinstating a pipe organ.
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2012, 10:11:20 AM »
This article, published on the Billings (Montana) Gazette, is about a church in nearby Absarokee...

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/small-town-church-pulls-out-all-the-stops-for-a/article_9370b7d5-b53b-5c2c-8ddd-670904364a8b.html

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Small-town church ‘pulls out all the stops’ for a pipe dream

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ABSAROKEE — When the pews are packed, barely 120 parishioners can squeeze into Immanuel Lutheran Church in Absarokee. But the small-town church’s new pipe organ will rival the power and sound surging from places of worship many times its size.

The imposing pipe organ at Immanuel Lutheran is nearly ready to rumble. In mid-June, brothers Art, Dan and Steve Aadland, along with volunteer John Schatz, were busy positioning the pieces and parts that make up the behemoth.

“Once this is up, you get noise,” Dan explained. “Then it’s a lot of work to tune and voice each pipe. Pipe organs must be individually voiced to suit the acoustics of each church.”

In a last-minute push, they are putting everything in order for the pipe organ’s public introduction Sunday.

To accomplish the grandiose pipe dream, the congregation raised $135,000 in two years — without touching Immanuel’s budget. Dick Hardel of Columbus took charge of the fundraising, which rallied contributions from 26 states and two foreign countries.

Already, Steve Aadland says, the pipe organ’s value is estimated at three times that amount.


“But the enthusiasm it has generated and the ministry it promises is priceless,” he said.


Boasting nearly 700 pipes, Immanuel Lutheran’s pipe organ is both old and new. The heart of the instrument and more than half of the pipes come from Minnesota, where the brothers’ father, the late Rev. A.O. Aadland, built it. The newer pipes and components have been crafted by son Art and installed with assistance from a host of volunteers. As of mid-June, 80 individuals had invested 5,500 hours in the project.

“This project was a monumental leap of faith for this little music-loving congregation,” Steve said. “It was always about God — not just about the pipe organ.”


The story of the pipe organ is a story of family and community that traces back to the 1950s, when the Rev. Aadland arrived in Absarokee. Smitten with pipe organs at a young age, he decided to build one for Immanuel Lutheran. He enlisted his 10 children — including Dan, Steve and Art — to help build one for Immanuel Lutheran.

“We as kids helped laminate the bass pipes,” Dan remembers. “And we wound magnets — 1,400 feet of fine wire we wound on a lathe for each solenoid.”

Even then, Immanuel Lutheran’s pipe organ put Absarokee on the map. A yellowed section of The Billings Gazette, dated Nov. 18, 1956, features a front-page story on the church’s new instrument.

“My dad built that from scrap,” Dan said. “And he invented the electronic action.”

For years, the pipe organ supported the church’s longstanding musical tradition. But the Rev. Aadland was eventually sent to a new parish in Minnesota. Eventually, too, the pipe organ followed him — in pieces.

As Steve explains it, after his father’s departure, Immanuel Lutheran hired someone to perform service work on the pipe organ. Instead, the unqualified “repairman” severely damaged the instrument. The components that survived were shipped to Minnesota, where Rev. Aadland rebuilt it for the Old Westbrook Lutheran Church. And there it still plays today.

“But dad couldn’t quit building pipe organs,” Dan said.

After retirement, the Rev. Aadland decided to build one for his own home. He built an organ room onto his house and then scoured the Minnesota woodlands for black walnut, which he used for the organ’s chest. While he worked, Art apprenticed alongside him. Art later turned the craft into his career, founding his own business, Aadland Pipe Organ Co. of Valley Springs, S.D.

As the Aadland brothers recount their family history, it’s evident that music and pipe organs run deep in their blood. It should come as little surprise, then, that after their father died in the spring of 2009, all 10 Aadland siblings agreed that the organ should be given to Immanuel Lutheran.

The decision came at the same time that the church was pondering a solution for its electronic organ, which was in serious need of repair.


“It wouldn’t be the right thing for every church to do, but music is just such a huge part of this church,” said Dan, who has served as Immanuel Lutheran’s choir director for the past 25 to 30 years. “There are 22 in our choir, more men than women, and we tackle challenging stuff. Our congregation sings hymns in four-part harmony.”

The decision to donate the organ came easily. But making it happen did not.

“We had to cut a pillar out of his (Rev. Aadland’s) house just to get it out,” Dan said, smiling. “Then it took six of us to carry it to the horse trailer.”

As the organ made its way to Montana, Art hunkered down in his South Dakota shop. Meticulous by nature, he devoted thousands of hours to expanding and updating his father’s creation.

Meanwhile, back in Absarokee, an army of volunteers rallied. Nine prayer teams regularly prayed for the project as others dug into the grunt work. They gutted the century-old steeple — first scouring it of bat dung and bird skeletons – to transform it into a pristine organ chamber. Likewise, volunteers, under Art’s tutelage, learned how to remove dents and dings from the old pipes.

With the specific acoustics of the Immanuel Lutheran and its parabolic ceiling, “you just feel like the choir is alive,” Dan says.

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_9370b7d5-b53b-5c2c-8ddd-670904364a8b.html#ixzz1zvOgDx2W

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The Immanuel Lutheran Church, at 301 South Montana Ave. in Absarokee, will dedicate its new pipe organ during regular services at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The dedication will feature three organists, along with a mass adult choir and children’s choir.

At 3 p.m. that afternoon, the public is invited to a concert/recital by Dr. Michael J. Elsbernd, director of Music Ministry and Principal Organist at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, S.D. His performance will feature a variety of selections showing the versatility and power of the new pipe organ.
The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

 


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