First sounding of Cathedral gallery organ postponed

| March 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Catholic Spirit

The first sounding of the Cathedral of St. Paul’s restored and enhanced 1963 Æolian-Skinner gallery organ, originally set to be heard at the Easter Vigil March 30, has been postponed. The final phase of the comprehensive restoration work on the organ is still in process, the cathedral announced March 28.

After consulting with Quimby Pipe Organs — the organ builders guiding the restoration — the debut of the gallery organ has been delayed until the restored instrument can be experienced “in its full glory,” the announcement noted.

The date of the first sounding of the restored gallery organ will be announced at a later time.

“While I understand the disappointment, believe me, it will all be well worth the wait,” said Father John Ubel, the cathedral’s rector.

Cathedral parishioners and visitors will still be able to experience the restored 1927 E.M. Skinner Organ, located behind the sanctuary, at liturgical and musical events. The pipes of the 1927 sanctuary organ received a complete tonal refurbishing and re-installation by Quimby Pipe Organs in April 2011. Restoration work on the historic sanctuary organ was completed with the recent installation of a new organ console and digital controls.

“We are in the unique position of having not one, but two organs at the cathedral,” said Father Ubel. “We will have use of the fully restored sanctuary organ, and it is magnificent.”

The 1963 Æolian-Skinner Organ is located in the gallery in the back of the church and is the larger of the cathedral’s two pipe organs.

The $3.4 million restoration of the cathedral’s two historic pipe organs, casework design, restoration and construction, and balcony renovation began in 2010. As of Jan. 31, $650,000 of the total project cost remained to be raised, the cathedral said. Almost $160,000 of this fundraising goal has been achieved over the past six weeks through the support of parishioners, and friends of the Cathedral.

Individuals can sponsor an organ pipe, key, stop, pedal or a piece of the new organ case. Donations can be made through the online Pipe Organ Registry at http://www.soundoff.cathedralheritagefoundation.org/node/7.

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