Wild Air

Archive for the ‘Organs of Note’ category

The Biography of a Pipe Organ

November 19th, 2015

A NEW BOOK! Read the biography of an organ, and with it, the biography of a city. The Estey pipe organ in Marion’s Memorial Coliseum was one for Estey’s storied “luminous” consoles.  That in itself should make this book worth reading.  But more than that, the organ was a symbol of all that was good, […]

Join us at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 10, to hear international organ virtuoso Raúl Prieto Ramírez in the inaugural concert for the E. M. Skinner/Reynolds Associates pipe organ at High Street United Methodist Church in downtown Muncie, IN. Our project which took place in two phases over 6 years, included renovation of the 4 […]

Patrons of the Organ

June 28th, 2014

Speaking of England, here’s an idea that was recently shared on Twitter.  I think it’s a great idea, and one I would like to see implemented in many of our churches. At the Liverpool Cathedral, they have a core group of people called the “Patrons of the Organ.”  Such a group would be committed to […]

We have just posted a new YouTube video that shows the rebuilding process for a standard M.P. Moller pitman windchest.   Many people have no idea what is involved in building or renovating a pipe organ, and this video is intended to help.   Plus, the soundtrack is Les Torreadors from Carmen, as played by […]

Recently, I opined about the electronic organ.   Today, I would like to discuss a different instrument that, in the past, filled the niche that electronic organs fill today.     Your great-grandmother may have had a small one in her living room.   It often had a hutch, complete with beveled mirror.   It […]

Alive and Well

April 1st, 2012

          As I travel through the organ world, I sometimes get comments from well-meaning and uninformed folks that seem to imply that my work is about as timely as that of a typewriter repairman.   Even more frustrating is opening my Sunday morning newspaper, the Marion, IN Chronicle-Tribune, to find an […]

New Indianapolis Theater Organ

August 16th, 2010

I am NOT an expert in the theater organ.   It is a parallel universe to the classical organ world of which I am a part, with its own set of building and performance rules and techniques.   That said, as an organ builder, I do know good workmanship when I see (and hear) it, […]

Finishing the New Knox Organ

August 13th, 2010

To any female readers, let me say that I don’t really know how it feels to give birth, but it must be something like trying to bring a new pipe organ into the world.   I don’t say this to belittle the birth experience, but to say that finishing a new organ requires hard work, […]

The Seven Last Words

April 30th, 2010

Occasionally, we all wonder why we struggle to pursue whatever it is we have been called to do.   Such introspection is perhaps a necessary part of being human. I don’t build organs to get rich.   I don’t do it because I have some particular academic ax to grind.   I suppose I do […]

A Tale of Two Holtkamps

March 22nd, 2010

Long experience has shown me that the pipe organ is not just one instrument – it is a richly varied group of instruments.   We have renovated and serviced organs by a whole gamut of builders from Aeolian-Skinner to Zimmer.   Some, like the Estey  I cut my teeth on, are nothing but tone color: […]

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