Pipe Up and Up!

by Derek E. Nickels, DMA, Director of Music

Again, many thanks to the generous individuals, couples, and families that have graciously donated to the restoration of our Aeolian-Skinner organ! The careful removal of the pipework from the organ chambers began on Monday morning, June 20th. Restoration is progressing at an exciting pace in the Berghaus shop in Bellwood.

The first shipment of pipes and other parts began to arrive on Monday, August 29th. All of the organ's 1,485 pipes have been cleaned to remove the gray dullness and will be revoiced once they return to the church. All of the chests, concussion bellows, and reservoirs have had the aging leather replaced. The console (where the organist sits) and bench have been stripped and refinished to look like new. The manual keyboards have been rebuilt with new hammer rails, felts, bushings and leather nuts. The 50-year old keyboard and pedal contacts have been replaced with new contacts.

In the meantime, we have the honor of having a little portative organ built by the Berghaus firm on loan to us for the duration of the project. This small instrument has only one keyboard and no pedals. Its gentile and bright sound is quite different from the fuller and deeper sound of the Aeolian-Skinner.

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The choirs will resume their rehearsal schedules on Thursday, September 8th in order to prepare for our homecoming Sunday on September 11th. Again, thank you for your support and patience throughout this very labor-intensive and long-overdue project that is becoming a reality.