New Console for The Citadel’s Reuter

Old Citadel Organ to Be Dedicated During Piccolo Spoleto

Read about the current situation of the Reuter organ in the Chapel at The Citadel. Every time I’ve visited, it was unplayable, and this progress report is great news indeed.

After lying silent for decades in moldy chambers high above the floor of The Citadel’s historic Summerall Chapel, the college’s Reuter pipe organ is slowly coming back to life. The first of several phases is complete, funded by gifts to the college through The Citadel Foundation.

The organ will be dedicated at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, as part of Piccolo Spoleto’s L’Organo Recital Series during a special evening performance by organist Stephen Distad and trumpeter Justin Langham, both of Houston, Texas. They will perform as Deux Voix, which means “Two Voices.”

The free event will highlight the organ’s new hand-crafted, four-manual console with woodwork reflecting the chapel’s carvings. However, the pipes and wind chests, suffering from the ravages of time, humidity and neglect, are now currently being restored by the Cornell Zimmer Organ Company in Denver, North Carolina near Charlotte. In the rear of the chapel, a small section of the pipes is on display for visitors, shining like new, next to a photographic essay of the restoration process. Fundraising is now underway to support the remaining elements of the $1 million restoration.

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Raising Money for Maintenance: A Piston for £100

Musicians Rally Round to Help Save Church Organ

This is another story about locals raising money for organ repairs by giving concerts, but there is a twist to this that I’ve not seen before. Most times, donors might give so much money for a pipe or a rank, but here it’s for the components that the general music lover never thinks about. How much would you give for a pouch? A solenoid? I love it!

The organ needs repair work to be done to the value of £29,000, and although the church has £16,000 in is funds which can be put towards the work, that still leaves £13,000 to be found.

Among the items that need replacing are 143 keys and pedal switches, 31 draw-stop solenoids and 14 thumb pistons, and members of the public can sponsor a switch for £10, a solenoid for £50, or one of the pistons for £100.

Notice the interesting console cover at left in the photo above. If you can provide a link to the specification of the organ, I would appreciate it.

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A New Curator for Baycourt’s Wurlitzer

Wurlitzer Organ’s Keeper Will Pull Out All the Stops

Perhaps in New Zealand they routinely say, “Mighty Wurli,” but I’ve never heard it before. “Terry Creighton was named Baycourt’s Mighty Wurli organ keeper in a ceremony yesterday.” It’s not a misprint because you’ll find it called that on this page about the history of the II/10 Wurlitzer Model H, Opus 1482 (1926).

Terry Creighton has been named Baycourt’s Wurlitzer organ keeper. The Mighty Wurlitzer has been kept at Baycourt since late 1988 after being shipped from the US in 1926, being housed in the De Lux Theatre in Wellington, then in a honey-packing shed in Tokoroa and the Tauranga Town Hall.

Historically, the official role of Keeper of the Organ has been bestowed on a member of the Tauranga Theatre Organ Society willing to take on the responsibility of ensuring the organ’s upkeep. The last keeper was Norm Freeman, who passed away just over 12 months ago. Mr Creighton also a member of the society, said he had always loved theatre organ music: “Since forever, when I was 14 or 15, I remember being a big fan for that sort of thing.”

He was intrigued by the wind, electrics and mechanics of the instrument and the interaction of those three things within it. The organ’s console still had its original wiring, he said.

And I hope they keep things original for as long as they can. Good luck, Terry!

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Guillou and the Festival of Organs in Namur, Belgium

Venery Fantaisy au Festival d’orgue

In Namur, Belgium, we read about Jean Guillou’s long involvement with the Festival. Here is the text in English (translation by Google). If you’re interested to find out more about the organs, visit this page on and look on the right panel for links to the other organs of the Cathedral.

At 85, Jean Guillou remains a true titan of the organ and superlatives abound to qualify. Virtuosity, expressiveness, creativity, everything is there and leaves the viewer breathless. There is on the part of the artist approach the organ that seems so easy and always revival, and that challenges and fascinates. Far from the orthodoxy sometimes morose, Guillou happily destroys the conventions, will steadfastly forward, trampling flowerbeds voluptuously of tradition and sparkling with joy and humor.

Today after 73 years of career, the lion still roars. This exquisite being, slender as a reed, in a very old urban France, elegant and delicate, is capable of great anger, of passions blazing and fierce stubbornness in the choice he stopped once and for all. It’s a multiple personality whose complexity is understood in every note he plays. It seduces, fascinates in any case never leaves indifferent.

Happy city of Namur where the organ concerts are followed and do not resemble. If “hunting horn” brings to mind echoes of large deer haunch huntsman or stew with chanterelles, do not come to the Cathedral of Namur after the second Festival of Organ. But if you want to hear melodious hunting horns capable of playing all directories, all notes and nuances like any other instrument, do not miss the recital of The Trio Venery Fantaisy (Bertrand Bourgeois Celine Caris and Sylvain Oudot) with Emmanuel Clacens the organ Sunday, May 31 at 16h. The program includes Bach, Schubert, Handel, Mouret, Verrees, Gherardeschi, Oudot …

It was at the instigation of friends Venery Fantaisy ringers that came into it a few years ago. Made up of international champions of hunting horn, the group is experiencing enviable media consecration. As for Emmanuel Clacens we do this more as well as its activities and educational organistic are renowned across the Belgian music world and even Europe.


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1981 Jaeckel Removed for “Improvement”

Cathedral’s Pipe Organ Getting Refurbished, Updated

Read this article by Clay Schuldt about the cleaning and rebuilding of Holy Trinity Cathedral’s Jaeckel organ from 1981. This is another one where I don’t understand the need to remove and work on such a recent installation. If you can help explain the situation, please leave a comment below. Nordlie has the contract and I’d love to hear about the condition of the organ as they found it. We have a Jaeckel here in the mountains of North Carolina.

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm, Minnesota,  has started the process of restoring and upgrading its pipe organ. Cathedral liturgist Nathan Knutson said the organ pipes are being removed and shipped to Ohio to be fixed, polished and restored. The organ components will then be sent to JF Nordlie Co-Organ Builders in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At Nordlie the rest of the project will be completed with work on the instrument’s keys, casings and console.

The Cathedral’s organ was originally built in 1981. At 34 years it is relatively young, Knutson said. However, the church has noticed issues with the instrument since the late 1980s. After the pipe organ is returned to the church, it will not only be back to working order but it will also be improved.

“We will be adding nine different sounds,” said Knutson. These additions will make Cathedral’s organ the second largest organ in New Ulm. Only an pipe organ at Martin Luther College is larger. The Cathedral’s organ will be returned to the church by the fall 2016. Until then, Cathedral musicians will use a smaller electric organ and pianos.

Despite the large pipe organ’s absence, Cathedral will continue to offer organ lessons during the summer months. Those interested in lessons should contact Knutson or the church.

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New III/54 Casavant for Hope College

Hope’s New Concert Organ to Elevate Music Program

Thanks to David Roossien, Hope College and Huw Lewis will have another organ to use, a new Casavant. We should all have friends like David Roossien.

David Roossien of Holland isn’t an organist. However, he is the man behind the brand-new Casavant Frères concert pipe organ being installed this month at Hope College’s Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts. “It was my dream and my wish that if a concert hall were built in Holland either by the city or by Hope … it was my dream to have a concert organ,” Roossien said.

Roossien, a retired Pfizer financial manager, brought up the idea of installing a pipe organ as soon as he heard wind of plans for the music center — and agreed to donate the $1 million needed to purchase it. “In a nutshell, if we’re going to have a first class concert hall (in Holland), it has to have a pipe organ,” Roossien said.

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Quimby Lane Organ Moved by Dobson

Family Donates Pipe Organ To Bridgehampton Church

This story doesn’t seem to have a down side — everybody wins. It’s interesting that the relocation of the organ located on Quimby Lane is being handled by Dobson!

Since 1942, Charlotte Rogers Smith had spent her days serving as the organist and choir director at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, even using her free time to teach lessons on the organ and piano.So it only seems natural that the pipe organ she played so often at her home on Quimby Lane for more than two decades should be donated to a local church following her death in December at the age of 95.

Ms. Rogers Smith’s four children have donated the 28-year-old organ to the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church on Montauk Highway in the hamlet, in their mother’s memory. The decision came after they were approached by that church about possibly acquiring the instrument, although purchasing it would have proved to be difficult, according to Gay Lynch, a parishioner of the church and a Bridgehampton resident. But when the option of donating it came into the picture, especially as the family prepares to sell the Quimby Lane home, they ultimately decided that it was important for the organ to remain within the Bridgehampton community—selling it, as they originally planned, could have meant sending it elsewhere.

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Organ Damaged in Bombing Gets New Home (video)

Church Saves Century-old Organ Damaged in Bombing

One might immediately think that this was an organ damaged in World War II. Or perhaps, it was near Trinity Church, Wall Street, and was damaged in the Twin Towers collapse. No, there was a small organ damaged in the Murrah Building bombing, and this is it.

The “Hinners Opus 1024″ was built in 1909 for a German Methodist church at the corner of Northwest 8th and North Lee downtown. When the Murrah Building was bombed, it was only seven blocks away. The organ is the oldest existing pipe organ original to the state.

“We’re going to be able to breathe life back into it hopefully for another hundred years,” church elder Nils Gransberg said. “We’re going to have it here in our church, which is, you know, 100 to 114 years old.” Trinity bought the instrument from Skyline Urban Ministry for $5,000.

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St Joseph’s, New Orleans, and Its Jardine

Historic Organ Plays Again at St Joseph’s in New Orleans

“The last time the organ had been played for a full Mass was 25 years ago. Of the two keyboards, only one worked when Habeney played.” This sounds the beginning of a great novel. Are you listening, Glenda Sutton? :)

Recently, the fully mechanical Jardine and Son of New York organ that was installed when the building was dedicated more than a century ago has been repaired back to a playable condition. “It brings back memories having it working again,” said Habeney, a life-long parishioner.

 This Jardine is in good hands with Roy Redman in the lead. There is a short video of Roy on the page.

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Colorful Lowery on Loan to Kauffman Stadium (video)

Organ music to fill the air at Kauffman Stadium

This organ is more buttons and colored lights than organ sound but pumped through the stadium’s PA system, it probably sounds a bit like the old Hammond ball park sound. Bravo to Kansas City and Kauffman Stadium. Watch the video and listen to hear the name of Ernie Hays who died back in 2012.

As part of the Royals big series against the Yanks, the team is bringing in an organ and an organist to take fans back in time, setting the mood like it’s 1979.

The modern Lowery organ is being supplied by Schmitt Music in Overland Park. The man at the keys and the pedals will be Jeremy Boyer, a part-time organist for the St. Louis Cardinals and a full-time player for the St. Louis Blues. “Listened to our local organist Ernie Hays. Sam Beckett used to play in Kansas City. Listening to these guys, and it really got into my blood,” he said. Boyer said he’s thrilled.

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