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What's in YOUR backyard?

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  • What's in YOUR backyard?

    I thought it might be fun for all of us to state our city or town and tell what pipe organs are represented in our area. Ready?
    I'm in Charleston, West Virginia

    The organs here are:

    Moller, Holtkamp, Schantz, Fisk (in a WONDERFUL hand-carved Irving & Casson case which was salvaged from Harvard Chapel), Rieger-Kloss, Bruce Shull (who built a few organs on his own before going to work for Taylor & Boody), Wicks, Kanawha Organ Works (a local builder), E.M. Skinner, Aeolian-Skinner, Schlicker, Bennett (remember them?) and Estey (one of which has a Haskell stop action-very interesting).

    Within an hour's drive are instruments by Austin and Noack as well.

    Now it's YOUR turn!
    Have Fun!

  • #2
    Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

    Seymour, Indiana

    Seymour's Pipe Organs:

    First Methodist - Hinners 1917
    St. Ambrose Catholic - Hinners 1917
    First Baptist - Moller - rebuilt in the 60's
    Trinity Methodist - Moller from the 20's
    Central Christian - Pilcher/Miller 2000
    Immanuel Lutheran - Casavant 60's
    St. Paul UCC - tiny little pilcher
    My little Reuter which came out of my church... St. Pauls Lutheran

    within 20 miles, Columbus, Indiana

    a big Aeolian-Skinner (4 manual/88 rank), several Holtkamps, a newer Reuter, several Casavants & a Wicks or two.

    Thats the immediate area.. not bad for being out in farm country.

    An hour away is Indianapolis, Bloomington (Indiana University) and Louisville, KY (Cincinnati is about a hour and a half).


    • #3
      Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

      There's a couple nice Austin's in my area. One is a 2-manual at the First Presbyrterian Church in Freehold (I live in Howell), and one at St. Paul's church in Ocean Grove. They're both very nice instruments. No Skinners in my immediate area, though, but if I wanted to there is a Skinner in Hoboken I saw once, quite a drive away.


      • #4
        Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

        Hey MD, you're pretty close to Colt's Neck aren't you (off of Rt 33?) There's a 2003 P.J. Murphy there somewhere...

        Hmmm let's see.... I'll leave out New Haven because it would bring the web server down to post them all...

        1899 3-m Hutchings T-P/Pitman (made E-P)
        1960's 2m Austin
        1920's Hall
        1950's 2m Aeolian Skinner
        1950's McManis
        1891 L.C. Harrison (successor to Erben) - Oldest surviving American T-P organ
        1870's E& GG Hook 2m
        1880's Steere & Turner 2m
        1978 Russell (Rebuilt 2004)
        A 3m Midmer-Losh (With double-languid First Open thank you very much)
        One of the earliest modern Holtkamp organs in the area (50's)

        - Nate


        • #5
          Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

          We have 3 Aeolian Skinner (Pre 1950), an E.M. Skinner, 5 Austins, 3 Casavants, 2 Esteys, 9 Mollers-WHOA, and a Kilgen in a pear tree.


          • #6
            Re: What's in YOUR backyard?



            • #7
              Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

              MD, I happen to know there is a Peragallo at St. Rose of Lima in Freehold. A former classmate of mine in college used to be there. And HOW could you have left out the Hope-Jones at Ocean Grove Auditorium? (or as we used to call it, Ocean GRAVE!).

              Nate, I can only say one thing... I am truly envious! All those historic instruments! .

              It's interesting to see which builders dominate a particular regional area, don'tcha think?

              I feel really lucky here. For a city like Charleston (pop 65,000), there is a wide variety of builders, the instruments are all well-placed in the rooms, and all are in excellent mechanical condition. The downside is, with the exception of the Bennett and the EM Skinner, there are no REALLY old organs here (and I don't consider either of those to be REALLY old!)


              • #8
                Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

                San Jose, CA

                St. Joseph's Cathedral - restored 1898 J.S & C.H. Odel
                Trinity Episcopal Cathedral - Restored Hook & Hastings/Austin
                St. Andrew's Episcopal - 1983 Schantz, 63 ranks
                Stanford University Memorial Church - Restored LA Art Company/Skinner and a Fisk, both in the rear gallery
                Immanuel Lutheran - 28 rank Casavant
                Campbell United Methodist - 48 rank Schantz

                Many of our churches have state of the art digitals, Allen having the most.



                • #9
                  Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

                  A lot of digital organs in our area. However- Very close to us- There is:

                  > A Three manual wicks organ
                  > A three manual CB Fisk tracker organ (kings chapel)
                  > A two manual CB Fisk tracker
                  > A REALLY nice two manual/6 rank Karl Wilhelm tracker which our school managed to fit into a small practice room.
                  > The organ at our church which I'm not sure who made, but it's three manuals and has 80-something stops.


                  • #10
                    Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

                    A lot of digital organs in our area. However- Very close to us- There is:

                    > A Three manual wicks organ
                    > A three manual CB Fisk tracker organ (kings chapel)
                    > A two manual CB Fisk tracker
                    > A REALLY nice two manual/6 rank Karl Wilhelm tracker which our school managed to fit into a small practice room.
                    > The organ at our church which I'm not sure who made, but it's three manuals and has 80-something stops.


                    • #11
                      Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

                      Don't worry, I didn't list that one yet because I haven't heard it, but yeah, supposedly that guy in Ocean Grove (near St. Paul's I believe) is one of the best around. Oh, and the one at St Paul's is huge considering the small space it's in, it's around 40-50 ranks I believe. The organist there, who I got to meet extensively, has added a lot to the already existing 3-manual design, including a floating choir and an improved poisitiv.

                      FYI I live in the middle of Howell, NJ, right on the border with Freehold and I go to Freehold Township High School. My church is Lincroft Bible Church in Lincroft, actually about a half hour away (if any of you want to visit, I'll be glad to have you mess around with our organ and maybe tell me something about it I don't know).

                      I also visited Princeton University once and saw the chapel (I was actually on a French trip). There is a HUGE A-S in there. Some guy was sitting at the console playing some major chord, just turning on and off, adding entire divisions of the organ. Needless to say, it was impressive. I would have loved to hear more that that. Actually, I believe the antiphonal was and still is in need of repair. I've never heard an antiphonal before, it would have been cool to hear.


                      • #12
                        Re: What's in YOUR backyard?



                        • #13
                          Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

                          If by "that guy in Ocean Grove" you mean Gordon Turk, yeah, he is very impressive. I went to school with one of his sisters, who was one of my best friends in college.

                          And the organ at Princeton Chapel is a Skinner, not Aeolian-Skinner. (A-S was formed after Harrison and Skinner parted company. Skinner renamed his firm E. M. Skinner, and Harrison formed Aeolian-Skinner, so the Chapel organ technically is a Skinner Organ Company instrument -no EM or Aeolian prefix). It should be in pretty good shape, having been restored by Mander Organs from the UK in 1991. The organ was restored to what it had essentially originally been, before misguided attempts were made to make it sound more 'baroque'. Here's the link- it's an interesting read. You'd be shocked at what was done to it before the restoration! When I was a student at Westminster, just down the street, we heard rumors about the Tuba Mirabilis being removed years ago and thrown in the undercroft. I guess the rumors were true!

                          Glad to know there are young people getting serious about the organ!


                          • #14
                            Re: What's in YOUR backyard?

                            Hey Dan!

                            E.M. Skinner was basically just a "figurehead" and ignored in the Aeolian-Skinner Organ company after G. Donald Harrison's ideas took hold after the 1940's. G. Donald Harrison was always just an employee of Aeolian-Skinner however and never had any ownership stake.... E.M. Skinner was actually also just an employee due to his losing financial control of the company back in the 1930's.

                            Skinner didn't like being ignored and eventually set out to form his own company, called E.M. SKinner which initially was limited to rebuilding extant organs to stay in compliance with his agreement with Aeolian-Skinner, which kept his name, but nothing else. In the 1950's E.M. cut all ties with Aeolian-Skinner and did build new organs again, including the pipe organ at National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.... however Skinner's tonal ideas were very out of fashion in the 60's and that organ was redid quite a few times I believe so much so that today's organ that is being rebuilt yet again has probably little left of the original Skinner tone in it.

                            E.M. Skinner, (like many pipe organ builders) was not the best financial manager in the world, building organs in the 1930's with more stops than the church would pay for..he would go ahead and install the stops because he felt it was necessary for the organ to have that..even if it was not payed for... thus in the 30's Aeolian-Skinner's financial situation worsened to the point that outsiders came in and took financial control of the company, keeping E.M. onboard intitially in his full capacity, but as G. Donald Harrison moved into preimenance E.M. was basically left only as a figurehead by the late 1940's.

                            Craig Whitney's book "All The Stops" goes into great detail on this and is a must read for any fan of the pipe organ.


                            and yes it is heartening to see so many young people on this board!...and it is facinating to see what pipe organs are in everyone's back yards.. keep the posts coming!

                            EDIT: Note the post below, the D.C. National Cathedral organ went in 1938!


                            • #15
                              Re: Ernest M. Skinner

                              Farmboy, your facts are mostly correct
                              but your timeline is off be a decade or so.

                              I'm old enough that I grew up in Washington
                              when the Cathedral still had the original
                              Skinner organ. It was built in 1938, some
                              years after old E. M. had left Aeolian-Skinner.

                              I remember meeting G. Donald Harrison in
                              1956 when I was just a kid and an organ nut.
                              He died shortly after that in NYC during
                              the final finishing of St. Thomas Church.

                              E. M. Skinner didn't die until 1960 aged 94.
                              The last I knew there were still nearly
                              100 ranks of the original Skinner playing
                              at Washington Cathedral. I hope they
                              don't lose that. They were wonderful
                              voices in a wonderful building. All those
                              lovely strings...