Central Christian Church, Indianapolis

 

Releathering a Moller Organ

 

Releathering the MollerReleathering the Moller

A releathering project in an organ is really nothing to fear!  Yet churches are often frightened into scrapping a fine instrument (usually by someone who wants to sell them something) with tales of horror about the fact that electropneumatic organs need to be "releathered" periodically.

 

 

 

Music at the Town Hall

 

Not Just Another

Organ Concert!

 

Just a brief word about something a little different!   On February 6, 2012,  the Mozingo Fund of the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Reynolds Associates jointly converted the stately sanctuary of North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis into an old town hall.  That afternoon, Randall Frieling, Martin Ellis, and the Rinati Brass played a program of fun music, not-necessarily-for-the-church. 

The program included music for organ, piano, brass, and just about every combiation of the three you can imagine.  Some of the selections included Dvorak's Slavonic Dance No. 1 in C Major,  Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, and scenes for Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. 

 

The concert was for edification, but mostly for fun, and recalled the days before tv and radio, when folks went down to the Town Hall on Sunday afternoon to hear the local talent play great music on whatever instruments they had available.  There were many wonderful pipe organs in the town halls and coliseums of America, and music didn't have to be Popular to be popular.

 

What a fun afternoon!  Let's do it again soon.

 

 

 

 

St. Andrew Catholic Church, Richmond, IN

 

A New Brain

for an Old Organ

 

Last fall,  we received a request to examine the pipe organ in historic St. Andrews Catholic Church in Richmond, IN.  The church had been struck by lightning, and the 15-year-old control system on the church's 1947 Wicks pipe organ had been badly damaged.

 

St. Andrews is typical of the beautiful worship edifices built in the early twentieth century.  As is the case with many of these buildings, the beautiful architecture is matched by a lively acoustic that is perfect for organ music.

 

The Wicks organ appears to contain tonal material from a previous instrument, and many of the pipes are quite fine.

 

Instead of trying to repair the old control system, we recommended a rebuild of the console, and complete replacement of the controls systems with a Peterson ICS4000 Integrated System.  Installing the new system allowed us to remove all vestiges of the original Wicks mechanical relays (the presence of which may have contributed to the lightning damage), as well as the previously-installed solid state equipment, and to replace it with a new, compact, and much more functional system. 

 

The new Peterson system carries a 10-year warranty against the kind of damage the ruined the old system, and, perhaps more importantly, can be quickly repaired in the unlikely event that damage should occur.  We are also able to easily reconfigure the new system to accommodate changes when the remainder of the organ is finally renovated.

 

Among the features of the new system are plenty of memory levels for all the church's several organists, programmable crescendo and tutti functions, full MIDI interface, and built-in record/playback capability.

 

There remain a number of mechanical and tonal challenges to be faced to bring this organ up into good condition, but St. Andrews has taken a very major step along that road!

 

Update:  Two years after this project was completed, St. Andrews was again the victim of a lightning strike!  This can happen when you're the tallest building around!  This time, despite minor damage elsewhere, the ICS4000 system came through unscathed.  We simply replaced one of the Ethernet hubs ($40 at Staples), and rebooted the other two.  Amazing!

Renovation of an Antique Pipe Facade

 

Flora Organ Sounds Swell...

Now Looks GREAT, Too!

 

The 1914 Pilcher Case, following our restoration.

 

After months of work, the restoration of the 29 organ pipes that make up the facade (pipe fence) of the organ at First Christian Church in Flora, IN, has been completed.  Along with the pipe facade restoration, we also restored and refinished the lower case of quarter-sawn oak.  The case had looked so bad that it had been covered by a curtain for fifty years!

 

The facade was part of an organ built in 1914 by the Pilcher Organ Company of Louisville.  In about 1960, E.H. Holloway Corp. built a new organ for the church, retaining the display pipes of the old facade, and covering the lower part of the case with a velour curtain. The zinc pipes had been repainted repeatedly, and had numerous dents.

 

In 1998, Reynolds Associates rebuilt the Holloway organ, and have subsequently made several tonal improvements to the instrument.  The visual restoration is the latest improvement to the instrument, and one that gives a new elegance and character to the craftsman-style sanctuary.

In our shop, we carefully stripped and repaired the pipes, primed and basecoated them, and applied decorative elements designed for the organ by Michael Lenhart, who worked for the firm at that time.  Missing elements of the oak case, including a new center panel to fill in the space where the original Pilcher keydesk had been, were created in our shop by David Reynolds.

 

Along with the restoration work, we also built and installed new expression shades, replacing the old hollow shades that were loose and noisy.

 

To see a photo gallery of this project, click HERE.

 

 

 

St. John Cumberland United Church of Christ, Indianapolis

 

Historic Kilgen Pipes

Find a Home in New

Reynolds Organ!

St. John Cumberland UCC - new Reynolds organSt. John Cumberland UCC - new Reynolds organ

The new Reynolds Associates pipe organ for St. John Cumberland United Church of Christ in Indianapolis has been completed.

 

Following final voicing and regulation of the new instrument, it was used in worship for the first time on June 28, 2009.

 

This fine new instrument includes tonal material from the church's 1936 Kilgen organ, along with new pipes, all carefully voiced and regulated to blend seamlessly.

 

Although only 16 ranks in size, the new organ has a very well-developed ensemble, and a wide variety of tone color in its specification.

  

While the pipes of the old Kilgen organ were hidden behind a lattice screen, the new organ boasts an elegant new case front and facade designed and built in our shop.

 

For an in-depth article about the new Cumberland organ, click HERE.

View the specification of the new organ.

 

 

Cumberland console nears completionCumberland console nears completion

 

 

 

 

 

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