Thursday, July 5, 2012


Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

And few people read this blog after a holiday so I thought I write about the latest on our organ project since the interested audiences is rather limited.

This project has been going on for quite some months and we are still five months from the dedication date.  It seems to be taking forever.  The Schantz Organ Company, the oldest organ company in the northern Americas, invited a group of about 20 St. Sebastianites down to see the progress.

 The wooden pipes below will not be part of our organ but another organ that is going through the process just ahead of ours.  If you ever wondered what the inside of a wooden pipe might look like, this is one of those very rare peeks inside.  The covering for the pipe laying on the horses next to the pipe soon to hide its interior for ever.
 According to our tour guide, post WWII era was a good one for the builders of pipe organs.  It was pretty much a given that if one were to build a church, "there would be a steeple, a cross, a Bible, and a pipe organ," reported our guide.  That being the case, the majority of work these days is repairing organs. 

If you think of it, a pipe organ is a mechanical device in constant use.  If you are in a Catholic parish such as ours, it is in use every day.  365 days 60 years is a lot of work to be done by a mechanical device.  My wind up alarm clock only lasted 7 years.  In any case, all of these organs are now being rejuvenated and ours is among those old organs receiving new life.
Below is part of the super structure of one section of our organ.  The boxes that you see are wind chests and pipes sit on top of those.  As you can see, some of the chests are pretty high yet pipes will sit yet on top of them!  Since our organ has always been behind a screen, few people realize it is about 2 and half stories high.  The rejuvenated and expanded organ will have about 1,300 exposed pipes.
This is a view from the top of the organ structure down.  That is our music director on top of a very high ladder looking up!
The holes in the wood that you see are where pipes sit.  These particular pipes will be rather small ones.  The can range from about the size of our pinkie to 16 feet.  (Can you see how small the man on the floor looks from the top of the organ?)
If you are interested in helping with this project, you can purchase a pipe by clicking here.  You will receive a certificate that indicates the pipe that you helped restore or make.  If you bring the certificate in the pipe that you purchased can be played for you!


Anonymous said...

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition?

Father Gregory said...

Maybe the Spanish Inquisition will play the dedacatory recital on the newly refurbished organ! That would be a surprise. Glad to see that you're rejuvenating the organ instead of letting it rot away or tearing it out as so many places have.

fauxprof said...

Pooh, can I play, too? "This is a dead parrot!"

Anonymous said...

I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK.