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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: 1928 Minneapolis Auditorium Kimball Organ

December 2, 2005

Dear Michael:
Some years ago, you did a marvelous program on the putting to rest, into storage, of a municipal organ in the Twin Cities, a fabulous Kimball that went both ways…classical and theater. Was it ever reinstalled elsewhere and returned to glory? Did you do any programs on its revival? I believe Hector Olivera was the performer and you ended the show with All Through the Night… Thanks.

Jim Smith
West Orange, New Jersey


Dear Jim:
The 122-rank 1928 Minneapolis Auditorium Kimball Organ, the largest single instrument built by the esteemed Chicago-based Kimball firm, remains in storage at the new Convention Center facility in Minneapolis, where it was intended to be reinstalled. That project ran into numerous problems and was “un-plugged.”

The organ awaits a “better idea” which would guarantee greater public access and performance opportunities than the originally-planned chamber site would allow. Some tentative initiatives are being explored. It is not a dead issue, by any means, just a very complex and costly one.

In the near future I hope to produce some CDs of the instrument, from our tape library, for general consumption, in the hopes that having those sounds in our ears again will provoke some positive action.

Keep your fingers crossed (and if you win the lottery, send us a chunk of change…)!

JMB


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