Our First Organ
In 1994 a 4-rank pipe organ was assembled by a local organ-enthusiast, Bill Ellenberger, from various parts of organs from churches in the greater-Cleveland area. The congregation joined together to provide funds to purchase it and installed it in a loft at the rear of the sanctuary. Volunteers built a “room” on the loft to house the chests and pipes in a pleasant visual design. This organ has provided regular service to worship at CRLC for 17 years.
Organ Task Force
As a result of a goal set by the board in 2002, an Organ Task Force was created to “study and report on the possible need for organ and piano upgrade and enhancement.” The Organ Task Force was put into place in 2005 and it studied the capabilities of our current instruments and projected the needs for optimal music leadership in worship. The Organ Task Force made a report to the Vision Board, recommending another pipe organ be sought for CRLC. An Organ Fund was created in 2007.
“New” Pipe Organ Project
In June of 2009 a fine pipe organ that nearly perfectly suited our needs was located. After assessing its specifications, condition, size, and the footprint of our space, the Organ Task Force sprung into action to begin fund-raising to see if we were able to purchase the instrument. Through the generosity of congregational members and other interested individuals, sufficient money was pledged to consider the purchase. In March 2010 the congregation gave their approval to purchase the 1973 Schlicker pipe organ from St Johns Lutheran Church in Sinking Spring PA.
Further donations were solicited to complete the project and with the help of the Gifts and Memorials fund (an outright gift as well as a loan to be repaid within 5 years), the congregation held another vote March 2011 to commit to installing the organ.
The Holtkamp Organ Company from Cleveland OH was contracted to remove the organ and install it in our sanctuary after cleaning, refurbishing, and refitting it for our space.
Schlicker Pipe Organ
The organ is a tracker pipe organ built by the Schlicker Organ Company ofBuffalo NY in 1973. It was designed on Baroque organ plans for clarity of sound and has a sufficient variety of sounds to service a large body of organ literature, as well as lead worship. The organ is 21 ranks (sets of pipes), each creating different sounds and pitches. The organ consists of 3 divisions: pedal and 2 keyboard sets of pipes. Total number of pipes is 1025 ranging in size from less than 6 inches to 8 feet. Most pipes are made of metal but some ranks are wooden.
We have ascertained that keeping it a tracker organ would compromise our aesthetic values and make collaboration with choirs and instrumentalists more difficult. Therefore it will be converted to electric action for use at CRLC. One benefit of this conversion is the console can be moveable.
Removal from St Johns Lutheran Church will be done in summer 2011 by the Holtkamp Organ Company with help from a CRLC volunteer. Work in Fall 2011 or Winter 2012 will include removing the walls that house our present organ, removing the organ (we are currently looking for a new home for it), repairing and upgrading the walls for optimal acoustics, and preparation for future projection needs. All of this work will be done by volunteers.
Late in 2011 or in 2012 we expect Holtkamp Organ Company will install the organ at CRLC and we will hear beautiful music from our beautiful new organ!