Loft Organ Will Not Return
At the start of our building project, our intention was to dismantle, store and then re-install our chapel organ, with minor improvements, at a cost of about $150,000. For this we secured a generous donor who, sadly, has recently died.
When the organ was dismantled for storage, the organ company discovered that it had been very poorly built, requiring the breakage of much of the framing in order to remove it from the loft. With the poor condition and new damage, the estimated cost to replace the organ now nearly doubled. In addition, we realized, too that it would be nearly impossible to find an organist with sufficient skill to play a substandard instrument in a half-time position.
Based on these factors, Director of Music Karen Thomas and Rev. Jon Luopa decided not to return the existing organ to our new chapel. One of our grand pianos will now be positioned in the loft. We are exploring the possibility of purchasing a portable organ, estimated at around $45K, to be stored in the loft and used for special music occasions (not weekly services).
For many, it is sad to lose our organ, but there are two positive outcomes–the congregation will continue to have a wonderful pianist in Dwight Beckmeyer, and there will be room in the loft for more voices!
Please reach out to Jon or Karen if you have ideas about the portable organ.
Learning About Our New Building
Over the past seven weeks, PSIT has shared some exciting changes you will encounter when we return to UUC. Did you miss any of these stories?
- Features for equal access and participation
- Loft mahogany gets new life as chancel furniture
- 21st century kitchen awash in natural light
- New, soaring windows are installed in chapel
- NJ Hall’s glass-and-wood screens reused in new building
- All-gender restrooms and other features
- “Ooh, ahh, wow”: Staff tour and reflections