Happy Sunday everyone! This is Fr. Brian writing you. I have taken over Fr. Chas’s column this week so that I can update you all on some of the progress we’ve been making on behalf of the parish with regard to the organ project.
As many of you know, before my arrival, the parish pastoral and finance councils approved the creation of a designated organ fund so as to begin raising capital for the eventual purchase and installation of a true pipe organ. The hope has been to secure an instrument that will serve this parish as an excellent long term investment.
Fr. Chas placed me on the Organ Committee to help coordinate our efforts in the task of researching, procuring, and funding this instrument. Dominic Kryst, who is the chair of this committee, has written several bulletin articles for you as we’ve moved through this process.
I’m very happy to announce some significant progress we’ve made in the past week! We’ve recently been working with a consultant, Dr. Steven Ball, who has offered his time and support for our project. Steven is the organist at Boardwalk Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, home of the largest pipe organ in the world. He has been an invaluable resource for us, especially as he made us aware of a very rare opportunity which arose a week ago Sunday.
We came across an exceptional organ located in the greater Boston area which was commissioned in 1934 by the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company. Though now out of business, this brand’s organs still enjoy an industry-wide consensus as being some of the best ever produced in the USA. It was sitting—clean, unaltered, in original and working condition—in a church slated for demolition in October (very soon!) as part of a $100 million redevelopment project of the entire city block on which the church building currently stands. Its owners, First Church of Malden Congregational, were desperately trying to save this instrument from destruction.
We spent all of last week gathering as much information as possible on this organ. We began coordinating with a local pipe organ restoration company to see whether it would be the investment we were looking for. We vetted the prospect through three separate third-party consultants, and were able even to get two separate pairs of eyes on this instrument to examine it in person, including our own Dominic Kryst!
Having garnered the unanimous consensus of the Organ Committee and the unanimous support of the finance council, we have committed to purchasing this instrument with money available to us from donations to the organ fund, and will be having it disassembled and stored locally in Northampton, MA for the interim while we move forward with the next phase of this project.
In the coming weeks, you’ll see more articles from me and from Dominic that provide greater detail about this organ and about why we are convinced it has been an excellent choice and an act of good stewardship for our parish moving forward. We will also be coordinating to see how in the coming months we can provide greater education about this instrument in particular and about the progress of this project as a whole.
God Bless you all! Enjoy your week!