February 27, 2009
Vol. IX, No. 8
"The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Deceit"
As indicated by my title, I have two topics to discuss. First, a victory. Last time, I included information provided by BACHorgan.com community member Dick Hill about the Brockton, Massachusetts congregation that had completely rebuilt their pipe organ. A few days ago, Dick emailed me about another great story. I'll let him tell it:
"Yesterday's Quincy (MA) Patriot Ledger ran an article about the visit of the Boston AGO Organ Advisory Committee to Christ Church Episcopal in Quincy where they replaced their 1890 Woodberry and Harris in 1970 with an Allen. The Allen is currently in its death throes and the church asked me to bring my committee over for an inspection. On ascending through the trap door into the pipe chamber, we found 13 ranks of the original in near perfect condition. Four ranks of great pipes had been removed to "accommodate" the speakers. Our recommendations were to rehabilitate the Woodberry and Harris. The parish priest was excited about the prospect of returning the pipe organ. But the Quincy article with its nice photo of the old organ case and its rather pointed indictment of electronics in general was a propaganda victory for our committee, and good music."
Here's the article with photos:
There's also a YouTube link with a nice little video:
What a great story and I really appreciate Dick Hill taking the time to pass it on. And now on to the other topic. I'm sorry, I have to name names on this one but does it bother anyone else that Diane Bish has a series of Allen organs named after her. Not just named, she helped design them. Now I know she's the PBS poster child for pipe organs and we need all the publicity we can get and if you're not for us you're against us and all that but I think it stinks. What really gets me is that the smallest model, which I'm sure is the most affordable and most likely to be chosen by small churches, comes with an "Allen Hymn Player" installed. This feature "automatically plays over 150 classic hymns." Why not just include a sign on the box that says "Organist Not Included (or Needed)." Don't we have enough problems with The American Organist running digital organ ads? What is it with all these high-profile organists? They're all about the digitals. But I think they're all about the money. I'd provide a link but I don't want to be responsible for driving traffic to the Allen Organ website. You're on your own on this one.
Susan Burkhalter is back with a new entry in her BLOG. This month's topics are (1) ALBERT SCHWEITZER , PART III: ORGANS AND ORGAN BUILDING; (2) FRANK MENTO: THE RESTORATION OF THE CAVAILLE-COLL, ST. JEAN DE MONTMARTRE.
PIPES HALL OF FAME
This page needed a lot of work. Many of the article links are now dead so they had to be cleaned out. Newly inducted are First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brockton, Massachusetts from last time and Christ Church Episcopal of Quincy, Massachusetts from this Rampage. I also added an update link for Larchmont Avenue Church of Larchmont, New York.
More photos are needed – we only have two! Take the picture, put it in your computer and email it. It's not that hard! These could be photos of organs, organists, churches, musical or whatever. Please provide a caption describing what's in the photo and please be sure the photo is yours and not something that you copied off the internet.
Have a great week!
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