Author Topic: 1886 organ with an unusual life!  (Read 2215 times)

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1886 organ with an unusual life!
« on: November 21, 2010, 05:47:12 AM »
Hi - This was inspiring to me!

A 23 rank, 3 manual Hilborne H. Roosevelt organ has spent 124 years at camp - a summer camp for boys! It is in the chapel of a High Episcopal camp in the Catskill Mountains, about 175 km. from New York City. The organ is used daily for morning services, and requires no electric power at all - the bellows are pumped by campers who vie for the privilege. Several well known organists have been camp organists there.

David Sinden, an organist from Indianapolis, describes his daily responsibilities during his several years as camp organist:

> 7:20 a.m. - The chapel bell rings. Most of the camp is already inside. Hopefully, I have already managed a quick prelude. Then I start the opening hymn: probably Holy, Holy, Holy or something like it from the 1940 Hymnal. Then a sung, high Anglican Mass (with incense) follows. My musical responsibilities in this service include Kyrie, Gloria, Gradual hymn, Creed (in a semi-operatic setting by Caeleb Semper), offertory hymn (incense), Sanctus, Agnus Dei, communion hymn, post-communion hymn and a brief postlude. Other things that fascinate me about the liturgy:
> * the epistle is chanted by a camper
> * the very brief (but spectacular) sermon by Father Ray Donahue (affectionately known as "Father D")
> * a quasi-medieval prayer asking that the deceased founders of the camp be rewarded with eternal life
> * the "Last Gospel" (prologue hymn of the Gospel of John) recited in unison before the closing hymn

More info, pictures and a stoplist can be seen at these sites:

Audio clips can be heard here:

I bet this old organ has had an influence on thousands of boys - especially the ones who supplied the wind!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 05:53:54 AM by Branchporter »


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