Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is purchasing, reconfiguring, refurbishing, & repurposing a pipe organ for our worship space. This blog chronicles the journey of a "Green" Organ.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Organ Might "Look" Done...

Wednesday, October 12, 3:12 PM

 When you come to church this weekend, you may notice that the organ looks completely finished. Don't be fooled. There is are a few pipes still to arrive and a lot of tuning work to be completed in the next few weeks. But, gosh, doesn't it look awesome?

After the workers from Holtkamp delivered the second 18-wheeler full of organ parts, the crew of six has been working at full throttle to get the majority of pipes and the console in place and functional.

Yesterday we said goodbye to four members of Holtkamp, who have finished their work and will return to their families in Ohio. Three of them had been with us for a whole month!

We are thankful for their hard work, skill and dedication to our organ. Here are a few pictures from over the past week illustrating just how fast they've worked.

Wednesday, October 5, 1:15 PM
Friday, October 7, 11:04 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 9:34 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 5:12 PM

Friday, October 7, 2011

Video: Watch Holtkamp Install a Pipe

The pipe organ is starting to look like a pipe organ! With pipes! Below is a video of the Holtkamp team installing one of the large outside pipes on Thursday, October 6. (Please note: There is no audio, and the video is not great quality, but you should be able to get the idea!)

Come to worship this weekend to see how much progress they've made!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Rare Look Inside the Organ

This coming Monday, October 3, (update 10/03/11: The pipes have been delayed until Wednesday) the second truckload of parts to our pipe organ will arrive, this time containing the metal pipes! As the members of Holtkamp Organ Company continue to work over the next couple weeks, the organ will begin to look more actual pipe organ...with pipes!

Sensing a rare opportunity, I asked Terry O'Connor, who is leading the installation, for a tour inside the organ. Here is the first of several short videos from this tour. We are inside the choir area which will soon be filled with pipes. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week Two of Organ Installation

If you haven't been inside the sanctuary since September 11, you've missed seeing all the work that has been done so far on the organ installation!

Below are some photos from various points over the last ten days. We've also recently announced some exciting events coinciding with the pipe organ's dedication in November.
  • Oktoberfest Worship and Dinner, October 1 at 5:00 PM  Click here to learn more and register.
  • Pizza and Pipes Halloween Party, October 29 at 6:00 PM (wear your costume!) Click here to learn more.
  • Organ Dedication at Worship, Weekend of November 12-13, all worship services
  • Organ Recital and Dinner, October 18 at 6:30 PM
Now on with the photos!

Some of the many plans and blueprints for the organ. It is quite complex!
September 14, 2011
September 15, 2011
September 16, 2011

September 21, 2011

Pastor Chris Smith demonstrates a possible use for an organ piece.

Wooden pipes

The Heart of the Beast! Or Blower, if you prefer.

Original pipes from the Macalester organ needed to be altered so that they would fit within the space in our sanctuary. These pipes were originally all straight, like the bottom-most one. The top three needed to be "bent" to fit the space. This bending does not alter the sound.
Here you can see an original Macalester pipe (top) next to one newly constructed by Holtkamp (bottom)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Organ Arrives!

Early on Monday morning, pieces of the new pipe organ--a full truckload,
in fact--began arriving at Shepherd of the Valley.
Many of the pieces in this first shipment consist of the wood casework
and wooden pipes. Metal pipes will arrive later.

The staff of the Holtkamp Organ Company also arrived Monday. They will be with us for many weeks, installing, constructing, tuning and voicing the organ, working 10 hour days, 7 days a week.

(From left) Jennifer Maxwell, Interim Director of Operations,
Mark Ertl, Director of Music and Worship, and
Kristen Holien, Administrative Assistant, were among the staff,
members, andvolunteers present in the early morning of September 12
when the first parts of the newsanctuary pipe organ arrived from
Holtkamp Organ Company in Ohio.

The two wooden pipes pictured were the first to be unloaded.

Don't worry--the sanctuary will be cleaned up by Saturday for worship!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July Letter from Holtkamp Organ Co.

Dear Pastor Smith,

Our progress on the organ continues to be very good. On the mechanical end of things, all frame is complete. All chests are complete. The wiring is 85% complete. We have a bit of assembly remaining in the organ, mostly connecting wind trunks to chests. This assembly will take two weeks. We are 50% complete with the pipe racking. The electrical system for the organ has arrived. The casework needs about two weeks until it is complete.

We are currently working on the remainder of the facade pipes, specifically the 16' Diapason. When they are complete we will finish up the treble ends of the new stops in the great organ. When they are done, in roughly 5 weeks, the pipe making will be complete.

All voicing is complete with the exception of the pipes that are yet to be made in our pipe shop.

The swell and choir shades have been finished. The wood facade pipes will be finished by the end of the week.

The console continues to move along. The shell is roughly 50% complete. When the casework is complete we will move two men over to the console to move it along more quickly.

Very truly yours,
F. Christian Holtkamp
The Holtkamp Organ Company