ORGAN RESTORATION PROJECT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Most frequent questions and answers
The additional pipes we acquired have arrived at the church and are being incorporated into the organ. The restored and expanded console has been refinished and looks fabulous. We invite everyone to come hear and possibly even ‘feel’ the new organ when it makes its debut during morning worship on November 5th at 11AM.
Additionally – join us on NOVEMBER 12, 3:00 for the organ’s concert debut!
We are pleased to unveil our newly restored historic Æolian-Skinner pipe organ to the community in a FREE concert on Sunday, November 12 at 3:00 p.m. Internationally renowned organist Maestro Hector Olivera will present a program of classical and popular literature that will also feature his famous on-the-spot improvisations.
Born in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Maestro Olivera was first encouraged at age three to begin playing the pipe organ by his organist father, and his talent was immediately unleashed. By age five, he was appointed organist at that city’s Church of the Immaculate Conception. At age six, he entered the Buenos Aires Conservatory. By age nine, he had composed a suite for oboe and string orchestra, performed by the Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra. At age twelve, he entered the University of Buenos Aires and by age eighteen had performed more than three hundred concerts throughout Latin America. In 1965, New York’s famed Julliard School of Music offered him a scholarship so he moved to the United States to continue his education. Three years later, he won the National Improvisation Contest by the American Guild of Organists and his professional concert career was launched.
At last, we are thrilled to announce the GOOD NEWS that the installation of our restored Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ has begun! While dealing with a variety of delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the A.E Schlueter Pipe Organ Company has been meticulously restoring our organ in their Lithonia shop. Part of their crew arrived at the church on Thursday July 13 to begin the installation by removing original, now obsolete, wiring in the Swell and Choir chambers. In subsequent days, they worked installing the components that will supply air pressure to those pipes, which should begin being installed the first week of August. Once that work is substantially completed, they will move to the Great and Pedal division, then finally install the restored console. Watch for additional updates which we should be able to provide more often now!
Our pipe organ’s restoration is well on its way. Half the metal pipes and almost all of the wooden pipes have been cleaned of 82 years of dust and oxidation and will next be adjusted to their original specifications. Thousands of tiny operating components are being restored. Design changes to the console have been finalized and its rewiring upgrade is underway. As for fundraising to pay for the restoration, we announce the GOOD NEWS that we have raised the $30,000 and earned the challenge matching grant! With this we have also reached our overall $415,000 basic goal! The campaign will remain open with the aim of contributing toward an endowment to pay for ongoing routine maintenance. WE THANK ALL OUR CONTRIBUTORS for your generosity and hope you will continue to support this cause in 2023. Please look forward to hearing the fruit of your contributions later this year when the restoration is complete!
Restoration on our pipe organ continues. Work is nearing completion on the reservoirs and chests. Cleaning, some replacements and adjustments on the thousands of small valves and contacts continues. Other technicians are cleaning and refinishing pipes while replacing worn-out scrolls and tuning sleeves with some ranks already completed, such as the clarinet. The design of the reconfigured console has been finalized and that rebuilding work will begin soon. Meanwhile, our fundraising continues and the horizon is within view. A benefactor has pledged to match all new donations up to $30,000 and we are about 3/4 of the way to that goal. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift soon, either by check or online using the “GIVE” button in this website’s top menu (remember to select ‘Organ Restoration’). Please help us reach the finish line!
Restoration of our pipe organ is underway! Some of the air reservoirs have been restored and work on the pipes will begin very soon. Meanwhile, we have good news for our fundraising. A benefactor has pledged to match all new donations up to $30,000. If we receive all that amount in contributions it will take us very near our overall goal. Please consider making a timely donation now while your generosity will be doubled!
On April 29th, the A.E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Company completed the last phase of removing the pipes and winding system for our vintage Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. The two chambers will now be essentially empty while we await completion of the restoration which will take all summer and into the fall. Meanwhile, we have a temporary electronic organ for our use during our Sunday worship services. This represents the achievement of milestone #3 in our restoration progress. If you welcome this good news, we invite you to contribute to the restoration fund by clicking the donation link on this site. All donations are appreciated as we try to complete our fundraising campaign.
After months of mostly invisible, behind-the-scenes work planning the details of the organ restoration, the first phase of the physical work finally began on February 28th. The A.E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Company removed the organ console and the reed pipes to begin the restoration. They also installed a temporary electronic organ for the church’s use until the pipe organ is ready to be returned. The remaining pipes, windchests and other components will be removed through the spring. See the GALLERY tab for videos and pictures of what is going on! If you would like to help with the restoration, please make a 2022 donation! Thank you!
Let the restoration begin! We will say farewell for now to the organ during the October 24th 11AM Worship service.
The church’s Organ Restoration Task Force and A. E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Company have been hard at work developing the detailed plan for the organ’s restoration. Schlueter presented the church with its proposed precise design of the restored console. After conducting a thorough evaluation of that plan, the task force approved and signed it on September 29, 2021. This represents achievement of milestone #2 of 5 in our restoration progress. It sets the stage for the organ’s removal from the sanctuary in late October.
Members of Druid Hills Presbyterian Church have been instrumental, through their donations, in raising the funds for our organ’s restoration, But we’ve always known we couldn’t raise all the required funds alone. That is why we have appealed to the public, especially those in the organ community who have an affinity for Aeolian-Skinner organs, to help us with this endeavor. Our church hosted a series of concerts to highlight the many features of our treasured organ, with performances by a variety of talented guest artists, where donations were invited and encouraged. We also successfully applied to charitable foundations for grants. While we have now reached our basic fundraising goal, we continue to invite contributions to help create an endowment for routine maintenance so we, and you, can continue to experience the organ’s inspiring music for years to come. Potential donors are reminded that all contributions are tax deductible. As a convenience, you can easily make an online donation by pressing the red ‘Give’ button at the top of this page.