Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Magnificent Pipe Organ is Not Dead Yet

During my days in Traverse City, Michigan, I would hear about how some churches were literally throwing their organs away. It seemed then that the days were numbered low for the survival of this magnificent king of instruments. With the rise of contemporary worship the organ faced extinction within the one place it was most effective and needed. No other instrument equals it in the leading of worship. One can therefore imagine my delight when I read a story in Concordia University-Nebraska's Broadcaster about the purchase and dedication of a brand new Casavant Freres Opus 3868. It took seven weeks to construct the case and tune the pipes of this stately pipe organ. I was also pleased when I read that they have 15 students for which the organ is their "principal instrument," in what is considered the "largest music department in the Concordia University System."

BTW, if you ever get to Traverse City, Michigan, make sure you take time to stroll through the Music House Museum. They have a wonderful collection of organs there, in addition to many other exhibits.


Sam said...

I just got my copy of the Broadcaster and was very excited to see this announcement.

We had a fine organ program when I was at Seward and it is only improving. I hope to make it back this fall to hear the organ when they do an alumni recital.

Thanks for pointing this out!

Cindy Ramos said...

Certainly instruments other than the organ can be used in church, but the organ will always be my first choice. What could be better than using the king of instruments in worship, when we are receiving and welcoming our King?

Our church, St. Paul Lutheran (WELS) in Green Bay, did a major organ improvement project a few years ago. When we were searching for a new congregation recently, this factored into our choosing that church. We were pretty sure that a congregation which had just put a lot of money into an organ wouldn't soon abandon it for a praise band.