Organ matters - Organs matter!

Restoring organs => Restoring pipe organs => Topic started by: KB7DQH on July 16, 2010, 12:48:17 AM

Title: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on July 16, 2010, 12:48:17 AM
A couple news articles about organs restored and playing again 8)

http://www.ack.net/unitarianorgan071510.html (http://www.ack.net/unitarianorgan071510.html)

http://www.timescolonist.com/Pipe+organ+sings+again/3280847/story.html (http://www.timescolonist.com/Pipe+organ+sings+again/3280847/story.html)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on September 11, 2010, 12:22:39 AM
http://www.doverpost.com/communities/x2002277043/Organ-restoration-preserves-authentic-sound (http://www.doverpost.com/communities/x2002277043/Organ-restoration-preserves-authentic-sound)

I really like the quote from the music director of the church where this organ is housed, found at the end of the article 8)


 On 12 Sep. they will hold a re-dedication service followed by a concert later in the day...

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on November 03, 2010, 07:05:17 PM
Another one 8)http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101101/GJNEWS02/711019935/-1/CITIZEN (http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101101/GJNEWS02/711019935/-1/CITIZEN)


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"It's a beautiful organ," said Pastor David Dalzell. "The organ fits so well that is seems as if it was built for the sanctuary."

Donating the "new" 1979 Cooper organ was Jerry Newbury from Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The original builder of the organ, Jeremy Cooper of Epsom, refurbished the organ before it arrived here in Laconia.

Oh yeah-- Replacing an Electronic 8) 8) 8)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on November 15, 2010, 08:49:53 AM

http://www.dunnvillechronicle.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2845564 (http://www.dunnvillechronicle.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2845564)

Quote
Whether you have an interest in pipe organs, antiques or beautiful-sounding music, an event at the Canadian Reformed Church in Dunnville on Nov. 27 promises to be a special evening.

The congregation of the newly-built church on the corner of Broad Street East and Inman Road will hold an Organ Celebration to showcase the church's refurbished organ.

Quote
The 29-rank pipe organ made by Casavant Freres was previously housed for decades at All Saints Anglican Church in Hamilton. When a decision was made to demolish the circa 1872 building and replace it with a new smaller church, the organ was to be disassembled and recycled. Instead it ended up in the hands of the CRC congregation, whose members lovingly restored the organ and its wooden façade and casings to their former glory.

"We sort of rescued it from All Saints," explained CRC congregant Ed Vander Vegte. "It was great because we got a beautiful instrument for our building, and we took a piece of Canadian history and saved it."

Quote
The Organ Celebration will include performances by Cross, Jennifer Vander Vegte and John Vaniperen who will play selections that highlight the different sounds the organ is capable of. Jay Vanderhoeven and Lloyd Kingma will accompany the audience singing.

Cross will also speak about the history of the organ while Ed Vander Vegte presents a slideshow of the restoration process.

The Nov. 27 Organ Celebration is open to the public. Doors open at 7 p.m. when visitors are welcome to view the organ and the performance will begin at 8 p.m. Entrance to the church parking lot is on Inman Road.
Article ID# 2845564

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on November 22, 2010, 05:39:50 AM
And a couple more...

http://www.chnonline.org/news/local/9941-cousins-center-organ-has-new-home-at-holy-hill.html (http://www.chnonline.org/news/local/9941-cousins-center-organ-has-new-home-at-holy-hill.html)

http://www.pe.com/localnews/corona/stories/PE_News_Local_W_worgan21.3e4739f.html (http://www.pe.com/localnews/corona/stories/PE_News_Local_W_worgan21.3e4739f.html)

 ;D ;D ;D

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on December 15, 2010, 11:06:07 AM
This one is "almost" done ;)

http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/dec/14/by-guy-d8217astolfo/ (http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/dec/14/by-guy-d8217astolfo/)

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The only task that remains in Stambaugh Auditorium’s pipe organ restoration project is the tuning of the massive instrument. But with 3,847 pipes, that could take a while.

Quote
The refurbished organ will get its inaugural public performance Sept. 18, 2011, with a concert by David Higgs of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

Quote
Another concert, with Cameron Carpenter, will be Dec. 3, 2011. Carpenter is just 29 years old but already has drawn international acclaim for his skill and showmanship with the pipe organ. He was profiled in a segment on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” two weeks ago.

Quote
In the meantime, Stambaugh is inviting university music students and local church organists to practice on the organ to help iron the bugs out of it, said Phil Cannatti, executive director of the auditorium. To schedule a time, call Cannatti at 330-747-5175.

Quote
The fundraising effort is continuing, and it got a boost Monday when students from Washington Elementary School in Niles presented a check for $500. The students learned of the pipe organ project after attending Opera Western Reserve’s production of “La Traviata” at Stambaugh last month and decided to help, said Cannatti. They not only donated the money they had raised from prior fundraising projects, but also plan to have an art sale to raise even more money for the organ restoration.
  8) 8) 8)


Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: NonPlayingAnorak on December 15, 2010, 11:40:51 AM
I was feeling encouraged until I saw mention of Charlatan Carpingtwat.  >:(

How anyone thinks he's any good is beyond me... [prejudicial comments deleted]   Cancelled his whole UK tour at only a few weeks' notice (with no reason given) a couple of years ago.
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on December 15, 2010, 12:28:23 PM
 ;) Well, we may get lucky and he might cancel for no reason again ??? ;D

If some argue
Quote
Charlatan Carpingtwat
is a "reincarnated Virgil Fox" ??? :o >:( ;D
I will argue the world needs a "reincarnated E. Power Biggs" :-*
Then we can "restore balance to the force" ;D

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: NonPlayingAnorak on December 15, 2010, 06:29:34 PM
Carpingtwat isn't fit to lick Virgil Fox's boots. VF may have been OTT sometimes, but he never strayed too far over the line from good taste.

As for a new E. Power Biggs? How about the then-19-year-old Nathan Laube, who took over CC's UK tour at very short notice then wowed everyone. He's now resident in Toulouse, but I heard him in London recently (he's 22 now) and he was absolutely fabulous. Consummate musician, able to clown around with his own transcription (made in his mid-teens!) of the overture from Die Fledermaus, but his Franck A Minor Choral and his Reubke Sonata were everything one could hope for.

Two links for you to visit (and you really MUST):
http://www.nathanlaube.com/index.php?p=aud&vid=feat (http://www.nathanlaube.com/index.php?p=aud&vid=feat)
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nathan+laube (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nathan+laube)
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on December 16, 2010, 10:49:44 AM
Nathan is certainly at the top of my "short list" 8) :D ;)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: NonPlayingAnorak on December 16, 2010, 08:04:06 PM
Ah, but was he even on that list before I mentioned him? Had you even heard of him?  ;D
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on December 16, 2010, 11:08:24 PM
 :o In my many wanderings of the WWW I managed to trip and fall onto his website 8)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on December 17, 2010, 11:25:03 AM
More about the Stambaugh Skinner..........

Quote
THE STAMBAUGH PIPE ORGAN: WHY ALL THE SOUND AND FURY?

The pipe organ at Stambaugh Auditorium isn’t the only one in Youngstown; there are about a half-dozen more in the city alone, mainly at churches.

And it’s not the biggest one. That honor goes to Trinity Methodist Church, downtown, which has 6,000 pipes — way more than Stambaugh’s, which has about 3,800.

Why, then, all the hoopla over the ongoing $1.4 million restoration of the Stambaugh organ?

Because of its quality, historical significance and its location in a major concert hall. So says Adam Zagotti, director of music at Trinity.

Ernst Skinner, whose company built the organ in 1926, collaborated with famed British organ builder Henry Willis. Many of the innovations they came up with were used for the first time in the Stambaugh organ.

Not only was the Stambaugh organ cutting edge at the time of its installation, but it has never been matched by modern efforts, according to Zagotti, who is a font of information about pipe organs, ancient instruments and music history in general.

Skinner organs are musical artifacts these days, says Zagotti, and the Stambaugh specimen is one of his finest.

Stambaugh is also one of the few major concert halls in the country that even has a pipe organ, he added.

The expansive rectangular auditorium has superb acoustics, and Skinner used gigantic pipes (some 30 feet tall) and a massive air blower to fill the room with thunderous sound.

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on January 22, 2011, 07:57:11 AM
http://pennsylvania.broadwayworld.com/article/Longwood_Gardens_Unveils_Pipe_Organ_Restoration_245_20110118_page1 (http://pennsylvania.broadwayworld.com/article/Longwood_Gardens_Unveils_Pipe_Organ_Restoration_245_20110118_page1)

Billed as the "World's biggest residence organ"...

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Barrie Davis on January 22, 2011, 08:09:37 PM
I'm sure there was an article about this organ in a recent issue of The Organ mgazine
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on January 29, 2011, 10:47:58 AM
 And this from one of the organists who plays there...

http://longwoodgardens.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/notes-from-the-longwood-organ/ (http://longwoodgardens.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/notes-from-the-longwood-organ/)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on May 05, 2011, 05:16:29 PM
In Bristol... St. Mary Redcliffe...

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/POWER-MUSIC/article-3522214-detail/article.html (http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/POWER-MUSIC/article-3522214-detail/article.html)

Quote
The church was able to go back to the organ's original builders, Durham firm Harrison and Harrison for the restoration – £20,000 of the total cost was consumed by the bill for moving parts to the north-east for specialist repair and cleaning.

"It's just brilliant that the same firm that built the organ is still in existence today to give the instrument its once-in-a-century clean and restoration," Andrew says. This is probably the most famous organ they ever built, so they were keen to work on the instrument again."

The restoration project was launched back in 2007, when the church started to raise the intimidating £800,000 needed.

Quote
Half of the money was donated by The Canynges Society – the ancient charity that supports St Mary Redcliffe.

The other £320,000 was raised by the Temple and Ecclesiastical Charity, and by the church's own congregation digging deep – including a £100,000 anonymous bequeathment.

"It is wonderful the way the city pulled together to find the money," Andrew says.

"That's why we are particularly thrilled to now be able to give something back, with our series of free lunchtime recitals."

Today's recital features Bath Abbey's resident organist Peter King. The programme of 11 free concerts over the next two months, includes visits from organists from Norway, Exeter Cathedral, Tewkesbury Abbey and Paul Walton, resident organist at Bristol Cathedral, who will cross the city for the final recital on July 14.

The newly-refurbished organ will also be used for the "Sing Mozart!" event – a special one-day workshop, which will be held on Saturday.

Participants will be able to learn, rehearse and perform Mozart's Requiem in a single day.

■ It costs £13 to take part in the one-off "Sing Mozart!" event, organised by the Royal College of Organists. For details, visit www.rco. org.uk or call 05600 767208.

■ The first lunchtime organ recital of the new season takes place at St Mary Redcliffe today, featuring Peter King, Bath Abbey organist, from 1.15pm. Admission is free. For details of recitals, visit www.stmary redcliffe.co.uk or call 0117 9391487.

 8) 8) 8) 8)

Eric
KB7DQH

Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on May 28, 2011, 07:11:44 PM
Whitworth Church, Spennymoor...

http://www.theadvertiserseries.co.uk/news/darlington/9030308.Heaven_scent_days_for_church_of_note/ (http://www.theadvertiserseries.co.uk/news/darlington/9030308.Heaven_scent_days_for_church_of_note/)

Quote
    *
    * By Helen Smithson » Reporter (Wear Valley)


THERE was music in the air as a small church unveiled its newly-refurbished 125-year old organ.

Organists from across the North-East visited Whitworth Church, in Spennymoor, at the weekend to play recitals on the 1886 Harrison and Harrison organ, which has undergone a £40,000 restoration.

Among the musicians was Mark Venning, from Harrison and Harrison, in Durham, which restored the 400-pipe organ -manually tuning each pipe.

The congregation, which sometimes has fewer than a dozen members, decided in 2008 to start fundraising as the organ was in danger of becoming irreparable.

Half of the money raised came from charitable trusts and charities and the Durham Diocese and the other half came from the local community, including Spennymoor Town Council.

The church opened to the public at the weekend to hear the recitals and hosted a celebratory flower festival, with displays by Whitworth's parishioners and from other County Durham churches.

Vivienne Lowe, chairwoman of Whitworth Parochial Church Council's (PCC) organ restoration subgroup, said: "We are just delighted that we have got here and we are immensely relieved.

"It has been an amazing weekend and there has been a lot of impromptu singing.

"The guest organists have been very fulsome in their praise."

Chris Rhodes, who is also a PCC and subgroup member, said: "There were people who said to us at first that we would never raise that much money because we are such a small congregation.

"This church is very dear to the community's hearts.

"Even though people may not attend regularly, the fact that they have been so generous given the hard times we are in shows the esteem in which it is held."

The celebrations continue this weekend with a performance of sacred and light music at the church, by Chester-le-Street Civic Choir, on Saturday, including works by composers John Rutter, Vivaldi, Karl Jenkins and Alan Howarth.

The event starts at 7pm and tickets cost £4.50.

St Paul's Church choir will perform a celebration of weddings at Whitworth on Friday, July 15, at 7.30pm, and Sunday, July 17, at 3pm, including work by Handel, Goodall and Widor. Tickets cost £4.50.

To book tickets for the events, call Chris Rhodes on 01388-816643 or Vivienne Lowe on 0191-378-0974.

Some folks  in Somerset could receive a bit of inspiration from this group, I would think...

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on June 02, 2011, 04:19:23 AM
This one was forced into being restored by flood damage :(

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/statewide/archive/2011/06/four-years-after-deluge-historic-rushford-pipe-organ-restored.shtml?refid=0 (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/statewide/archive/2011/06/four-years-after-deluge-historic-rushford-pipe-organ-restored.shtml?refid=0)

Quote
Heavy rain and flash floods destroyed more than half of the 700 homes and businesses in the southeastern Minnesota community of Rushford in 2007.

For weeks after the deluge, most of the town's businesses remained closed and nearly all the damaged homes empty. The rain washed away homes, destroyed infrastructure and killed seven people.

Among the losses: the historic pipe organ inside Rushford's stone-built Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

But slowly, the town rebuilt.

Nearly four years later, residents of Rushford and congregants of this small church will gather this weekend for a dedication ceremony in honor of the restored pipe organ.

This is a big deal for this small community. The rebuilt organ has been expanded from nine ranks to ten ranks with a solid state switching system. The console has been rebuilt and updated as well as the blower. And the wind chest and pipes--not damaged in the flood--are the originals.

Brian Williams, director of music and the arts at Calvary Episcopal Church in Rochester, will direct the Motet Choir from Calvary at the dedication. Mayo Clinic Carilloneur Jeffrey Daehn will also be on hand to give instrument demonstrations.

The dedication will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 217 West Jessie Street in Rushford. A reception will follow. The public is welcome to join in the celebration in honor of the restored pipe organ.

For more information, email Ben Scott at sbscott@kmtel.com.


Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on June 03, 2011, 06:22:06 AM
And one in the U.K. ...

http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/9063043.Plans_announced_to_celebrate_historic_church_organ_s_restoration/ (http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/9063043.Plans_announced_to_celebrate_historic_church_organ_s_restoration/)

Quote
PLANS to celebrate the completed restoration of the historic pipe organ at St Paul’s Church in Whiteshill have been unveiled.

A series of events and recitals will be staged later this year, including a blessing by the Bishop of Tewkesbury the Rt Rev John Went at a commemorative harvest service on October 2.

Restoration of the organ, which dates back to 1876, was made possible thanks to fundraising, donations and a £20,500 Heritage Lottery grant.

http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/8335705.Multi_thousand_pound_grant_awarded_to_restore_historic_church_organ/ (http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/8335705.Multi_thousand_pound_grant_awarded_to_restore_historic_church_organ/)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on June 13, 2011, 07:00:26 PM
"Why did the Chicken cross the road?"

To prove to the 'possum that it could be done!

http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/news.php?id=925907 (http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/news.php?id=925907)

Quote
It took more than a year to refurbish the 94-year-old Walker pipe organ at St Mary’s Church, which was used for the first time since its overhaul at the morning service on Sunday, May 29.

Tony Elliott and Patsy Roynon organised the project, which was funded by donations and without drawing on the finances of the church.

The repairs were carried out by JW Walker, a pipe organ builder based in Suffolk that made the organ in 1917.

Richard Lloyd, who plays the organ once a month, said: “It is good to have it back in use.


“Before we started the restoration work it was becoming very unreliable. It would play notes that were not wanted and then would not play the notes that were required.

“This was a lot of money to spend on one project in a church like this but the organ was badly in need of an overhaul and we expect that it will last for a long time, so it is an investment.

“We plan to have a celebration concert later in the year and all those who have contributed will be invited to thank them for their support.”

Andy Ferguson, lay minister at St Mary’s, said: “To compare the organ to a car, the whole thing has been dismantled and rebuilt. A console, located in the main part of the church, has also been built, so the organist can see the congregation and be part of the mass.

“This allows for a modern form of worship. Previously, the organist was stuck away under the organ and was not really part of what was going on.

“People who really appreciate organ music will know the difference but this organ also has a heritage — money was raised to build it during the First World War.”

In 2008, after it was clear age had taken its toll on the organ, it was decided to buy a £30,000 digital organ to replace it.

However, in May 2009 it was decided to repair the Walker organ instead. A digital organ was used as a temporary measure while the work took place. This will now be sold.

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: revtonynewnham on June 14, 2011, 10:25:03 AM
Hi

Cynique makes some interesting points - but I think we need a little realism.  From what I heard, the firm were hit hard by Andrew Pennel's death.  Secondly, these days Walker's is a relatively small firm - a quick look at the IBO directory shows 6 employees, so you can't expect them to have the presence in the market of, say, Mander or Harrisons.  Thirdly, websites - especially organ builders' websites - are rarely a true indication of what's going on in a company.  Certain organ builders don't even have a web presence - even Nicholson's had no more than a basic web page until quite recently.  I suspect that earning money and working on organs is a rather higher priority to organ builders than designing and maintaining websites!

I've recently put together a web site for my church - it takes a surprising amount of time - and professional expertise in web design costs money.  Organ building has traditionally been a trade where arguably most advertising is by word of mouth.

As to the organs you mention - don't forget that the customer's views may well influence what can or can't be done - organ building is a business, not a hobby, and the adage that "the customer is always right" holds true there as in all other commercial enterprises.

As to to current work, they seem to be as busy as any other comparable firm - the latest issue of the IBO journal "Organ Building 10" lists in their advertisement no less than 4 significant rebuilds/restorations - 2 in the UK, 1 in Ireland and one in the USA.  Add to that their normal tuning & maintenance contracts and I see no reason to question their viability - especially in the current economic climate.

Your comments about voicing are a red herring - there are specialist voicers about who work for several firms - David Fostick springs to mind, but there are others.  In these days, the smaller firms don't have to have specialists in every discipline as employees.  And finally, who on earth would want to build a new organ with any form of pneumatic action?  Aside from the tracker specialists, virtually every organ builder uses solid-state controls from one of a handful of suppliers (including Solid State Organ Systems who are near neighbours of Walker's in Brandon)  and electro-pneumatic, or rarely direct-electric actions. 

Have a good day

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on June 14, 2011, 10:34:01 AM
I bring these news stories  to the attention of the forum for the express purpose of providing evidence that parishes can and do make decisions which benefit the cause of pipe organ preservation... in the hopes that others will do likewise. ;) 

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Colin Pykett on June 14, 2011, 11:06:23 AM
I agree with everything in the substance of Tony's post.  Just one or two minor points though:

I was surprised myself that Walker's website was 'parked' for so long, as this can send a dangerously wrong message.  I recall another forum member remarking recently that Musicom's site seems to be in a similar situation but couldn't easily find the post just now.  However, having just checked, it is also apparently 'parked'.  Tony said that "earning money and working on organs is a rather higher priority to organ builders than designing and maintaining websites".  This might be so for some, but it is a sadly mistaken belief in my view.  A website is a well worthwhile and fairly modest business expense which any firm neglects to see as an investment at their peril.  I say this with such emphasis because of experience with my own.  I am not selling anything and my site exists purely as a shop window for my interests.  Nevertheless, I think it is merely stating a fact that it has put my name all over the internet.  Therefore if I was in business and I did not have this degree of exposure I would probably have lost out on an untold amount of enquiries at best, and turnover at worst.

Tony also said "aside from the tracker specialists, virtually every organ builder uses solid-state controls from one of a handful of suppliers".  I apologise for pulling him up on this because he will probably agree with me that even tracker organs often use electric (solid state) combination systems and/or couplers.  Therefore I am actually strengthening his argument here.

Colin Pykett
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Barry Williams on June 14, 2011, 11:57:42 AM
Perhaps Voix Cynique would let us know exactly how many of the organs mentioned he has personally heard or played.

Also, it must be borne in mind that the organ builder was, in at least one case named in VC's post, required to work to the direction of a 'consultant' who had very particular views.  (This has happened on a number of occasions.)  It may not, therefore, be fair to lay the blame for a compromise or less than satisfactory result at the door of the organ builder.

What, please, are 'electronically-assisted mixed-up actions'?  Most firms use solid state because it is better in every respect and has proved, when installed correctly, more reliable.  As far as I know, no-one uses switch stacks these days.

Barry Williams

Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: revtonynewnham on June 14, 2011, 07:49:28 PM
Hi

I have yet to play a pneumatic action that I'd be totally happy with.  Maybe I'm over-sensitive to timing issues, but none has been as good as tracker (and nor have many electro-pneumatic actions that I've played).  Pneumatic action is no more or less reliable than electro-pneumatic - and, to my mind, is a needless backward step in technology (although I do appreciate that historic restorations do need to retain pneumatics).  Since I've moved up to Yorkshire, I've come across a fair few Binns jobs of various sizes, and in various states of repair.  Many have been rebuilt with EP action - arguably for the good of future maintenance.

Turning now to tracker - most of the organs that you mention are very heavily used - they are not typical church organs, but are played every day - and often for long periods of time.  I doubt that any other action type would last better - and undoubtedly, tracker gives a better feel and playing experience (although it's not always the most appropriate choice).

Solid State technology has been around for over 50 years - and has been applied to organs for at least 30.  Agreed, the total life is still something of an unknown, but my concern would be the use of parts that may well become unobtainable in the future - but even then, it's hardly a difficult job to slot in a new transmission system when the time comes.  At least solid-state pipe organ actions don't use the specialist analogue IC's that have been the downfall of certain electronic organs.  SS transmission should at least last for 30-40 years - by which time any organ is likely to be in need of cleaning and refurbishment - and if not tracker - a complete action overhaul if it's heavily used.

Every Blessing

Tony
P.S. I played an electro-pneumatic job on Sunday - detached console as well - and it served to remind me quite firmly why I prefer tracker action and attached consoles!
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Jonathan Lane on June 15, 2011, 09:14:25 AM
An interesting discussion, and several points not addressing.

Firstly, websites.  I agree with Tony that websites take a while to set up, and even longer to learn the skills if you wish to achieve something more than basic text.  However, I also agree with Colin, that the time taken, and the skills learnt (and most people can learn them) are worth every penny of investment in money and minute in time.  Presence in the market place for us relies a great deal on our website as we are the 'new kids on the block' so to speak.  That is not to say we do not get much work by word of mouth, as we do, however most people these days here of a company and look them up on the internet.  A holding page gives the wrong message.  We operate modern business practices, and are first and foremost a commercial company that ultimately is out to make a profit.  That doesn't mean we don't take care in the musical, artistic and technical aspects of the organs we work on, new and existing, actually precisely the opposite.

On to actions.  I totally agree with Tony, I have yet to play a pneumatic action I am happy with.  A number of organs with tubular pneumatic action have been almost impossible to play.  Electro-pneumatic organ fares better, however, I used to play a Binns in the 1990's which was sluggish, unreliable and very difficult to play anything fast on.  My preferred options is always tracker (even for a house organ, which I suspect Barry Williams and I will disagree on!), but if not tracker, solid state.  Don't let pneumatics near an organ!  As for solid state's reliability, I see no issue.  One firm at least, Musicom, I'm not so sure of the others as we do not use them, uses a system of standard cards which are interchangeable and easily replaced if there is a fault.  The Musicom system is software driven, and therefore easy to maintain with a laptop!

Other electric actions over the years have proved unreliable, however, one firm produced significant and reliable actions using old fashioned technology, which in most cases still works.  That firm was Compton.  Their systems were easy to maintain, and consequently reliability was usually expected for 30-40 years before any work need be done.  Holy Trinity Hull, despite having a failing action is working on 1937 electrics, and actually remarkably large amounts of it are still working seeing it has gone more than twice its expected life!

Voicing - well, firstly, voicing is seriously objective.  Some people like FW, others like R&D, still more like Hill and others Walker.  Most organ builders had their own 'style' of voicing which to some extent gave their organs their character.  This was fine for much of the twentieth century, and often organ builders were allowed to get on with their job, you bought an organ because you liked the organ builders character and style.  This is still true, but tempered by the significant input these days from organ advisers, both diocesan and independent.  I am not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I think it is both, sometimes at the same time.  We have had experience of organ advisers coming in with such a fixed idea that the desire of the church is not met, rather the view of the organ adviser, who will neither play the instrument or experience it weekly in worship.  Neither of course, will the organ builder, however, in our case, and a number of other builders, I am firstly an organist, who has worked in churches with choirs, without choirs and in cathedrals, so know what works with an organ and what doesn't.  Before everyone shouts, but doesn't that mean my own fixed ideas are foisted on the church!  Well maybe they are!, although I would argue my ideas are far from fixed, or narrow in any sense.  We as a business work to our clients desires, to enable the client to achieve what they feel is perfect for them, and if we achieve that we are delighted, if not, we do not hold ourselves to ransom over it, as sometimes the requirements of churches is almost impossible to achieve: 'We've got a space 10 foot by 6 foot, we'd like a four manual 64 speaking stop organ, with three 32's!'  Obviously fictional!

Specifically back to voicing and how organs sound, we removed an organ from a church a few years ago (to be replaced by an electronic), which was badly placed and sounded poor.  The organ was a 19th century Walker, and the pipework is very fine, and sounds superb in a good acoustic, as good as anything Walker's did during the period.  Environment and acoustics are everything, pretty much any pipework will sound good in the right environment, and excellent pipework sounds amazing!!

Apologies for the long post!

Jonathan
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Colin Pykett on June 15, 2011, 10:01:57 AM
Sorry to be jumping in yet again.  It's actually because I've just spent most of the last hour watching a PC that hasn't been used for a month or more updating itself, to my infinite frustration.  Now that it seems to have finally ground back to life, it automatically logged into the last web page I was viewing for some reason - this forum!

Anyway, I found Jonathan's expert insight into these matters such good reading that I thought it worth saying so.  Not only is he a practising organ builder with a realistic view of today's business practices, but he is also a professionally qualified musician.  Unlike most of the rest of us on this forum I suspect, he reflects expertise rather than opinion.  Just a very quick one on websites though, one doesn't necessarily have to do them oneself - small web design companies will rustle you up a simple one for a few hundred pounds.  I know this because my son does it from time to time.  I shouldn't have thought this sort of figure seems a lot to invest in one's company, particularly as it would presumably be tax-deductible as a business expense

Colin Pykett
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Barry Williams on June 15, 2011, 10:28:09 AM
"My preferred options is always tracker (even for a house organ, which I suspect Barry Williams and I will disagree on!), but if not tracker, solid state. "

Jonathan and I are at one on this, though I agree with Voix Cynique that there are a needless (and disappointingly) large number of unsatisfactory modern tracker actions around, some of which have had to be replaced in a relatively short space of time.  Tracker action is fine for a small organ.  However, it does carry one disadvantage in the home: the relationship of the soundboard to the keys is fixed forever, unless one is prepared to contemplate significant expenditure.  That is why, for our house organ, we chose solid state/direct electric action, for we will will be moving at some point and will almost certainly have to re-configure the instrument.

I disagree strongly with Voix Cynique about pneumatic actions.  Having been involved with a couple of historic restorations of pneumatic action, (both paid for on condition that they were historically restored), I would have preferred modern electro-pneumatic exhaust action, with solid state switching.

Jonathan is right about using the correct pipework.  We took immense trouble over selecting pipes from one instrument only for our house organ, so as to maintain the integrity of the voicing.  Frequently organs sound as what they are - a conglomeration of differing bits added on, often (and most inappropiately),  'neo-baroque' material on a romantic Choir Organ in the 1960s.  It is the tonal equivalent of Singapore Fried Noodles with Yorkshire Pudding!

Barry Williams
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Barry Williams on June 16, 2011, 12:42:45 AM
This is a public forum.  All the posts can be easily read by non-members and misquoted, possibly for mischief.  For this reason discretion is required of all participants.

On the question of generalisations, it is always wise to state,  for example, one's particular experience of an organ, or musical performance, as the case may be.  Thus one might say "I heard Mr XXXX play at YYY cathedral last week and, as on the previous occasions I heard him, found the playing dry and wooden, because......."  Likewise, one might say, "I have heard and played (mention the organs by name) by XXXX organ builder and find the neo-classical/romantic (or whatever) voicing of them all unconvincing because....., though many people seem to like it."  In this way readers can evaluate the criticism by reference to the writer's personal knowledge of the organ/player/situation concerned. 

Comments derived from the experience of others are best reported as such so that, again they can be evaluated in context.  Voix Cynique's comments about two organs appeared, at first glance, to be based on personal knowledge and experience.  I challenged that and we learned it was merely part of someone else's conversation.  As Tony pointed out, there may be very good reasons why the organ builder in question constructed the instrument as he did.  We do not know about that and as the matter was left, it was unfair to the organ builder, in the particular case, one who is no longer able to defend himself.

There have been signficant difficulties on other Boards from general comments made without first-hand knowledge.  Let us hope that this will not happen here.

Barry Williams
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: organforumadmin on June 16, 2011, 09:54:28 AM
Hi!

Thanks to moderators for assisting with a certain member's comments. The member concerned might raise alarm bells in his mind whenever he has the urge to mention a family member. I am considering blocking access to the forum from Blackberry devices as possibly contributions made on the move might not be intellectually best considered. If anyone would object to this, please let it be known.

Member Voix Cynique raises a very valid issue with respect to a disquiet about electronic actions and their life expectancy equating with that of electronic organs. Instruments such as St Paul's Cathedral come to mind particularly but the technical requirements of siting often give no option, leaving electronic communications as a useful tool which we can't do without.

However, in view of the use to which university college organs are put on a continuous and virtuosic basis, in reality thinking about it, it's a great credit to the mechanical action of the Reiger at Oxford that it has survived over 30 years of such intensive use. One should expect rods with leather, cloth and plastic bushes to have their bushings replaced after long periods of heavy use just as a vehicle requires steering and suspension bushes to be replaced long before the finality of the life expectancy of the vehicle.

A very good example of electrical assistance was shown to members of the Surrey Organists' Association on Monday night by organ builder Matthew Copley who maintains the Frobenius at Kingston. This is tracker with the resilience and longevity that that provides supplemented by electrical assistance to couplers.

Best wishes

Forum Admin
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on June 16, 2011, 10:11:51 AM
Was it perhaps a system manufactured by...

http://www.novelorg.com/ (http://www.novelorg.com/) ???

It was used extensively in this new organ...http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,85.0.html (http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,85.0.html)

and described briefly herehttp://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,86.msg230.html#msg230 (http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,86.msg230.html#msg230)

Eric
KB7DQH

Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: revtonynewnham on June 16, 2011, 07:01:53 PM
Hi

I doubt it - since the Frobenius only has electrical assist on the couplers, I suspect that it's just conventional magnets somewhere in the action.  I know Laukhuft produce an action magnet specifically for adding to tracker action - primarily to provide for detached consoles when that's a requirement.  Some tracker organs even have the option of mechanical or electrical couplers!

The system that KB7DQH mentions looks at a quick glance to be some sort of servo setup - Willis floating level pneumatic anyone?  I think I've seen ads from SSL Organ Systems for something broadly similar.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on August 16, 2011, 10:42:47 PM
Malta seems to be a "hotbed" of organ restoration activity based on what one of their newspapers
has been reporting as of late...

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110816/life-features/150-year-old-pipe-organ-regains-its-fabulous-voice.380555 (http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110816/life-features/150-year-old-pipe-organ-regains-its-fabulous-voice.380555)

Quote
?Share
Print Email
Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 19:20 , by
George Cini
150-year-old pipe organ regains its fabulous voice

    *
    *

A 150-year-old organ housed at the Maria Regina parish church in Marsa has just been restored.

The restoration by Brian Bugeja, which took three years to complete is to be inaugurated at the parish church on Thursday at 6 p.m. The inauguration ceremony will include a concelebrated Mass led by Mgr Charles Cordina.

The pipe organ will be played by Dr Mro Dion Buhagiar and by Mr Bugeja himself. Also taking part will be the resident choir at St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, the Collegium Musicum.

For Mr Bugeja, the past three years were taken up with the restoration of the wind chest, the console – which was practically built from scratch – the pneumatic reservoir (bellows), also built from scratch, the stops and the wooden pipes.

"The pipe organ at the Maria Regina parish church in Marsa is one of the few that still works with a wind motor. Others have been left to deteriorate and, in some of them, the wind motor was replaced by an electric one", Mr Bugeja said.

The original drive which was made of lead has been replaced by another material. The lead drive had a small diameter which meant that it did not supply enough wind and the slightest leakage of air resulted in failure to play the note. This would not happen with the new wider pipes.

An accomplished musician and former drydocks engineer, Mr Bugeja had done most of the metal work and woodwork himself. He studied organ building and restoration techniques at the Oberlinger factory in Mainz, Germany and George Sixsmith & Son in Manchester, UK.

The organ was originally at the Immaculate Conception church in Burnt Oak, London. It was bought by Fr Valent Calleja in 1982 when he was parish priest in Marsa.

Current parish priest Fr Paul Bugeja said the parishioners were looking forward to hear the organ being played during Thursday's inauguration.

And there are several links available from the page linked to above regarding similar activity...

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100821/local/antique-british-pipe-organ-regaining-its-splendid-voice.323299 (http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100821/local/antique-british-pipe-organ-regaining-its-splendid-voice.323299)

andhttp://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100128/local/antique-british-pipe-organ-regaining-its-former-splendour.291588 (http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100128/local/antique-british-pipe-organ-regaining-its-former-splendour.291588)

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20051217/local/restored-early-19th-century-pipe-organ-plays-again.68873 (http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20051217/local/restored-early-19th-century-pipe-organ-plays-again.68873)

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20101224/local/antique-british-organ-invites-faithful-to-hear-good-news-tonight.342414 (http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20101224/local/antique-british-organ-invites-faithful-to-hear-good-news-tonight.342414)


No surprise the Maltese are looking for quality instruments...

Eric
KB7DQH

Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on September 20, 2011, 01:28:10 AM
http://blog.al.com/mhuebner/2011/09/renovated_hardenbergh_organ_to.html (http://blog.al.com/mhuebner/2011/09/renovated_hardenbergh_organ_to.html)

Quote

Samford University will celebrate the renovation and rededication of the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ in Reid Chapel.

Today at 2:30 p.m., four organists will perform on the instrument, which was enhanced and refurbished by the Quimby Pipe Organ Company of Warrensburg, Mo. It was reinstalled last month.

The instrument, which was first completed in 1962, is dedicated to the memory of Jane Laroque Slaughter Hardenbergh, the Samford organ professor who chose Aeolian-Skinner to build the instrument in the 1950s Parts of other vintage Aeolian-Skinner instruments, including a triangle flute from the Independent Presbyterian Church, have been rescued and included in the renovation.

Organists at today's concert are Samford University organist James Dorroh, music student Joshua Bullock and alumni Sarah Heaslett and Charles Kennedy. Admission is free.

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on September 20, 2011, 01:52:51 AM
Much more than a mere "restoration"... more like building up an entirely new instrument around pipework from an old one with enhancements and additional new pipework?  Could this really be considered a "new instrument" ??? ??? ???

Quote
Historic city church completed, with an organ, after 106 years
September 19, 20110 comments

Press Release – St Matthew in the City
After 106 years, St Matthew-in-the-City is finally completed. The loft constructed to hold organ pipes has never been filled until now. Henry Willis & Sons has finished installing a pipe organ that has been in construction in their Liverpool factory since April 2008. While like a new instrument, it is a major enhancement and restoration of the historical Father Willis organ that served the original wooden church that preceded the present stone church.

It has been a labour of love by David Wyld, Managing Director of Henry Willis & Sons, who said of it, “It was our intent to build the finest church organ in New Zealand if not the Southern Hemisphere. We think we have succeeded.”

Vicar Glynn Cardy said, “After years of dreaming and raising funds for its construction, it is an immense joy to hear its brilliant sound fill the sanctuary. We are eternally grateful to the many who have been involved to make this day happen. We are especially indebted to the ASB Trust, Southern Trust, the Lottery Grants Board and The Lion Foundation for their grants that made this possible.”

Michael C.W. Bell, St Matthew’s organist and Director of Music, could hardly contain his excitement, “It feels like the Christmas of all Christmases”

While the organ can be used at church services, it will not be ready for a public recital for about six months. Mr Wyld explains, “With an instrument as complex as this, it takes that long for it to settle in and work out the kinks.”

While its full potential will not be realised for a while, Mr Cardy announced, “The organ will be dedicated on 25 September, the Feast of St Matthew, at the 10:00am service. At the same time we will dedicate the historic St Thomas Chapel and new kitchen that were part of this overall project.”

St Thomas Chapel began as the chapel on a missionary ship that served Melanesia from 1903 to 1932. When the Southern Cross V sank in Waitemata Harbour, the chapel was rescued and became the Lady Chapel at St Thomas’, Freeman Bay. When St Thomas’ was torn down for the motorway leading to the Harbour Bridge, it was stored in the crypt of St Matthew’s where it stayed for the next 45 years. Under the guidance of Salmond Reed Architects it has been carefully reconstructed in the south transept as it was on board the Southern Cross.

The new kitchen replaces the one that had to be removed to make room for the 32-foot pipes that are part of the enhancement of the historic organ.

The public is invited to attend the dedication. To mark the occasion, Michael Bell has composed “Mass for the Patronal Feast.” It will be sung for the first time at the service by the St Matthew Ensemble, under the direction of Dmitry Rusakov, the Associate Director of Music.



http://auckland.scoop.co.nz/2011/09/historic-church-completed-after-106-years/?ScoopSrc=scoopauckland (http://auckland.scoop.co.nz/2011/09/historic-church-completed-after-106-years/?ScoopSrc=scoopauckland)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on October 01, 2011, 04:59:58 AM
And they funded the addition of 13 stops to the original instrument...

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Fundraising+drive+music+ears/5467696/story.html (http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Fundraising+drive+music+ears/5467696/story.html)

Quote
Fundraising drive is music to the ears
 
Friday concert; Dorval parish restores 1958 pipe organ
 
By CHERYL CORNACCHIA, The Gazette September 28, 2011
 
 

The Anglican Parish of St. Andrew and St. Mark in Dorval has surprised itself once again - this time raising close to $300,000 to restore its Casavant pipe organ from 1958.

After months of painstaking work, including a new facade of gleaming pipes visible just behind the altar, the already impressive 52-year-old Casavant is in better musical shape than ever.

The public will now get a chance to hear the recently rebuilt instrument. The city of Dorval is sponsoring an inaugural concert at the church on Lakeshore Drive on Friday evening.

"We're getting tremendous feedback," said Bruce Wheatcroft, a lay reader at the church and one of the many church members behind the restoration effort.

With close to 1,000 pipes, the instrument's already considerable range has been enhanced with 13 stops, the so-called stopperlike apparatus that restricts wind blowing through the pipes, the majority of which are concealed in a chamber behind the organ's facade, in order to create additional sets of sounds.

"Listen there," Wheatcroft said, as church organist Bill Hutton played a succession of notes on the organ's keyboard. The corresponding pipes resonated with a soft shimmering sound akin to strings.

"We didn't have that sound before," he said. "We wanted to add a variety of new colours to the organ's musical palette."

The more than $300,000 in restoration work was done over the winter by St. Hyacinthe-based Orgues Létourneau Ltée., which like Frères Casavant, the organ's original Quebec builders, are world renowned.

Létourneau organs can be found in, among other places, the chapel in the Tower of London, Cambridge University's Selwyn College and Edmonton's Winspear Centre for the Performing Arts.

The concert on Friday night marks the first time the organ's full abilities will be showcased, said Wheatcroft.

Although the organ was reinstalled in the church back in April and blessed by Montreal's Anglican Bishop Barry Clarke on Easter Sunday, its repertoire has been limited to mostly hymns, up until now.

"It has wonderful sound, more soft and gentle now," said Barbara Black, another parishioner. "We've surprised ourselves," she added. "I guess success breeds success."

A few years ago, Black explained, the congregation voted to install geothermal heat pumps, no small investment, in order to cut its heating costs. This time, she said, the congregation took a risk on the organ.

"We stretched ourselves," said Wheatcroft. "We're looking ahead. We had the gift of the (first) instrument from 1958 and we want to make sure future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy the organ."

Duo Majoya, aka Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger, two renowned Alberta organists, are scheduled to play a wide-ranging program of traditional and original music in an inaugural concert Sept. 30, at 7: 30 p.m., at the Anglican Parish of St. Andrew and St. Mark, 865 Lakeshore Drive. Although free, seating is limited to 300. Contact the church at 514-631-3601 for tickets.

Tonight, Andrew Forrest and Sylvain Létourneau from Orgues Létourneau will give a fee bilingual lecture on the recent restoration of the organ at St. Andrew and St. Mark. The lecture takes place at the Dorval Library at 7: 30 p.m. as part of the Montreal Architectural Heritage Campaign.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Fundraising+drive+music+ears/5467696/story.html#ixzz1ZVFh8kUe

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on October 01, 2011, 05:15:52 AM
Quote

A CELEBRATION of harvest will be staged to mark the unveiling of the newly restored pipe organ at St Paul’s Church in Whiteshill, Stroud.

The Rt Rev John Went, Bishop of Tewkesbury, will attend to bless the historic instrument during a special service from 10.30am on Sunday, October 2.

This is preceded by an evening of music courtesy of the Gloucestershire Police Male Voice Choir at the church tomorrow, Friday, September 30, at 7.30pm.

Both events will also celebrate resident organist Pat Middleton’s 60 years of recitals and those who attend can get their hands on a specially commissioned 56-page booklet detailing the history of St Paul’s and the Church of the Holy Spirit.

Entrance to the events and a copy of the booklet is free to parishioners.

The Rev Brian Woollaston, vicar of both churches, said it was encouraging to see the Whiteshill and Paganhill communities come together to help renovate the organ, which dates back to 1876.



http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/9279658.Bishop_of_Tewkesbury_to_bless_restored_church_organ/ (http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/9279658.Bishop_of_Tewkesbury_to_bless_restored_church_organ/)


Quote
Visiting bishop blesses restored church organ

2:20pm Tuesday 4th October 2011

    By Nick Wakefield
WORSHIPPERS at St Paul’s Church in Whiteshill, Stroud, welcomed the Rt Rev John Went, Bishop of Tewkesbury, to bless its recently restored historic pipe organ.

A special ‘celebration of harvest’ service was held at the church on Sunday, October 2, to mark the blessing and give thanks for the 60 years service of resident organist Pat Middleton.

Art displays depicting the festivals of harvest, Easter and Pentecost were created especially by pupils at Whiteshill Primary, Callowell Primary and Archway schools and parishioners were each given free 56-page booklets about the history of St Paul’s Church and the Church of the Holy Spirit.

Securing a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and months of tireless fundraising enabled the congregation to ask organ restorer Keith Jones to rebuild the intricate instrument, which dates back to 1876.

Rev Brian Woollaston, vicar of St Paul’s Church and the Church of the Holy Spirit, said: "It has been most encouraging to see the part the community has played in helping this project to be achieved."

Eric
KB7DQH

Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on November 08, 2011, 09:25:22 AM
Quote
Historic organ at Denver's St. John's Cathedral to be rededicated after big restoration


Kyle MacMillan
The Denver Post
Posted: 11/04/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 11/04/2011 02:34:23 AM MDT

The pipe organ might seem like a Victrola in an MP3 world, but the venerable instrument is actually enjoying something of a renaissance.

International concert halls have competed in the past decade to top one another with multimillion-dollar organs, none a bigger hit than the massive 2004 instrument in Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Capitalizing on that popularity, St. John's Episcopal Cathedral raised $1.6 million for a 21/2-year restoration of its 1938 Kimball organ — a process that will culminate with a sold-out rededication and concert at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The instrument — with its 5,949 pipes ranging in size from about that of a drinking straw to 32 feet in height, is among about 400 American organs designated as having exceptional historic merit by the Organ Historical Society.

"Organs like this just aren't built anymore," said Stephen Tappe, St. John's organist and director of music. "To replace it with a new organ of a similar size would have cost more than we spent to restore it.

"And by restoring it, we preserve a piece of history and a certain type of beauty that just isn't being done anymore, because of the style of organs has changed and the cost of materials has just gone sky-high."

The invention of the pipe organ is credited to Ctesibius, an engineer in third-century B.C. Alexandria, and the instruments became widespread in churches beginning in the 10th century.

The W.W. Kimball Co. of Chicago started building pipe organs in 1891, and records show that it installed 7,326 such instruments in the United States and abroad before stopping production in the late '30s.

"In many ways, Kimball wasn't recognized as they should have been in the church-organ scene," said Joseph Rotella , the principal of the Waltham, Mass.,-based Spencer Organ Co., which oversaw the instrument's cleaning and reconditioning.

"One of the reasons is that they built all kinds of organs, and that kind

Reinstalling St. John's restored organ in its cramped four-story chamber above the nave was like "putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together inside a box." (Andy Cross | The Denver Post)
of put them out of favor with many traditional church organists."

Donated in memory of former Denver mayor Platt Rogers by his daughter, St. John's instrument was part of the 1920s and '30s heyday of American symphonic organs. They were designed to emulate the instruments in an orchestra, with this one having stops (essentially sound adjustors) that suggest English horns, French horns and stringed instruments.

The organ has the last four-level keyboard Kimball built, and, unlike many instruments of that period, it has not been modified or updated.

"Part of that is due to the fact that is one of the most crammed-in organs we have ever worked on," Rotella said.

Barely visible from the main part of the church, the organ is located in a cramped, three-story chamber along one wall of the nave. The space would normally have housed only 70 ranks of pipes, but Kimball squeezed in 96. Because the pipes were so tightly packed, the reinstallation, which began in January and culminated this week with last-minute adjustments, proved unusually challenging.

"It's like putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together inside a box," Rotella said.

When the restored organ is first heard publicly Saturday evening, it will sound different to longtime cathedral attendees. What they won't hear is much of the noise that resulted from air escaping from old, cracked tubing.

"What they will hear is something that is fresh," Rotella said. "With the organ sitting here for 70 years, it pretty much became covered in a layer of dust, and that's like throwing a giant sweater on top of it."

Kyle MacMillan: 303-954-1675 or kmacmillan@denverpost.com

St. John's Episcopal Cathedral Organ Recital Series

To celebrate the $1.6 million restoration and reinstallation of the Platt Rogers pipe organ at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral, 1350 Washington St., the church is sponsoring a series of recitals running through June 2012.

Paul Jacobs, 8 p.m. Saturday (sold out). Jacobs, chairman of the organ department at the Juilliard School and one of the country's best-known organists, won a Grammy Award this year.

Paul Prieto Ramirez, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Ramirez, the first organist-in-residence at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid, Spain, has a series of popular performances on YouTube.

Joseph Galema, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20. Galema serves as director and organist at the Air Force Academy and is a member of the faculty at the University of Denver.

Lyn Loewi, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27. A freelance Denver musician, she serves as organist for the cathedral's Schola Cantorum.

Richard Robertson, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Robertson is the cathedral's assistant organist.

Benjamin Sheen, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17. Sheen, senior organ scholar at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, maintains an international solo career.

Michael Unger, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 (hosted by Boulder Bach Festival). Unger, winner of two organ competitions, has recordings on the Naxos and Pro Organo labels.

Christophe Mantoux, 7:30 p.m. March 2. Mantoux is a winner of the first prize in interpretation at the Chartres International Organ Competition.

Alan Dominicci, 7:30 p.m. March 16. Dominicci was a student of famed French organists Andre Marchal and Jean-Jacques Grunenwald.

Joyce Shupe Kull, 7:30 p.m. April 27. Kull is director of music and organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Boulder.

Christopher Houlihan, 7:30 p.m. June 15 and 16. Houlihan performs the complete organ symphonies of Louis Vierne​.

All performances are free except for Unger's recital on Feb. 24. It is $30, $10 students and $5 children. 800-838-3006 or boulderbachfestival.org

Recital series information: 303-577-7717 or sjcathedral.org

http://www.denverpost.com/music/ci_19250874 (http://www.denverpost.com/music/ci_19250874)

And according to the following article, the sold-out rededication recital was most successful...
http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_19275323 (http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_19275323)

Quote
review
Soloist Paul Jacobs, Denver church's newly restored pipe organ both wonderful
By Kyle MacMillan
The Denver Post
Posted: 11/06/2011 01:00:00 AM MST

Sometimes the best new things are old. That was certainly the case Saturday evening, as St. John's Episcopal Cathedral unveiled and rededicated its newly restored 1938 Kimball pipe organ.

The massive 5,949-pipe instrument, designated as having exceptional historic merit by the Organ Historical Society, underwent a 2½-year cleaning and rehabilitation by the Waltham, Mass.-based Spencer Organ Co.

To celebrate the completion of that $1.6 million project, a sold-out audience got the first opportunity Saturday to hear the old organ anew during a spellbinding recital by Grammy Award-winning soloist Paul Jacobs.

Put simply, the organ sounded wonderful — clear, full-throated and superbly tuned, with a rich, panoramic sound.

To show it off, Jacobs presented a program of often little-known works. Inside of the musical fireworks typically expected at the beginning of a concert of this kind, he opened with Edward Elgar​'s understated Sonata in G major, Op. 28.

The organist offered a probing, reflective and moving take on this work, which offered abundant opportunities for nuanced tonal shadings that revealed both Jacobs' artistry and the beauty of this symphonic organ. To liven things up, he closed the first half with a spirited version of Elgar's best-known work, at least in this country: "Pomp and Circumstance."

To start the second half, Jacobs again had another surprise in store — the virtually unknown Suite for Organ by African-American composer Florence Beatrice Price.

A kind of "Rhapsody in Blue" for the organ, this piece is tinged with sounds of the blues and spirituals, and Jacobs seemed right at home in its idiomatic style.

Johann Sebastian Bach​ is almost a must on an organ concert, and the remaining lineup included Jacobs' first-rate version of the composer's Trio Sonata No. 4 in E minor, with its devilishly difficult, three-line counterpoint.

Kyle MacMillan: 303-954-1675 or kmacmillan@denverpost.com

Eric
KB7DQH


Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on November 08, 2011, 10:06:13 AM
This story could have had a much different end :o

However...

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Arts/Entertainment/2011-11-03/article-2794820/Something-old,-something-new/1 (http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Arts/Entertainment/2011-11-03/article-2794820/Something-old,-something-new/1)

Quote
    Published on November 3, 2011
Sally Cole  RSS Feed

Topics :
    Summerside Presbyterian Church , Casavant Bros. , Trinity United Church , Victoria Road , Quebec , Charlottetown

When members of Summerside Presbyterian Church decided to build a new building on Victoria Road, their biggest concern was the fate of their beloved 1906 Casavant two-keyboard, 18-stop pipe organ.

The instrument had been a cherished part of the congregation for over 100 years.

But the cost of dismantling it, storing it and then restoring and reinstalling it in the new church building, in addition to fundraising for the building, was overwhelming.

“In the budget, that there wasn’t sufficient funds to bring the organ along,” says Leonard Russell, chair of the building committee.

So as the date for the demolition of the old building neared this past February, the congregation made the decision to let the organ go.

“People left the congregational meeting with heavy hearts and everyone expressing their unhappiness,” he says.

But then something extraordinary happened.

Just a few days before the building was to be torn down, a group decided they couldn’t see the organ destroyed.

“Members of the congregation stepped up to the plate and said the organ must go (to the new building) and they would raise the additional money,” he says.

The decision to keep the organ led to changes in the design of the sanctuary.

“That’s because at that point we weren’t thinking that we were going to have exposed pipes or a place for the organ itself,” he says.

Last winter, Robert Hiller, a craftsman from Casavant Bros. in Quebec, was hired to start the work.

“With help from church volunteers we were able to dismantle the organ in four days.

“We put the pipes in boxes and moved them into storage,” says Hiller.

Then when he came back this past September the same volunteers cleaned the pipes and the mechanisms.

“Next we assembled it and then I tuned and painted it. We’re back this week to fix a few odds and ends — especially the last stop that will require a number of adjustments to make it stable,” says Hiller, who was at the church earlier this week.

Watching the pieces of the project come together is exciting for Pam Campbell, organist at the church for the past five years.

“The organ is a symbol of the positive collective energy of the congregation. When I played it for the first time this past Sunday everyone applauded afterwards,” says Campbell who, with Nancy Beck, has volunteered to establish and program a Sunday afternoon performance series to celebrate the congregation’s new life in the new building.

Another person who is thrilled about the new organ is Don Fraser, music director at Trinity United Church in Charlottetown and the Confederation Centre of the Arts, who will be featured in Pulling Out All the Stops, a concert on Nov. 13 at 2:30 p.m.

“I’m excited about playing a full concert on an organ with such an incredible history,” says Fraser.

That’s because when the organ was built in 1906, the company was in its infancy.

“It seems that this one was actually built by the original brothers . . . It’s amazing when you think that their hands were likely on it,” says Fraser, who will play selections from the Bach repertoire at the concert.

Back at the church Hiller is putting the finishing touches on the organ.

“It looks nice and fits the space really well . . . . I’m pleased,” he says.

Hiller also credits the architect for taking his suggestion and adding double layers of drywall to create a superb sound.

“Fifty per cent of a pipe organ’s sound depends on acoustics.If you have bad acoustics it doesn’t matter what kind of instrument you have, it’s not going to have any life. As a result, the organ speaks well in this building.

“The church has done a great job.”

 

SPC Sundays

If you are going

What: SPC Sundays concert series at Summerside Presbyterian Church.

Make a Joyful Noise: A hymn sing featuring accompanist Mark Ramsay with guest soloist Anders Balderston is Nov. 6 at 2:30 p.m.

Pulling Out All the Stops: An organ concert with Don Fraser is Nov. 13, 2:30 p.m.

Peace, Love, and Lots of Harmonies: A concert with Montague Regional High School choirs is Nov. 20, 2:30 p.m.

Students in Sing: A concert by the UPEI Music Society is Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m.

Admission: $10.

 

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on December 12, 2011, 06:46:12 AM
Quote
A CONCERT was held in Wargrave to celebrate the restoration of a church organ.

More than 350 people attended the event at St Mary’s Church, which was held to thank people for their donations.

A total of £70,000 was raised in nine months to restore the 94-year-old Walker pipe organ. The repairs were carried out by Suffolk pipe organ builder JW Walker, which made the instrument in 1917.

Tony Elliott and Patsy Roynon organised the concert where Keith Dukes and Simon McMurtrie played the organ and talked about its history. An invitation choir of 40 people sang.

Mrs Roynon, of Loddon Drive, Wargrave, said: "This was a huge thank-you to the 200 donors who contributed £70,000. There was £30,000 already in the music kitty, which was launched in June 2009.

"We asked for money from every side. We wrote personal letters to individuals, friends and well-wishers, including people who had past contact with the church. People responded so generously and we are delighted to have the organ back and up and running again.

"The concert was a wonderfully exciting evening."


http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/news.php?id=37165 (http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/news.php?id=37165)
Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on December 25, 2011, 08:14:34 AM
http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=354818 (http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=354818)

Quote
Originally Published: 12/24/2011    
   
1859 organ at Fleetwood church restored, to be played tonight
Ron Devlin

As a young man, John E. Keller pumped the bellows on the old Bohler organ during services at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Fleetwood.

Keller died in May, but his spirit will permeate the church tonight when the sound of the 152-year-old instrument rings out during Christmas Eve services.

Thanks in part to a donation from the Keller estate, the historic organ has been repaired and will be played at the 7:30 and 10:30 services.

"This is the oldest Bohler organ in the United States," said Ralph W. Hilborn Jr., a member of the church council. "It's listed on the National Historic Registry."

When organist Donna Ahrens sits down at the keyboard, it will be the first time the instrument has been played since 2006.

The Rev. Robert D. Machamer, pastor, said the public is invited to the service.

"An instrument like ours helps us give the community exposure to sacred music," he said. "It's an opportunity of a lifetime for people to hear a sound they've never heard before."

Research by Hilborn and others indicated the organ was built in 1859 at the Reading Pipe Organ Manufactory at 824 Court St. It cost $800 new.

Samuel Bohler is listed as the sole proprietor in the late 1850s, though earlier records indicate several brothers were involved in the business.

The Bohlers, organ builders in Switzerland, emigrated to Schuylkill County about 1830. Jonathan and Margaretha Bohler, Samuel's parents, moved to Reading in 1840 and opened an organ factory in the 900 block of Bingaman Street.

"Bohler organs were well-built, durable instruments noted for their sweetness and volume of tone," said Hilborn, a retired FBI agent who teaches at Reading Area Community College.

A church history indicates the organ was dedicated in the summer of 1859, when the church was known as St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed.

The newly completed East Penn Railroad ran excursions from Reading and Macungie for the ceremonies.

"Fleetwood was crowded with visitors and the church was unable to accommodate all the people," Hilborn said. "It was the greatest day Fleetwood had ever seen."

When the Lutheran and UCC congregations went their separate ways in the mid-1950s, the organ was bought at auction by Wellington Strause, a Fleetwood businessman. Albright Strause, Wellington's son, returned it to the church in the 1980s.

When John Keller died in May at age 91, his family decided to have the organ restored in his honor.

Raymond J. Brunner of Lancaster County, an authority on antique organs, did the restoration at the church.

Jon "Max" Keller of Richmond Township, John's son, said the family wanted to have the Bohler organ played at his father's funeral. When it was unable to be played, the family decided to donate money to a fund to restore the instrument.

"I think my father will appreciate the organ being played on Christmas Eve," Keller said. "I'm sure he'll be listening."

Contact Ron Devlin: 610-371-5030 or rdevlin@readingeagle.com.

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Pierre Lauwers on December 28, 2011, 08:43:48 AM
A 1924 Steinmeyer organ has just been restored in its orgininal state by Seifert of Kevelaer.
Hear the result, which is quite far away from the "mudiness" people imagined not so long ago
with such organs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWgN-yU_bfE
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on December 28, 2011, 04:23:33 PM
I remember searching for recordings of Steinmeyer organs on YouTube and being struck by how they combined quite classical choruses with a wide palette of Romantic tone colours.

Meanwhile, another recently restored organ, the Walcker/Harrison instrument in the Stockholm Stadshuset, and a fine piece of English (or should that be Scottish?) music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPIAXwMuYqQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPIAXwMuYqQ)
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: David Drinkell on December 28, 2011, 10:39:45 PM
I hope the Steinmeyer in Trondhjem Cathedral will soon be restored.  It was terribly messed-about-with (and moved) in the sixties, but even so is a fine beast.  Unfortunately, the 'Willis' reeds were lost in a fire while in store - these need to be replaced.
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on December 28, 2011, 10:59:16 PM
Willis supplied Steinmeyer with reeds?  :o

That's a combination I REALLY want to hear - much as I love Willis organs, I'm sure you'd agree there's nothing better about them than the chorus reeds and Tubas. Steinmeyer, meanwhile, made what sound like some of the best flue choruses ever made...

Incidentally, doesn't the west front at Trondheim look very English? Reminds me of Lichfield and Lincoln...

I see also that Steinmeyer are still in business - and have been since 1647! That must surely make them the oldest surviving organ-building firm in the world... hopefully they'd be able to replicate the many tonalities lost from the vast Trondheim organ, restore those presently in the Quire organ... but how on earth, even in a non-English organ, are you supposed to make do with no Swell, just a big enclosed Positive? The complete removal of casework in that ancient building is also criminal... The following, regarding the organ's 'restoration', makes for very worrying reading:
http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&prev=/search%3Fq%3DNidaros%2Bsteinmeyer%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dflock%26hs%3Duri%26channel%3Dfds%26prmd%3Dimvns&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=no&twu=1&u=http://kirkemusikk.net/steinmeyer/%3Fside%3Dorientering&usg=ALkJrhg2q_K_TM67G7mURO10Rx4y6EjDHw (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&prev=/search%3Fq%3DNidaros%2Bsteinmeyer%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dflock%26hs%3Duri%26channel%3Dfds%26prmd%3Dimvns&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=no&twu=1&u=http://kirkemusikk.net/steinmeyer/%3Fside%3Dorientering&usg=ALkJrhg2q_K_TM67G7mURO10Rx4y6EjDHw)

Why, in the 1960s, did they not leave the Steinmeyer alone, acquire another instrument for the Quire and restore the old Wagner instrument somewhere else in the building? That would have covered all their needs - instead the Wagner remained languishing in storage until the 1990s, the Steinmeyer was wrecked and a cobbled-together Quire organ installed (I wonder how satisfactory it has been). You couldn't make it up, could you?
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: revtonynewnham on December 29, 2011, 10:25:50 AM
Hi

A Swell department isn't a necessity!  You just choose music and styles appropriate to the instrument.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on December 30, 2011, 01:42:19 AM
Considering it's likely to be used for things like Reger, Rheinberger, any of the Scandinavian composers of that era used to their own luxurious Romantic instruments, or the French school (from Franck and Widor, through Tournemire and Vierne, then Dupré, to Duruflé, Langlais and Messiaen), I'd have thought an enclosed division with strings is essential. I know you can get round Liszt and Reubke with no swell boxes (Merseburg Dom had none when those two were writing for it, I believe) but the rest I've just named, I very much doubt it.

Who knows, they might even be discovering English music (Elgar, Howells, Bairstow etc) like the Germans have been  ;D
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: Pierre Lauwers on December 30, 2011, 12:50:19 PM
There is no need for a swellbox for Rheinberger. As for Reger, the need is actually quite limited,
though we know Straube used it -but he was influenced by the US organs!-
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on January 07, 2012, 11:08:36 AM
Quote
Somerset United Methodist Church caps pipe organ restoration

 

Somerset —

The pipe organ at the Somerset United Methodist Church is so big and so powerful for the building it sits in that it could shatter the windows of the church on Read Street if a certain key was held down for a certain amount of time. Organist Eileen Melanson Hennessey doesn’t plan to ever do that, but she does plan to show just how grand the old pipe organ is at a concert today at 2 p.m.
Free and open to the public, the concert by Hennessey and two other organists is being offered to show the church’s appreciation to the numbers of donors who made the restoration of the 1917 model Moeller organ possible.
For six months, beginning last June, the 474 pipes were laid across the pews on the right hand side of the church during the meticulous restoration that included removing old worn and cracked leather straps that made the organ sometimes play by itself or put forth sounds that the organist did not key.
“It will be good for generations now,” said Pastor Ellie Reed of the $56,000 restoration that was completed last month by the White Organ Company of Randolph. “We’re very happy with the new sound. We’re going to show it off to the community,” said Reed.
Sunday morning services last summer were a bit different while the pipe organ lay in pieces during the restoration. Hymns were instead played on banjo, guitar, mandolin and piano.
Hennessey’s fingers glide over the ivory keys that are original to the pipe organ that was first built in the Brayton Methodist Church on Griffin Street in Fall River, also known as the “blue church” where Citizens for Citizens was later located.
When the Brayton Methodist Church closed in 1970, the organ was moved to Somerset United Methodist, but Hennessey said some of the pipes had to be removed because the organ was just too big for the smaller church building.
Electronics have been installed so there is no delay between the time the organist presses a key and a sound comes out of the pipes.
“You’re playing and you don’t know if you’re hitting it right,” said Hennessey of the sound delay that can be as long as three minutes, as is the case with the pipe organ at St. Anne’s Church in Fall River, she said.
The pipes are made of tin and some are made of wood. The largest is about 10 feet tall and eight inches wide. The smallest is about the size of a pencil and produces the higher pitched sounds.
Nothing can compare to the sounds the pipe organ can produce, said Hennessey who has played on numbers of organs in her 47-year musical career including a one-game stint at Fenway Park in Boston and three years as the organist at roller skating competitions at the former Lincoln Park skating rink in Dartmouth. She’s also played at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and was formerly the chapel organist at the Newport Naval Base.
“There’s no soul in electronic organs,” said Hennessey. “There’s no life. It’s like playing the radio or a CD,” she said. “The pipe organ is alive. It’s a living, breathing thing. You can feel the energy of the pipes. You can’t say that about an electronic organ.”
Hennessey will be the last organist to play during Sunday’s concert that will end with “Climb Every Mountain,” by Richard Rodgers.
Other featured organists Sunday are Bernadette Mello who retired in 2008 as organist and choir director at Somerset United Methodist; and Debra Carvalho, organist at Union United Methodist Church in Fall River.
Mello will play “Trumpet Voluntary,” by Henry Purcell; “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” by J.S. Bach; “Panis Angelicus,” by Cesar Franck; and “1812 Overture,” by Peter Tschaikowsky.
Carvalho will play “Cannon in D,” by Johann Pachelbel; “How Great Thou Art,” by Lucy Ann Warriner; and “Re Mineur,” Three short classical melodies; and “Near the Cross,” by Todd Kendall.
Hennessey will begin with “The Sound of Music,” by Richard Rodgers, followed by “El Chocio ‘ The Kiss of Fire,” by A.G. Villoldo ; “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” by Johann Sebastian Bach; “Granada,” by Agustin Lara; and “Czardas,” by V. Monti.
The church is located at 841 Read St., Somerset.

Read more: http://www.heraldnews.com/newsnow/x735287658/Somerset-United-Methodist-Church-caps-pipe-organ-restoration#ixzz1ilkuEYPf

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on January 08, 2012, 10:14:14 AM
Quote


The pipe organ at the Somerset United Methodist Church is so big and so powerful for the building it sits in that it could shatter the windows of the church on Read Street if a certain key was held down for a certain amount of time. The 1917 Moeller organ [has] 474 pipes. “You’re playing and you don’t know if you’re hitting it right,” said Hennessey of the sound delay that can be as long as three minutes, as is the case with the pipe organ at St. Anne’s Church in Fall River, she said.
The pipes are made of tin and some are made of wood. The largest is about 10 feet tall and eight inches wide. The smallest is about the size of a pencil and produces the higher pitched sounds.

What a load of ridiculous hyperbole! Now, my rough calculations suggest that this organ has 7 manual ranks (based on the pictures showing it to have 61-note manuals). That leaves 47 pipes for the Pedal - I'd suggest that 44 pipes (making the pipe count 471) is more likely. I really doubt that, even in its very small home, it could shatter anything... and a THREE-MINUTE delay between pressing a key and the pipe sounding? At Westminster Cathedral, the time delay from the Apse console to the monster at the West end is about one and a half seconds. In order for any electric action to give a delay of three seconds (which I presume is what is meant) it would have to be in a very large building indeed, with the console a long way from the pipes. I believe that a three-second delay when the console is but a few feet from the pipes is impossible.

Could those of the forum's membership better versed in electrical engineering than I am please offer some comment?
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: revtonynewnham on January 08, 2012, 02:49:22 PM
Hi

If the delay really is 3 minutes then there's something seriously wrong with the action!!!  I've played a couple of organs with dodgy electro-pneumatic action  - the worse one, including the lag for sound to cross the chancel from pipes to console, might have been 1/2 second at most.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on January 08, 2012, 05:45:02 PM
 ;) ;)Hey-- Someone IS reading these news articles 8) 8) 8)

I quite thought the "three minute" delay was "suspicious" but the article appears as-written, warts and all.  You would think one could write something remotely "technically correct" about a device that has been a part of civilization for many more years than  the printing press :o 

But the same can be said for most things technical... Very few REALLY know HOW anything works, but are quite happy THAT it works ;)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: David Drinkell on January 09, 2012, 12:13:32 AM
Willis supplied Steinmeyer with reeds?  :o

That's a combination I REALLY want to hear - much as I love Willis organs, I'm sure you'd agree there's nothing better about them than the chorus reeds and Tubas. Steinmeyer, meanwhile, made what sound like some of the best flue choruses ever made...

Incidentally, doesn't the west front at Trondheim look very English? Reminds me of Lichfield and Lincoln...

I see also that Steinmeyer are still in business - and have been since 1647! That must surely make them the oldest surviving organ-building firm in the world... hopefully they'd be able to replicate the many tonalities lost from the vast Trondheim organ, restore those presently in the Quire organ... but how on earth, even in a non-English organ, are you supposed to make do with no Swell, just a big enclosed Positive? The complete removal of casework in that ancient building is also criminal... The following, regarding the organ's 'restoration', makes for very worrying reading:
http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&prev=/search%3Fq%3DNidaros%2Bsteinmeyer%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dflock%26hs%3Duri%26channel%3Dfds%26prmd%3Dimvns&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=no&twu=1&u=http://kirkemusikk.net/steinmeyer/%3Fside%3Dorientering&usg=ALkJrhg2q_K_TM67G7mURO10Rx4y6EjDHw (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&prev=/search%3Fq%3DNidaros%2Bsteinmeyer%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dflock%26hs%3Duri%26channel%3Dfds%26prmd%3Dimvns&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=no&twu=1&u=http://kirkemusikk.net/steinmeyer/%3Fside%3Dorientering&usg=ALkJrhg2q_K_TM67G7mURO10Rx4y6EjDHw)

Why, in the 1960s, did they not leave the Steinmeyer alone, acquire another instrument for the Quire and restore the old Wagner instrument somewhere else in the building? That would have covered all their needs - instead the Wagner remained languishing in storage until the 1990s, the Steinmeyer was wrecked and a cobbled-together Quire organ installed (I wonder how satisfactory it has been). You couldn't make it up, could you?

Willis III wrote up the Trondhjem organ in 'The Organ' just after it was built.  He describes a meeting with the search party before the order was placed and his subsequent visit to the completed instrument.  Although he was asked to supply several reed stops, this was against company policy ('The traditions of my firm....' or something similar) and the pipes were made elsewhere under his supervision.

The organ was originally in the north transept, so as not to spoil the view westward.  A later architect disliked the sight of the organ filling up the transept, so it was divided in 1962, with most of it going to the west gallery (with the old case) and other parts used to make a two-manual instrument in the quire triforium.  At this stage, there was a certain amount of tweaking (mostly removing 8' registers - although there are still a lot - and revising the upperwork) and the main Swell division was put into store where it was destroyed by fire.

When the Wagner organ (which had been stored when the Steinmeyer was built and was still largely intact) was restored, the case was removed from the Steinmeyer to clothe the old instrument again.  Any restoration of the Steinmeyer must therefore include something being done about casework.

The Steinmeyer was still an impressive instrument when I played it in the 80s, despite its vicissitudes.  In particular, it had that peculiar grandeur that only comes when a lot of pipes are sounding - the sort of sensation one gets at Liverpool, Weingarten or St. Paul's.  When it is fully restored, it should be one of the world's great instruments.

Regarding the building, a great deal of it, including the west front, dates from the 19th century restoration.  Lincoln is indeed the most like it of the British cathedrals. 
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on January 24, 2012, 07:22:36 AM
Quote
ShareThis

In 2008, Mike Wolf entered a vast labyrinth of pipes, bellows, blowers, chambers and electrical circuitry and now has emerged something of a hero.

On Jan. 29, his three-and-a-half years of hard work rebuilding the historic pipe organ at St. Leo’s Roman Catholic Church in Merion Village will culminate in a rededication concert.

“When you have an instrument as valuable as this, if you don’t maintain or repair it, you lose it all — the whole thing,” Wolf said.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. at the church, 221 Hanford St. Following the blessing of the instrument, Paul Thornock will provide a program of music to showcase its capabilities.

The work was quite an undertaking, said Wolf, who doesn’t even know how to play the organ. Of course, he had some help. For example, Gary Gurcich and the Roberts Electric Co. helped with the electrical aspects of the instrument while Andrew McGregor assisted in rewiring the inner organ.

“It’s not something I did totally on my own,” Wolf said.

First installed in the mid-1920s, the instrument was made by the Tellers-Trent Organ Co. in Erie, Pa. It is an echo, or celestial, organ, meaning it has additional pipes in a housing unit above the altar. Wolf refurbished those, too.

The actual organ console was replaced during the process. All told, the project cost $140,000, not including labor. The instrument is valued at more than $500,000.

The organ has a long history at the church, which was built in 1903 and dedicated in 1917. In March 1983, it saw its first rededication after a restoration project that lasted nearly a year.

Wolf, 67, a retired sheet-metal worker, was named caretaker of the church building when it closed in 1999 and the congregation was consolidated with St. Mary’s Catholic Church on South Third Street. He has touched up murals on the ceiling, restored each church pew, replaced floors and replastered walls — whatever needed his attention.

“There’s still a lot of work here to do,” he said.

It’s a labor of love, said Wolf, who was baptized in the church in 1944 and spent most of his life in the Merion Village neighborhood.

“It is my home,” he said.

The St. Leo Preservation Society has been steadfast in preserving the building, which is mostly used for weddings and funerals.

“We felt, from the beginning, that we owed it to our forefathers who put every effort and lots of their capital, faith and love of God into this church,” said Lori Mitchell, president of the preservation society. “We feel that it is very important to preserve what they built to hand down to us and to those who come after us.”

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on February 04, 2012, 12:29:27 AM
E.M. Skinner Opus 542...

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2012/01/famous_skinner_organ_gets_a_se.html (http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2012/01/famous_skinner_organ_gets_a_se.html)

Quote
Famous Skinner organ gets a second life after restoration work at St. Michael's Church in Hamilton Park


Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012, 3:00 AM     Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 5:24 PM
Rev. Alexander Santora/For the Jersey Journal By Rev. Alexander Santora/For the Jersey Journal

For 32 years, Roxanne Clark has played the organ at St. Michael’s Church in Hamilton Park, Jersey City.

Well, not all of it. The combination system did not work. There were dead notes. Ciphers, where notes mysteriously play by themselves, occurred constantly.

Eric Fahner, the associate organist, described the experience of playing that organ like “trying to traverse a minefield.”

But that is history, just as the organ is quite historical. Now all is well after a nearly $400,000, five-year complete rebuilding that was completed a few months ago.

This Sunday, at 4 o’clock, there will be a special organ concert titled, “Praise Him With Organ,” featuring Harold Stover, a former Dean of the New York City American Guild of Organists.

Bishop Thomas Donato, the Episcopal Vicar for Hudson County and a downtown Jersey City native, who graduated from the now closed St. Michael’s High School, will bless the organ.

But the biggest blessing came from the late John Peragallo, Jr., of the legendary Peragallo Pipe Organ Company in Paterson. He convinced the Joseph Bradley Foundation in Bryn Mawr, PA., to underwrite the bulk of the cost of the project because of the organ’s historic nature.

Ernest M. Skinner of the eponymous company built the organ in 1925, his 542nd. Skinner developed the pitman windchest, where the sound producing pipes are planted, and ultimately a complete organ that could be described as a “musical machine,” played by a single musician with the simplicity of a piano yet the sound could fill a cathedral.

His organs may be found in St. John the Divine Cathedral and St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Manhattan and the Appleton Chapel at Harvard. His “orchestrator” was the very first “computer” to use a binary switching logic.

John Peragallo III, will present an organ meditation in memory of his father. But the key organist will be Stover, a graduate of The Juilliard School in New York, who is organist and Director of Music of Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland, ME.

He also serves as director of the Portland-based chamber chorus Renaissance Voices and on the faculty of the Portland Conservatory of Music. He previously served as organist and choirmaster at Second Presbyterian Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and on the faculties of the New York School of Liturgical Music and the Alexander Robertson School.

Sunday’s pieces include “Prelude in G Major BWV 568” by Johann Sebastian Bach and “Fantaisie in A” by Cesar Franck and “A Grand Instrumental Procession” by George Frideric Handel as well as works by Leo Sowerby and Eugene Gigout.

Rev. Victor Kennedy, pastor of Resurrection, which also includes St. Bridget’s and St. Mary’s churches, is happy with the organ work, “history that’s there, the beauty of that organ.” And he thanks the Peragallo Company for doing some work, not covered by the grant, pro bono.

The parish struggles financially. They were able to paint St. Michael’s a few years ago for about $275,000 using funds received from the sale of St. Peter’s Church to St. Peter’s Prep.

St. Michael’s was founded in 1867 and marks its 145 anniversary this year. In the early to mid-20th century it was one of the downtown powerhouse parishes where John V. Kenny, the Democratic political boss, worshipped. Now two weekend Masses are offered in English on Saturday at 4 o’clock and Sunday at 10:30. The Vietnamese apostolate of the Archdiocese offers a Sunday morning 8:30 Mass in that language. And the Tuesday Novena to St. Jude, which for decades had been held at the now-closed St. Lucy’s, attracts scores of followers, who will now hear a perfect instrument.

Fahner considers the Skinner organ like a Steinway today, “top of the line.” And now it sounds like one, as well.


Santora is the pastor of The Church of Our Lady of Grace & St. Joseph, 400 Willow Ave., Hoboken, 07030, (201) 659-0369, fax (201) 659-5833, e-mail: padrealex@yahoo.com

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on April 04, 2012, 09:41:52 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/community/040112_Englewood_church_unveils_its_restored_pipe_organ.html?page=all (http://www.northjersey.com/community/040112_Englewood_church_unveils_its_restored_pipe_organ.html?page=all)


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Englewood church's restored pipe organ impresses at concert
Sunday, April 1, 2012    Last updated: Sunday April 1, 2012, 9:43 PM
BY SCOTT FALLON
STAFF WRITER
The Record


ENGLEWOOD — There was a moment when not a sound was heard at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon after the applause died down and Nathan Laube took his seat at the organ bench.


It didn’t last long.

A growing shriek would soon crescendo into a roar as the massive Moeller organ reverberated throughout the 142-year-old church with Laube at its helm.

It was the inaugural concert of the newly rebuilt pipe organ, the biggest of its kind in Bergen County. And the $500,000, six-month restoration was enough to attract Laube, considered one of the world’s most promising young organists.

“I booked him immediately when we started the restoration,” said David Macfarlane, himself an accomplished organist and the church’s music director.

The 4,114-pipe instrument was installed by Moeller Pipe Organ in 1966, but some of its wooden box pipes date back to 1918 when the church’s first organ was built.

Its leather valves were falling apart and its sound was deteriorating rapidly. The restoration, done by OrguesLétourneau of Quebec, was funded by the estate of the late Luella Schmidt, a churchgoer who bequeathed her entire life savings to the restoration of the organ.

The organ was first played publicly by Macfarlane at a Christmas recital. Congregants say the difference was noticeable.

“There’s a brilliance now,” said Marilyn Arons, a jazz pianist and member of the church choir. “There’s a shimmer that you didn’t have before.”

Sunday’s free concert drew about 200 to the church, including Dorothy Henry who drove from the Bronx. Her advice: sit in the middle of the sanctuary for the best sound. Henry should know. She was the organist at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Bergenfield for eight years.

“It just pours down on you,” Henry said of the restored organ.

Laube is used to playing in churches, having given concerts from Washington’s National Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral in England.

Englewood was the last stop on a one-month tour before he was due to return to Germany where he is studying music in a graduate program. He spent the past two days at First Presbyterian getting to know the organ.

Laube was so surprised by its broad tones, that he changed the program and played a symphony by Franz Liszt transcribed for the organ. He would go on to Bach and Reubke

It was Laube’s hands that created the music, but it was the 4,114 pipes that carried it.

“It’s a wonderful organ and a wonderful building for an organ,” Henry said.

Email: fallon@northjersey.com

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on April 18, 2012, 07:21:06 PM
Rare 1808 William Gray pipe organ restored...

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/video_rare_1808_william_gray_pipe_organ_brought_back_to_life_at_rededication_concert_at_st_botolph_s_church_in_trunch_1_1349387 (http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/video_rare_1808_william_gray_pipe_organ_brought_back_to_life_at_rededication_concert_at_st_botolph_s_church_in_trunch_1_1349387)

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A rare 1808 pipe organ has been lovingly restored and rededicated in a north Norfolk village after a fund-raising appeal was launched to bring the instrument back to life.



Based in the north aisle of St Botolph’s Church, Trunch, the historic organ, built by William Gray of London more than 200 years ago, had been rebuilt in 1957 by the Trunch organ builders Williamson and Hyatt.

And now pipe organ builder and restorer Richard Bower, of Bower and Company, has spent the last three months bringing it back to its former splendour.

Mr Bower, 64, started playing the instrument at the age of 15 and had admired the Georgian Trunch beauty describing it as a “very telling little thing to play.”

“I had looked after it before we restored it and it was getting worse and worse,” he said.


“I know how great it was and how great it could be so I’m pleased I had the opportunity to restore it as it is really gorgeous.”

Mr Bower believed it is one of only three left in the country and said it had been originally brought from Birmingham. Over the last three months he had refitted the main soundboard, changed the wind systems and stripped, re-polished and cleaned each pipe one by one.

After completion of the project Mr Bower was invited to perform for the rededication recital last night (Saturday) as part of the series of Trunch concerts, which helped fund-raise towards its restoration.

Audiences were treated to a programme which included music from the period of the building of the organ by Stanley and Samuel Wesley, a selection of music playable on the organ as rebuilt in 1957 by Mozart and Bach, and finally twentieth century music including Yon and Young, topped with pieces from Sweelinck and Widor to illustrate the what the organ now offers.

Co-organiser of the concerts Peter Mason said: “They are extremely dependant on the good will of the performers and the audience as well.

“The concerts raise between £1000 and £1500 for restoration and sometimes people come from abroad and sometimes they come from the local area to perform for the concerts.

“2008 was the bi-centenary of the organ so we decided to start an appeal to raise funds for it’s restoration, which cost £12,000.”

The money was raised through On Organ Fund, The John Jarrold Trust, Leche Trust (for the case work), Babara Whatmore Charitable Trust and a large sum was privately donated.

The pipe organ is one of the many projects included in St Botolph’s Church restoration project. Since 1998 the concerts have raised over £10,000 and all concert proceeds will continue to be donated to the project.

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on April 18, 2012, 07:52:47 PM
Mr Drinkell, is this one that you know?
Title: Re: Completed restorations in the news
Post by: KB7DQH on April 22, 2012, 05:57:23 AM
One could make the argument that the following could be considered a "modernization", but...

http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20120417/OPINION/204170306 (http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20120417/OPINION/204170306)

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Bay Street Presbyterian Church, established in 1906, is well worth a visit. Its design is French/Romanesque, and the stained glass windows from Germany are works of art.

Bay Street is the home of a rare world-class pipe organ designed by M.P. Moller Co. of Hagerstown, Md., in 1918, and installed in 1922.

The organ was delivered in two box cars, and the installation was supervised by Mr. and Mrs. T.J. Williams of Algiers, La.

The builder of the diapason ranks of the organ in Westminster Abbey, London, built those of the organ in Bay Street.

David Stockstill of Picayune, longtime organist for Bay Street and a historian of note and friend, got us interested in this subject.

The instrument was restored in 1997 under the supervision of Schoenstein of San Francisco.

The restoration included the replacement of original tubing and wiring with a first of its kind, FM radio controls, 440 wiring and movability of the console.

The dynamic range of this organ includes tones that are to be felt instead of heard.

The original installation included conduits of silver and tin. Funds received from the salvage and sale of which were applied to the costs of the restoration.

The congregations of Bay Street past and present are to be lauded for the existence and preservation of this historical marvel.

There are few of this class remaining in the world today.

The artisans that designed and built these organs are long gone, and there are precious few musicians who can call forth their great sonority.

Albert Schweitzer said, "May these old organs stand until the end of the world when the Holy Angels will descend on the last day and use them to accompany the singing of the 'Gloria'!"


I rather like the Albert Schweitzer quote...

Eric
KB7DQH