Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Organ Historical Society - A Welcome Visit
Sixteen participants joined the Michigan Chapter of the Organ Historical Society in its visit to First Congregational Church, 403 South Jefferson Street, last Saturday, May 21, at 10:00 a.m. Nicholas Schmelter led the group in a tour of the historic facility and the congregation’s two pipe organs.
The Organ Historical Society is an international organization that seeks members from all levels of interest in the organ. The Society promotes a widespread musical and historical interest in American organbuilding through collection, preservation, and publication of historical information, and through recordings and public concerts. The Organ Historical Society is dedicated to documenting and preserving historic pipe organs and to raising public awareness and appreciation of America's organ heritage.
First Congregational Church’s sanctuary boasts a three-manual, seventy rank organ, built by the Ernest M. Skinner Company of Boston (1930) and enlarged by John F. Shawhan (1965) and Scott Wheeler (1975). This instrument contains historic pipes from Skinner Op. 751 and other additions by Casavant Frères Ltée Op. 2809, and is in urgent need of restoration. The chapel houses an unaltered two-manual, nine rank pipe organ, built by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Inc. (Opus 1327).
Event photos below are courtesty of photographer Robert L. Barker.
Other information and sound files will soon be available at the website of the Michigan Chapter of the Organ Historical Society [http://www.cabaletta.com/Home.htm].