PipeChat Digest #3258 - Monday, November 25, 2002
Re: JW Steere organ
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com>
Re: JW Steere organ
  by "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com>
Re: PipeChat Digest #3256 - 11/24/02 St John's Holland Road
  by "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
St. John's Holland Road and Much More
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
(no subject)
  by <Gypsyleee@aol.com>
Re: PipeChat Digest #3254 - 11/23/02 St John's Holland Road
  by "Karl Keller" <kkeller1@stny.rr.com>

(back) Subject: Re: JW Steere organ From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@mindspring.com> Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 15:18:32 -0600   ebie wrote: > > Hello to you organ aficionados... > > I am currently writing a National Register nomination for a former = Episcopal > church in Troy, New York. The church is significant for its architecture = but > I am told that the organ also has particular value. Not knowing anything > about organs, I would like to request your assistance. > > The church was built in 1895 and designed by an unknown architect. Its > original name was the St. Barnabus and Paul Episcopal Church. The organ = is > stamped with the manufacturer, "J W Steere & Sons Springfield, Mass." = From > my pictures I took, I note that there are 29 pipes above the organ = itself > with another 13 around the corner. There are 9 stops on the right and at > least 2 (my photo is not very good) on the left. > > I understand that JW Steere was a prominent organ manufacturer but I = know > nothing else of them. Given the information that I provided, can anyone = tell > me more about this type of organ or of the company itself?   This would be Christ & St. Barnabas (Episcopal) in Troy, I think, which according to the Organ Historical Society list has an 1895 J. W. Steere & Sons tracker organ of 2 manuals and 17 stops. John Wesley Steer(e) -- he added the "e" to his name around 1880 -- lived from 1824 to 1900. He worked with the Johnson organ firm of Westfield, Mass., and later founded his own firm as Steer & Turner in Westfield, Mass., in 1866. They relocated to Springfield, Mass., in 1879. The firm became J. W. Steere & Sons in 1892 and in 1919 became the Steere Organ Company. The firm was taken over by the Skinner Organ Company of Boston, Mass. in 1921. (Details from David Fox's index of North American Organ Builders). Steere organs are solidly built, and the organ would probably be a better than average example of an instrument of its period. I am sure the Organ Historical Society (804-353-9266) would be happy to offer any advice and assistance to you they could in looking after the instrument. I do not imagine the National Register would be particularly interested in the organ -- they tend to be interested more in the basic structure buildings than furnishings anyway -- but one never knows.   John Speller  
(back) Subject: Re: JW Steere organ From: "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com> Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 15:46:55 -0600   There is information about the organ in the Organ Handbook for the OHS 1967 Convention. There was also an article in "The Tracker" Volume 41 #3 which includes a photo and the stoplist along with some history about it. That is part of the article "The Organs of the Upper Hudson Valley" written by Alan Laufman and Stephen Pinel. Unfortunately, Alan is no longer with us but Stephen is the Archivist of the OHS and may have some more information about the organ.   You might be able to get a copy of "The Tracker" and maybe a copy of the 1967 Organ Handbook from the OHS in Richmond. Stephen can also be contacted at: Spinel@worldnet.att.net   David  
(back) Subject: Re: PipeChat Digest #3256 - 11/24/02 St John's Holland Road From: "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 11:45:15 +1300   >Thank you Ross - I am glad you have been able to expand on your visits to >England and that this was a rare negative experience.   John, we're still friends then? (Big grin and smile here).   My only trip to Britain (wish I could afford to go again!!!!!!!) was 14 weeks in 1992, from July till October, when I was researching for my doctorate on Celtic Christianity. My time was of unparalleled goodwill = from almost everyone. All the way through my 4 weeks in the Highlands, the = Outer Hebrides, as far north-east as Aberdeen, and the rest of Scotland, plus my time on the Welsh Borders and 10 weeks in England, I had the most = wonderful time imaginable, the trip of a lifetime. I took 100s of photos, as you can imagine. Every night I wrote up 5 to 6 pages of A4 as a diary and have = since put the whole thing together at home here, setting up the text on = computer, and including postcards, pamphlets, all that sort of stuff, old and new, = to turn the whole thing into a set of 28 A4 40-pocket (i.e. 80-page) = clear-file books. Too, I bought books on my topic, made scads of photocopies of = things, and brought home a piece of stone from all the cathedrals I visited, plus from a number of the churches (always with approval from the people, = unless it was obviously a bit of rubbish from the surroundings).   When I asked the Chief Verger at St Paul's London for a piece of stone, he told me to wait and came back 10 minutes later with a piece of polished black Italian marble from the dome, a piece he had been keeping since repairs some years earlier "to give to someone who might appreciate it." Wonderful of him. That kind of experience is heart-tingling.   Even though it was not a musical study trip, I did have the chance to play and hear many organs. A few things might keep this on topic. (grin).   In Liverpoool I arrived at the cathedral at 7:30am, expecting a Sunday service at 8, but there wasn't one till 10:00am. After a wonderful guided tour of the whole place, including way up the Vestey Tower to the bells, I had an hour on the big Willis.   In Aycliffe Village (near Durham) I played for a service on the 1886 2m Forster & Andrews, tracker and in great condition, never having had a restoration. As the church is part-Saxon and sundry other things through = to the Perpendicular, this was great. Had a BBQ with the Vicar and some = friends there and stayed with a churchwarden for three nights, he taking me to Durham and all kinds of wonderful villages and town nearby.   In Abbey Dore, that wonderful huge stump, I was able to play the pigeon-feather-full 1-manual Casson Positive and marvel at how a wee one-manual organ on light pressure can so fill a big space with clear and beautiful warm sound.   In Stornoway, I spent an hour on the 1884 tracker Bevington in the = Episcopal Church. It was delightful, in a tiny west gallery of this very small = church.   In King's Colllege, Aberdeen, I thoroughly enjoyed the Harrison & = Harrison, including its great 16ft Clarinet.   Peter Wright and the people at Southwark gave me free access to the incomparable TCLewis. I could not get tired of that sound - thanks to = H&H's superlative restoration. Too, there, I spent 2 hours with the Provost and = he autographed one of his books for me.   In Durham, Mark Venning and his team were extremely welcoming. Though not able to visit their factory, Rogers took the cost of a two-hour phone call across country - and we chatted fast and furious about many aspects of pipemaking and voicing. Walkers were tremendously hospitable. So were Hill Norman & Beard. And Bishop & Co. And Mander. And I stayed two days with David Miller for two days at his home near Cambridge, being carted till = very very late at night to all sorts of churches big and small to hear old = organs of all parentages.   In London, the people at St Martin's Ludgate Hill allowed me to play their ancient organ, as did those in so many other places.   In St Mary & St Constantine's (Old Govan) in Glasgow, I not only stayed = in the Manse where Wm Barclay and Lord George MacLeod had been Minister, but also played for a service on their wonderful 3-manual organ.   At the RSCM at Addington, I spent a fabulous half day playing all the = organs there, really enjoying lesser-known instruments like the Hunter down = below.   Busy people were incredibly generous of their time. In fact I wondered = many times how the overseas perception of Britishers as "reserved" ever took hold. I found almost all, Scots, Welsh, English, to be effusively outgoing and welcoming. If they were organists and clergy, they were = extraordinarily keen to chat about church music, too, not a single one turning me down on = a request to try the organ, be it Westminster Cathedral or Southwark or York or Orwell Methodist or Furneaux Pelham CofE.   Sure, I had one or two other "negative experiences", like being studiously answered by a couple of black-suited Free Church clerics on the ferry on = the way to North Uist. Maybe they didn't like me in the kilt with my large = white beard, open shirt and sandals! :-) But one or two things like that and Holland Rd, in contrast with the joy of all the rest of it, don't count at all. All the rest of my 10 days in the Outer Hebrides, for example, were = of sheer goodness in all respects: people I would call joyful and endearing saints.   I hope I haven't gone on too much, but I do want folks to know how privileged I was on that Trip!   Ross        
(back) Subject: St. John's Holland Road and Much More From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 19:39:49 -0500   John Foss and Ross Ward's discussion of the sort of reception one might receive or did receive in certain churches makes me think it might be time to promote the pleasures of "Ship of Fools." Mystery worshippers visit churches and write reports of their impressions of just about everything. Take a peek, and be prepared for a long read. No famous church is spared, along with lots of just plain parish churches. It's fascinating reading.   http://ship-of-fools.com/   Enjoy,   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com   ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Foss" <harfo32@hotmail.com> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2002 2:54 PM Subject: Re: PipeChat Digest #3256 - 11/24/02 St John's Holland Road     "Put into a broader context perhaps we should have a "Good Church Guide" along the lines of the good food guide, with stars for music, sermons, atmosphere and so on. "      
(back) Subject: (no subject) From: <Gypsyleee@aol.com> Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 20:10:57 EST     --part1_1aa.c83de38.2b12d2a1_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   unsubscribe   --part1_1aa.c83de38.2b12d2a1_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   <HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><BODY BGCOLOR=3D"#c0c0c0"><FONT = COLOR=3D"#800000" style=3D"BACKGROUND-COLOR: #c0c0c0" SIZE=3D4 = FAMILY=3D"SCRIPT" FACE=3D"Lucida Handwriting" = LANG=3D"0">unsubscribe</FONT></HTML>   --part1_1aa.c83de38.2b12d2a1_boundary--  
(back) Subject: Re: PipeChat Digest #3254 - 11/23/02 St John's Holland Road From: "Karl Keller" <kkeller1@stny.rr.com> Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 20:36:15 -0500   Ross wrote: I'm probably boring you by now.   Not boring at all. In fact this was one of your best posts.   Karl Keller