Organ Restoration

This page documents the 2016 restoration of the Christ Church pipe organ built by Klais Orgelbau in 1986. A specialized team from Bonn, Germany worked six days a week for over four weeks on this fascinating process. The pictures and videos below show a summary of each week’s progress. To see a full size image, hover over the picture and click.

Week One

August 1-6, 2016

Dominik Haubrichs and Martina Schlosser, Klais organ technicians from Bonn, Germany, arrived Monday evening, August 1st, and began cleaning and disassembling the organ the next day.

Week Two

August 8-13, 2016

Pipes, pipes everywhere! Dominik and Martina removed ranks of pipes, cleaned them and checked them. Smaller pipes are supported in oak racks. Larger pipes are held in frames with hooks. The pipes are crafted from tin-lead alloy or wood. The ratio of tin to lead and the type of wood determines the sound of each pipe. The size of the pipe determines its pitch. Woods used are mahogany, pine, and oak. One full rank of flute pipes was replaced in our organ this week, giving the rank a more accurate sound.

Week Three

August 15-20

All pipes have been removed. The front extension was reinforced to compensate for the drying wood and weight of pipes. Martina and Dominik spent the week replacing the pipes rank by rank, tuning as they went.

Week Four

August 22-27

Resetting the pipes and tuning continued. By the end of the week, all pipes were back in their places. Martina spent much of her time holding down keys while Dominik tuned from inside the organ. Reading a book seemed to help keep sleep at bay. The sounds wafting from the Sanctuary ranged from piercing long tones to beautiful pieces of Bach. Work went faster than expected, so Dominik and Martina changed their travel plans to head back a week and a half early. The organ was almost complete!

Week Five

August 28-30

Dominik demonstrated the organ for the congregation on Sunday, August 28th. All the tuning was completed by Monday evening and the job was done. On Tuesday, Organ Consultant Bob Griffith of Ohio Wesleyan University visited and Dominik demonstrated the improvements and repairs. Dr. Griffith proclaimed the organ had a better sound after restoration than it had in 1986 when it was installed. We held a farewell luncheon where we honored Dominik and Martina for all their work. Afterwards, Dr. Griffith played a short concert for us and Martina shared her beautiful voice. The organ renovation was a fascinating and delightful process!