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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: West Virginia organs

December 5, 2005

Dear Michael:
Looking through the “Organ Photo Gallery” I can find no listing in West Virginia. Are there no “fine” pipe organs in West Virginia? I know of one at Saint John’s Episcopal Church that I’ve read about: a 1927 E. M. Skinner Organ Opus 679. I’m sure there are more. Just wondering.

As for Pipedreams? It’s an aural feast. Keep up the great work!

Ronald Sweeney
Summersville, West Virginia

Dear Ronald
Thanks for the kind words. Our “feast” seems to be never-ending…there are sooo many organs. As for our photo gallery, it was begun at about the same time we started archiving programs on the website. Pictures in the gallery relate to instruments used in programming since 2000.

Believe me, in the past (pre-2000) we’ve done several programs featuring instruments in West Virginia (I even did a live, public appearance in Charleston at First Presbyterian Church…Opus 79, the instrument built immediately after the big one here at House of Hope Presbyterian in Saint Paul), and featured several other Charleston instruments in recordings from their summer series. Unfortunately, I’ve not had access to anything from WV since then, thus no broadcasts since our internet presence and, as a result, no photos.

If I had a larger staff (my associate producer, Brad Althoff, fulfills many functions, one of which is finding pictures and other web-links related to each week’s program contents), we might be able to become the one-stop-all-encompassing resource for organs, but we don’t and we aren’t. For which I apologize.

Yes, definitely, there are worthwhile instruments in West Virginia, and I expect that eventually one or another of them will make its presence known in a future broadcast.




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