RESTORATION OF THE
HISTORIC AEOLIAN-SKINNER PIPE ORGAN
PROCESS AND FINANCIAL GOALS FOR THIS PROJECT
— Phase One: Finding the Right People
For over a year, the Organ Restoration Task Force (OTF) has been working on investigating and acquiring bids for the restoration of this historic organ. After contacting over 19 organ companies, and receiving several competitive bids, the OTF has signed a “letter of intent” with A.E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Company of Lithonia, Georgia. Their bid was the most comprehensive bid we received, and we are very comfortable with their bid and their abilities. We already have a significant contribution in hand, which requires matching funds, for the renovation of this organ to the original specification of the designer, the famous G. Donald Harrison.
— Phase Two: Raising Funds
Funding necessary to accomplish this restoration will include $415,000 for the restoration, and also $35,000 deposited in a “maintenance endowment” for future upkeep of the organ. Since we are a relatively small congregation, approximately 150 members, we will contribute about 25% of the restoration amount through contributions of our members, but we are reaching out to foundations and local individuals that have a focused interest in restoring historic organs, especially Aeolian-Skinner organs, as contributors to our cause. We are also initiating a benefit concert series beginning late September 2019 and continuing through April of 2020. At this point we have 7 concerts scheduled, including a showing of the 1925 silent film, “The Phantom of the Opera” starring Lon Chaney & Mary Philbin, with organ accompaniment by Randy Elkins.
— Third Phase: The Restoration
Once we have raised the $450,000 needed to do this restoration, we will then get on the list for A. E. Schlueter Organ Company to start the restoration. We hope this will start the summer of 2020, and be finished in 12 to 18 months. When that is accomplished, we will hold a rededication concert for the full restored and upgraded organ to be presented to the community. Hallelujah!!