Home Pipe Organ with Mervin Brown

Home Pipe Organ with Mervin Brown

From a Youtube Channel with the unlikely name of “Toy Man Television,” I found a fascinating video report on a large pipe organ — more than 2,000 pipes. The owner is a builder and a player and helped maintain the Salt Lake Tabernacle organ for a decade.

“Mervin Brown has been building a pipe organ in his home for over 45 years. The massive classical organ sounds wonderful, and mostly fills his 100 year old house with over 2000 pipes! Now this is surround sound!”

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New Duets Category

New Duets Category

In May, I am announcing another duet (4 hands) from our American past. So, it made sense at this point to add another category to my “Suggested Pieces” list. Just put your mouse over “Suggested Pieces” in the menu above and you’ll see the categories. You can also click here.

By the way, the image above is from Mr. & Mrs. Jesse Crawford “at Home” (1939). The Hammond organ had been manufactured for four years at that time.

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1,576 Pipes Over 3 Manuals in Renovated St Joe’s St Joe’s

St. Joseph Catholic Church to Unveil New 1,576-pipe Organ

“The Lauck Organ Opus 65 will be blessed during a concert at the church in St. Joseph starting at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 26. Guest organist Christopher Dekker, director of music at Trinity United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids, will perform. An in-demand recitalist, he has performed at venues across the U.S. including St. Patrick’s Cathedral of New York City, the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles and Trinity Church of Boston. The new organ was installed in stages and was completed in January. But the planning began years ago.”

They had me as soon as I saw these gorgeous stenciled pipes. While this is not a restoration, I like this facade better than the old one. Read about their “Worship Space Enhancement Project.”

You may view additional details and history in an excellent PDF from the church’s website.

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Pensacola’s Saenger Presents its Restored Robert Morton

Saenger Organ Gets New Life

It took a few more years to get the organ finished after the restoration of the theatre in 2009. Why on earth don’t leaders and committees always build the relatively small cost of the organ work into the main budget? Some do, but it seems that most just don’t. Anyway, the Pensacola folks seem to have gotten the job done and I sure hope they use it regularly.

It hadn’t been played since the 1990s until Thursday evening, when about 100 invited guests at the Saenger Theatre were witness to the rebirth of the Great Saenger Pipe Organ, a 1925 Robert Morton organ that has been literally part of the Saenger’s historic structure — the organ’s thousands of pipes are built into the Saenger’s walls — since opening night on April 2, 1925. Now, after a $400,000, four-year overhaul and renovation, the Great Saenger Pipe Organ is back — and now valued at $3 million.

“The heartbeat of the Saenger can be heard again,” said Sherri Hemminghaus Weeks, president of the Friends of the Saenger, a support group that led the fundraising effort to save the organ. “It’s so important to the people of Pensacola and the Saenger itself. It’s actually built into the walls. The Saenger was not complete until the organ was finally restored.”

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David Peckham Plays “One Week” and Pops Program

Clemens Center Offers Theatre Organ Music and Silent Film

This program occurred earlier this month, and what caught my eye was the admission price. It was $17.50 for the program of music and the short, “One Week.” It’s my favorite Buster short and I never miss it. If you went, please leave some comments below. Also, what do think about the price?

See for yourself and experience the sights and sounds of a Clemens Center Theatre Organ Pops Concert featuring David Peckham and Friends and Silent Film: “One Week.” The event will take place at the Clemens Center in Elmira at 3 p.m. on Sunday. General admission tickets cost $17.50 for adults and $8.75 for those under 18. For tickets contact the Clemens Center Box Office at (607) 734-8191 or (800) 724-0159, or visit www.clemenscenter.com.

Music will be performed by resident theatre organist, David Peckham. A special part in the program will be “Peter and the Wolf” with narration by Dr. Jim Hudson of Corning. Hudson is well known in the area as a superb choral conductor and bass-baritone soloist.

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Discovering Unknown Music & Researching Composers

“As always, I love your site and discovering new music. It is very inspirational and makes me dig to find out more about these composers. I love it. I learn so much!” —Arkansas, USA

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Retired Bus Driver Buys House with Organ (video)

New Owner Moves into Grand Rapids Pipe Organ House

A while back, I posted about an enormous organ in this small house and how it was for sale. Well, someone bought it, and the TV station went out to interview the new owner. He is friendly guy, a retired bus driver, but he can’t take care of the thousands of pipes and he can’t play very well by his own admission. The video simply cries out for someone to play something that would demonstrate the instrument, but that never happens. The reporter asks for something that shows what full organ sounds like, and the result must not have been to his liking because not even 2 seconds is left without 80% volume reduction and continued voice-over from the reporter. What? With all the compression and volume twiddling, you can’t even tell that it’s an organ at all. Boo, hiss, WZZM. I wish I could say otherwise, but I don’t believe this will end well.

Dave Luttinen says he always dreamed of owning home equipped with a pipe organ. “I’ve wanted a pipe organ since I was a little kid,” he says. While surfing the internet Luttinen says he discovered a house for sale on Third Street in Grand Rapids that came with a church size pipe organ. A few weeks later he bought it. “I came to Grand Rapids in January, walked into the house and fell in love with the place the first time I saw it,” he explains.

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New Organ in Whittier High School Auditorium

Whittier High Auditorium Closed while Organ Installed

How interesting it is that high schools continue to receive pipe organs! Years ago, this was not so terribly strange, but these days it does appear anachronistic. I, and I’m sure you, hope it goes well for them!

“A 1927 Wurlitzer theater organ donated by the Whittier High Alumni Association for the historic Vic Lopez Auditorium at Whittier High School more than eight years ago finally is being installed. The auditorium will be closed until the beginning of school in August for the construction. The delay was the result of air conditioning needing to be installed in the 75-year-old auditorium before the organ could go in, said officials for the Whittier Union High School District. In addition, $150,000 worth of repairs were needed for the organ when it was acquired. Those have been done.”

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Apple & Palmer Play the Stevens in St Alban’s

John Apple and David Palmer in Concert

I posted the program on March 7, and here is the concert. Choose the first player for the entire program or choose individual tracks. Pieces that I have restored have links that will take you to that music page.

Complete Concert

Voluntaries in F and E-flat (from 12 Voluntaries, 1865)
Samuel Jackson (1818-1885)
Voluntary 11

Voluntary 1

Commentary 1

Voluntary for a Festival Occasion (from American Church Organ Voluntaries, 1852)
edited by H.S. Cutler & A.N. Johnson

Prelude in G, Op. 37, no. 2 (1835)
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Prelude in B-flat (1848)
John Zundel (1815-1882)

Introduction and Fugue for Organ Duet (1855)
Henry Stephen Cutler (1824-1902) with David Palmer

Consolation in D-flat (c. 1860)
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Hymn 691 — My Faith Looks Up to Thee (1832)

Commentary 2

Andantino (1858)
Cesar Franck (1822-1890)

Trio in E-flat (c. 1850)
Julius Reubke (1834-1858)

Adagio (c. 1847)
Lucien H. Southard (1827-1881)

Prelude in E-flat (1862)
Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens (1823-1881)

Commentary 3

Sonata II in C (1866)
Eugene Thayer (1838-1889)

Preambule, from 24 Pieces in Free Style, Op. 31 (1913)
Louis Vierne (1870-1937)

Flutes, from Organ Book (1957)
Jean Langlais (1907-1991)

Some Thoughts on Historic American Organs and the Stevens Organ

Chorale Prelude on Christ the Life of All the Living (1983)
Michael Johnston (b. 1956)

Thank You

Quick March for Organ Duet (1881)
Horatio Parker (1863-1919)

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New Recordings of My Restored Music

New Recordings of My Restored Music

Today, I’m posting the newest recordings of some of my restored music for you to hear. They are from a concert by John Apple and David Palmer from March 8 and here is the program. Watch this blog and I’ll post the entire concert including the commentary.

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