Posted on in Featured by The Rev. David Marshall
As most of you know, music has comprised an important and integral part of the worship environment at St. Dunstan’s Church for many years. Our church has a long and proud heritage of really good music for its services, utilizing piano, organ, choir, soloists, instrumentalists and more, to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Hardly any event happens at the church without some form of music. It is what we do.
In that context, a longstanding interest has arisen in upgrading or replacing the organ that has resided at St D’s since 1978. Our organ came to us as a used instrument from a local synagogue and was installed quickly and poorly; while the mechanics of the organ were installed, no thought or effort was put into making it sound beautiful. Prior music directors expressed interest in replacing the organ, and their combined passion resulted in the establishment of an “organ endowment fund,” which has grown over the years to such a level that realistic conversation can now occur which could lead to replacement.
A few months ago, after preliminary conversation with the rector and the vestry, Susanna Valleau, with their blessing, established a small organ committee consisting of Susanna, Lisa McNeill, Chris Johns, Terry Rogers and Father David. After meeting a few times, this committee received the opportunity at the end of August to engage a consultant to assist with the significant process of evaluating our current instrument, gauging the level of interest on the part of the congregation and addressing what the realistic options might be for replacing our current organ. No project of this magnitude is ever simple…there are building and space considerations, possible engineering challenges and of course, that always vexing issue of monetary resources of such sufficiency to actually make this venture a reality.
While many in the congregation will agree with the desire to replace the organ, there are no doubt those who are less convinced. All voices must be heard on this issue. The organ we have used for so long has lasted well beyond any reasonable expectation…so much so that repair rather than replacement is simply not a viable option. As a starting point for this endeavor, members of the organ committee will visit local and regional churches to hear and assess different styles, sizes and builders of organs.
This note is to apprise you on what has occurred so far, and to ask your support and input as, together, we continue the evaluation and exploration process.
The Organ Committee