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Organ enthusiast helps preserve theater’s history

Started by KB7DQH, August 02, 2012, 11:05:06 PM

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What is the worst thing you can do to a historic pipe organ? Not play it — according to Jim Shaffer of Aurora.

Shaffer, a longtime volunteer and Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts member, has helped preserve the 86-year-old Marr and Colton pipe organ at the Arcada Theatre, 105 East Main St., St. Charles.

"The change in weather really affects pipe organs," the 76-year-old volunteer said. "It makes notes go sour, but sometimes I like to use that as my excuse for misplaying."

A volunteer at the theater for about 30 years, Shaffer enjoys helping out with whatever there is to do. He has helped with various activities, such as painting and ushering at events. Though, his No. 1 focus is working on the pipe organ.

"Jim Shaffer is a treasure, just like the theater itself," said Ron Onesti, owner of the Arcada Theatre.

The theater is dedicating the pipe organ in honor of Shaffer at a ceremony July 29.
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