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eNotes

Overhauled in Sacramento

“We love our new pipe organ at St. John’s… Everyone was so impressed with the instrument and a lot of folks commented to the Organ Committee that they were so happy to hear the organ once again. The Lord truly does work miracles in this day and age, and Opus 80 is a testament to that fact.”

Helen Hakanson,
Secretary, Organ Committee

St. John’s Lutheran Church

 Typically, our organ work is only part of a congregation’s Herculean effort to fund and survive a major sanctuary overhaul.  Because we are usually the last “contractor” to complete our portion of a project, our delivery truck is met by scores of anxious parishioners who want their renovation ordeal to finally end. 

Regarding the folks of Sacramento’s St. John’s Lutheran Church, I can’t recall seeing people more eager to tote heavy parcels. If the members of St. John’s were tired of sitting in folding metal chairs, worn out from singing along with digital keyboards, or dazed from looking at banners made to look like their sanctuary’s stained glass windows, they didn’t show it.  Instead, with their enthusiastic help, we unloaded Opus 80 at a furious pace.

It had been 16 months since their congregation relocated to Goethe Hall, their neighboring meeting space, while the sanctuary received its first significant makeover in 40 years.  While we worked on the organ, contractors updated and repositioned the air handling systems, installed new wood floors, replaced light fixtures and repainted intricate stenciling on the ceiling and walls. 

Nearly our entire crew participated in the three-week installation of Opus 80. Like the sanctuary, the 70-rank organ received a complete overhaul.  In fact, with the exception of limited pipework, all major components; casework, windchests, bellows, are brand new. The organ layout was also reconfigured, which included moving the 16’ redwood subbass pipes, dating from a 1912 version of the organ, from choir loft stairwells to the main organ chamber.


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