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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: premiere on the plasma screen?

January 4, 2006

Dear Michael:
I have been a faithful listener of Pipedreams for many years, and wish you continued success for many years to come. Your extensive reach into the the whole spectrum of the pipe organ world has produced a wonderful variety of organ related themes and experiences which is one of the main reasons that the show is such a success. By definition, though, the one thing you cannot provide on your radio show, your website notwithstanding, is the visual impact of pipe organs and the rooms in which they reside.

My suggestion is that you consider producing perhaps a dozen television specials highlighting some of the more spectacular installations in Europe and the United States, featuring top organists in performance. If there are also educational demonstrations of the mechanics of the organ, as well as interesting discussions of the history of the organ, highlighting the prominent builders (Schnitger, Cavaillé-Coll, Fisk, etc.), I would think that Public Television would pick up the series and run, say, one a month for a year. The whole collection of shows could be put on DVD and sold as a set to interested viewers.

Perhaps this is just a pipedream of my own, but I would appreciate your comments on it.


John Holt
Johnson City, New York

Dear Michael:
Is there any chance of televising your program on PBS stations, TBN or the Catholic television network? I don’t care which network you use, but I would love to be able to listen to your programs on television.

Thank you,

Skip Anderson
Rowland, PA

Dear John and Skip:
It’s a fine idea, though I’m not quite certain how to go about it.
Production of a TV program is considerably more expensive than a radio show (one television hour probably costs as much as a year of PIPEDREAMS), and video production is much more time-consuming, too.
So, there’s the matter of funding, and then the seemingly simple aspect of time-allocation (cloning of humans has not yet been legalized). Any television work which would need to be done independent of my full-time job with public radio here in Minnesota.

But if you came up with a wad of cash to bankroll the idea, it might encourage the thinking process!




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