moller organ 1
 
Several members of our congregation left for Midland, Texas July 14th to begin the ambitious project of dismantling the pipe organ of the former Memorial Christian Church. Led by Paul Sonneman, who helped install LOL’s present organ, the group includes Gayle LeBon, Dan Kaldor, Larry Miller, Ed and Ann Spaulding, and David, MaryAnn and Scot Harris. They refer to themselves as “The Organ Transplant Team”!
 
After 2-3 days of dismantling and meticulous labeling of parts – the pipes alone number over a thousand – the team will carefully pack each item in bubble wrap and place in special containers Paul has designed for the 530-mile ride in three trucks to The Woodlands. They hope to be unloading the new organ at LOL on Monday night. The dismantling of the old instrument will begin taking place on July 17.
Moeller Pipe Organ

Moeller Pipe Organ

 
The installation work will continue throughout the month of July, with the new organ ready to participate in worship sometime in August. We welcome helpers throughout the process! If you are able to participate, please contact Rob Hunt or Paul Sonneman. It was a little sad to hear the Austin organ for the last time on Sunday, July 3. The instrument, built in 1947, has served LOL with extraordinary reliability. Some of its nine ranks (a rank is 61 pipes, each producing a different pitch) made sounds as beautiful as one will hear anywhere. Reflecting the aesthetic preferences of its time, the organ’s strengths were warmth and blendedness, rather than clarity and brilliance. LOL’s new organ was built for Memorial Church in 1976 by the respected M.P. Moeller Company. The company was founded in 1875 by the Danish émigré Matthias Peter Moeller. Moeller’s magnum opus is the organ (1911) in the Cadet Chapel of the United States Military Academy at West Point. With 23,511 pipes, it’s the largest all-pipe organ in a religious structure. Other outstanding Moellers are in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Our Moeller has 18 ranks – perfect for the size of our sanctuary and pipe chamber. Among those ranks are some things our old instrument lacked: a trumpet stop; a mixture (multiple ranks that work together to impart brilliance); a pedal reed – for “fiery” bass notes; chimes; a wooden enclosure for the pipes of the swell division (those controlled from the top keyboard), making possible smooth gradations between soft and loud; and a functioning crescendo pedal.
 
It is important that LOL members know that the pipework and mechanical systems of the new organ, though twice the size of the present instrument, will fit in the current chamber above the altar. If we decide to keep the present fabric coverings, worshipers may not notice any change in the look of the sanctuary. Only when they hear the glorious sound of the introduction to the first hymn will they know a new era has arrived!
 
You can hear a sample of our new organ:
organ transplant 2016a      organ gallery pics 2016       organ transplant 2016