The vestry has authorized the contract for the organ rebuild. Work will begin this Spring after Easter Sunday. The work will be done by Muller Pipe Organ Company, who has always been responsible for tuning and maintenance.
Why are we rebuilding the organ? We purchased the Estey organ over 100 years ago and it was used when we got it. It was rebuilt in 1965 by Muller Pipe Organ in 1965 with Schantz parts. The leather straps holding the pipes in place are aged and decrepit. There is inadequate heat and humidity control in the chamber to maintain the tune. Over time, it has begun to fall apart. Muller has been nurturing it along for the past twenty years to the point we will now call it a Muller instrument.
The rebuild plan is complex and will take all summer. It may even reach into the Fall. This is phase II of the Capital Campaign, begun in 2014. The contract with Muller is for $248,245. Dismantling the organ will commence after Easter Sunday. Musical worship will consist of piano and various instruments throughout the Spring and Summer. Once Muller has removed the organ, it will be taken in parts to their shop for the rebuild.
Our architect is The Collaborative. They designed the entrance from the parking lot, kitchen, skylight room, restrooms and preschool remodels. They will bring mechanical engineers into the empty organ chamber with the task of designing the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Once the mechanical drawings are complete, the project will go out for bid. Vestry will then select a contractor and authorize the expenditure. The contractor will order the parts and install the HVAC.
This process will take at least three months, and could go longer. Muller will install the refurbished organ after HVAC as been finished. The scheduling is not controlled by anyone involved in the project. We haven’t hired the contractor. The pipes you see exposed on the wall above the console will be similar, if not the same. While we are spending roughly $300,000 for the organ rebuild, there is very little visible change to the sanctuary. One obvious change is the raising of the pit. The organ console will rest on a new floor at the same elevation as the chancel.
An exciting new feature of the organ will be the ability to record and play back. This allows Jane to record a musical piece days before worship, and then use it as accompaniment while she plays the flute. Or, Jane could take a vacation and we wouldn’t even notice. (That’s a joke, because we would notice.)
Our gratitude extends to everyone who selflessly gave to the Capital Campaign to pay for this project. You have ensured another 100 years of musical worship in the Episcopal tradition with a quality pipe organ. Contributions are still being requested to achieve our goal.