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Jordan Hall, NEC, Massachusetts

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  • Jordan Hall, NEC, Massachusetts

    Does anyone here know anything about the organ in New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall? I was searching Google a while ago and I found mention of it being in an unplayable state. Is that so?

  • #2
    Re: Jordan Hall, NEC, Massachusetts



    Sad, but currently true. For an organ+orchestra concert late last year, one of the local groups that uses the hall had to rent a digital from M&O.



    -- Tom



    Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107

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    • #3
      Re: Jordan Hall, NEC, Massachusetts

      I think it's more than "currently unplayable". It's permanently unplayable. When the hall was renovated several years back I think parts of the organ were either walled off, removed or otherwise disposed of. They refinished the facade so it would look prettty, so it looks like the intent was to have it revert to decoration.

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      • #4
        Re: Jordan Hall, NEC, Massachusetts



        [quote user="jim109"]I think it's more than "currently unplayable". It's permanently unplayable. When the hall was renovated several years back I think parts of the organ were either walled off, removed or otherwise disposed of. They refinished the facade so it would look prettty, so it looks like the intent was to have it revert to decoration.[/quote]



        This from a "top music school??" [] Hard times....

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        • #5
          Just saw this thread in a Google search. I attended NEC during the renovation and designation as an historical landmark.
          When I first arrived at school and saw the facade I thought of how cool it would be to hear that organ. Well, that never happened. Sometime in the '70s the organ was shut off never to be used again. The chamber was always open while I was there and because of that it was also quite a mess.

          The organ itself is/was (you might want to sit down for this) an E.M. Skinner. Later on Aeolian-Skinner work on it and replaced some pipes. The story I was told as a student was that it never really sounded good so there was no reason to keep up the maintenance. Another story I heard was that the organ professors did not like that the organ was not a tracker and did not have a pure baroque sound.

          Anyway, the console was under the stage at the front so the organist could face the organ while playing. Restoration would most definitely be impossible. A new organ would have to be built.

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          • #6
            "Well, we got this organ, but it's not exactly what I would've built so we'll let it rot...!" Fine attitude.
            -Gary

            If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
            YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/thevande...?feature=guide
            Web Site (with sheet music): http://www.garyvanderploeg.com

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            • #7
              The organ was occasionally used when I was a student in the 60's. This was something of a project back then. First off the console had to be brought out from under the stage. This required the stagehands (not regularly on staff. so $$) and the electrician (he was
              Last edited by Westminster; 04-05-2011, 06:52 AM. Reason: additional content

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              • #8
                Wow this is interesting and disappointing. I often wonder why universities seem to snicker at the "American Romantic" or perhaps even the "english" tonal dispositions of organs. I believe a similar issue has arisen with the 4-manual Skinner in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman. Last time I was there looking at some of their organs, one of the students told me it was not playable, and was not favored by the organ faculty-- Though a restoration was "planned."

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