The trucks are back again at St. Sebastian in Akron. For the past couple of weeks, after a few months of an empty choir loft, a new organ is beginning to make it's appearance.
The picture below is actually an old picture of the original console being removed. The new one was put back in much the same way. But the part I wanted to share with you is the back screen. The original organ fit entirely behind the screen and there was little evidence (until it was played) that there was an actual pipe organ in the church.
The new organ is quite expanded and two division will now be visible to the congregation. Below you can see one of the "flower pots" installed in front of the screen. They did a fabulous job of matching the woodwork. Below you can see the beginning of the installation of the pipes in this division.
Below is the installation of more visible pipes.
Above you can see almost all of the visible pipes installed. There will be a few more ranks on the right side yet. Below is evidence that space is much more at a premium behind the screen than it once was. This is a shot above looking down at the pedal division. The solid plank is a narrow cat walk for used for those tending to the organ. All of the empty white circles you see next to it will have more pipes set in them.
Few parishioners realize that behind the screen is three stories of space. Here I was standing on the top story looking down to the floor of the choir loft. It would be quite a fall! To the left and top of the picture you can see spaces for many more pipes. The ones to the left will be pretty small, perhaps the size of you fingers, the ones at the top will be so large that the half circles that you see are there to help hold them in place much like racks at the ski area hold your skis in place when you go in to have a hot cocoa
Today in the afternoon they will start the initial tuning of the instrument but they did fire it up so we could hear the first sounds that it would make. My Mother always told me that the first music I should play on any new (to me) pipe organ is a hymn to Our Lady. To that end, I asked our organist, Mrs. Lynn Frey-Steward to play "Lepa Si Lepa" as the first notes played. This is a Slovenian song and the words roughly mean, "Beautiful, you are beautiful as a rose Mary."
Yesterday would have been Mom's birthday and it was Lynn's birthday. What a happy convergence of events.
For anybody out there who might be interested in supporting this artistic endeavor, there is a matching grand for up to $100,000 for all donations to toward this project. You may also purchase pipes. You will recieve a certificate with the pipe's name (so you can hear it if you wish) and with the name of the person to whom it is dedicated. For information please go to our parish website here.