PipeChat Digest #5207 - Friday, March 11, 2005
 
Re: On the Death of Austin
  by "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com>
Re: On the Death of Austin
  by <OrganNYC@aol.com>
Re:Danny Boy and genealogy
  by <RMB10@aol.com>
Re: Austin: the end of a great organ builder
  by "Octaaf" <octaaf@charter.net>
Re: Austin: the end of a great organ builder
  by "N. Russotto" <ravenrockdesigns@gmail.com>
Suing a church
  by "Ned Benson" <nbenson@stjohnschurch.org>
Austin book & CDs
  by "William T. Van Pelt" <bill@organsociety.org>
RE: Suing a church
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
Migraines
  by <Justinhartz@aol.com>
Diane Meredith Belcher in Recital
  by <SWF12262@aol.com>
Re: Migraines
  by <Swedish5702@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: Re: On the Death of Austin From: "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 05:17:18 -0500   One thing I do hope to see, is someone, maybe OSI or some such, buying up = the basic tooling and continuing the production of parts. Being able to buy = new pouches, etc, is something that would be very useful probably for another century or so to maintain all the existing Austins.   Andy   A.B.Lawrence Pipe Organ Service PO Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 (802)578-3936 Visit our website at www.ablorgans.com  
(back) Subject: Re: On the Death of Austin From: <OrganNYC@aol.com> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 06:59:58 EST   Very good point, Andy. I play a very large (5/138) Austin each week, with origins from 1928, and =   replacement parts such as actions and tracers and black rubber cloth are = of great concern to keeping our Austins going. The demise of Austin -- while not unexpected but still sadly a shock and very much lamented -- is of great concern to those of us who play their instruments weekly. I am so sad and very sorry for Austin Organs, Inc, and for Kim in what she = must be going through right now. I met Kim at several conventions, told = her where I played, and even though Austin was pissed that they didn't get the = rebuild job after my church's 1993 fire, she STILL talked to me for 30+ = minutes and was delightful. I liked her, and I think she liked me! What a = relief. I wish I could just wrap my arms around her right now for what she and her workers must be feeling. And to Biff Buttler, my long-time friend, who was the Austin Rep in the = NY area. I talked to him at length the day I heard about Austin and got an ear-full. Biff is a great talker on the phone for hours once a month or = so -- he's not yet computer-able -- and he was the tuner of my former church's = organ (a tracker!). Biff lived and breathed Austin, and told me stories about = the organ at Heavenly Rest "back in the old days", and how the original = full-lenth 32' reed was removed in 1962 or so and ultimately recorded by Walker as = their sampled 32' Posaune! He and I bantered for hours about tonal ideals -- = his were slanted toward the ideal Austin or Theatre Organ sound -- while I = talked about playing literature -- yet we still had great fun pushing each = others' buttons. I hope he will survive and we'll be able to talk again once he answers his phone again. He's really a mess right now. With hugs to Kim and Austin, and apologies to all those who undermined = them unreasonably and took over their jobs when they just asked them to clean = an organ (you know who you are). Steve Lawson Assisting Organist Church of the Heavenly Rest - NYC _www.heavenlyrest.org_ (http://www.heavenlyrest.org)   One thing I do hope to see, is someone, maybe OSI or some such, buying up =   the basic tooling and continuing the production of parts. Being able to buy = new pouches, etc, is something that would be very useful probably for another =   century or so to maintain all the existing Austins.   Andy            
(back) Subject: Re:Danny Boy and genealogy From: <RMB10@aol.com> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 07:24:22 EST   Glenda wrote: The local office gave a luncheon in my honor today - several =   judges were in attendance, and it was very touching to know how much they thought of me. After three months of trial by fire, the good by-products are the confirmation of how good God is and who my real friends are.       Congratulations on making the big move. I know you'll be much happier. = It's always a big leap of faith, but everything has gone fairly smoothly, so I think it's probably meant to be. Good luck with everything. Maybe you = will have time to do more playing again.   Monty Bennett  
(back) Subject: Re: Austin: the end of a great organ builder From: "Octaaf" <octaaf@charter.net> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:06:36 -0600   Dear Stephen,   I too was so sad to hear of Austin's demise. This is a travesty. I = remember well the first time I heard a pipe organ at age 4 .... the 3 = manual 45 rank Austin installed in our church in 1952, masterfully = played by Walter Kiesz who served our church as organist for more than = 50 years. I will never forget being inside that room sized Great Chest = as the organ played! I remember being absolutely fascinated by the 32' = pedal reed, the largest pipes of which were mounted horizontally behind = the chancel wall. I had my first lessons on that organ, and spent many hours practicing on = it in my childhood. I recently made a trip home to California and had = the great pleasure of playing that very same Austin for my brother's = wedding. Still a very grand and musical instrument after 53 years! Of = course the organ has had work done over the years, but nothing major as = I understand it...routine maintenance, and an annual tuning.   Kind Regards,   Tim Grenz ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Stephen Roberts=20 To: PipeChat=20 Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 2:25 PM Subject: Austin: the end of a great organ builder     Dear List,   I was truly saddened to learn of the closing of Austin Organs, Inc. = Austin was one of the oldest organ building firms in the USA in = continuous existence, and they built many distinguished instruments. I = can personally testify to the solidity, reliability, and elegance of the = Austin organs I have played over my life. I began my studies 40 years = ago on their Opus 1285 of 1925, a four manual organ built for the First = Presbyterian Church of Laurel, MS. That organ was later rebuilt by = Aeolian-Skinner as their Opus 1498 of 1968. Fortunately, like many = great American organ builders of the past--Tannenberg, Appleton, Erben, = Johnson, Hook and Hastings, Roosevelt, Hutchings, Skinner, Aeolian, = Aeolian-Skinner, Kimball, Moller and many others-- they leave behind = many wonderful examples of their work as a testament to their art. It = is very sad that they have now been relegated to history, but it is an = illus! trious history of which Austin employees, past and present, can = justly be very proud. My sincere regrets and condolences to Kim Austin, = who only recently lost her father. The loss of the family firm at this = time must be almost too much to bear. We all grieve for her, and for = all the fine people at Austin. =20   Organ building firms usually die slow, painful deaths. I see in the = recent events leading to the closing of Austin a parallel to the last = days of Aeolian-Skinner, another very distinguished firm. In both cases = rumors of their demise had been swirling about for a long time. March = 7, 2005 at 3:25 p.m. will be remembered as a very dark day in American = organ building. =20   Stephen Roberts Western CT State University, Danbury, CT
(back) Subject: Re: Austin: the end of a great organ builder From: "N. Russotto" <ravenrockdesigns@gmail.com> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 10:15:21 -0500   As am I truly sorry. . . I have played about ten of Austin's finest, includin the one at St. Josephs in Hartford, as well as the Kotsmar in Maine. From experience, then, I can tell you that I have found them to be some of the best instruments available in today's world. My heart goes out to the people involved, as soon as I heard I placed a call there to express my sincerest sympathies to Kim et al. This is a wonderful example of how rumours can destroy a sterling reputation.   NFRussotto     On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:06:36 -0600, Octaaf <octaaf@charter.net> wrote: > > Dear Stephen, > > I too was so sad to hear of Austin's demise. This is a travesty. I > remember well the first time I heard a pipe organ at age 4 .... the 3 = manual > 45 rank Austin installed in our church in 1952, masterfully played by = Walter > Kiesz who served our church as organist for more than 50 years. I will > never forget being inside that room sized Great Chest as the organ = played! > I remember being absolutely fascinated by the 32' pedal reed, the = largest > pipes of which were mounted horizontally behind the chancel wall. > I had my first lessons on that organ, and spent many hours practicing on = it > in my childhood. I recently made a trip home to California and had the = great > pleasure of playing that very same Austin for my brother's wedding. = Still a > very grand and musical instrument after 53 years! Of course the organ = has > had work done over the years, but nothing major as I understand = it...routine > maintenance, and an annual tuning. > > Kind Regards, > > Tim Grenz > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: Stephen Roberts > To: PipeChat > Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 2:25 PM > Subject: Austin: the end of a great organ builder > > > Dear List, > > I was truly saddened to learn of the closing of Austin Organs, Inc. = Austin > was one of the oldest organ building firms in the USA in continuous > existence, and they built many distinguished instruments. I can = personally > testify to the solidity, reliability, and elegance of the Austin organs = I > have played over my life. I began my studies 40 years ago on their Opus > 1285 of 1925, a four manual organ built for the First Presbyterian = Church of > Laurel, MS. That organ was later rebuilt by Aeolian-Skinner as their = Opus > 1498 of 1968. Fortunately, like many great American organ builders of = the > past--Tannenberg, Appleton, Erben, Johnson, Hook and Hastings, = Roosevelt, > Hutchings, Skinner, Aeolian, Aeolian-Skinner, Kimball, Moller and many > others-- they leave behind many wonderful examples of their work as a > testament to their art. It is very sad that they have now been = relegated to > history, but it is an illus! trious history of which Austin employees, = past > and present, can justly be very proud. My sincere regrets and = condolences > to Kim Austin, who only recently lost her father. The loss of the = family > firm at this time must be almost too much to bear. We all grieve for = her, > and for all the fine people at Austin. > > Organ building firms usually die slow, painful deaths. I see in the = recent > events leading to the closing of Austin a parallel to the last days of > Aeolian-Skinner, another very distinguished firm. In both cases rumors = of > their demise had been swirling about for a long time. March 7, 2005 at = 3:25 > p.m. will be remembered as a very dark day in American organ building. > > Stephen Roberts > Western CT State University, Danbury, CT     -- Nicholas F. Russotto Somers, Connecticut Moderator/Owner: Monarch of Music  
(back) Subject: Suing a church From: "Ned Benson" <nbenson@stjohnschurch.org> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 08:43:17 -0800   Churches get sued every day, for all sorts of things, and not just the immoral actions of employees. All of us know the Roman church has been clobberred by suits filed by victims of ephebophilic priests. Far more pedestrian issues are regular causes against churches, too: land issues, the "noise pollution" from church carillons, traffice matters, employment issues, and failure to perform contractually.   If Austin organ got stiffed, they should sue the stiffer! If the church in question has filed for bankruptcy, Austin should still sue and join the list of creditors. If the church is big enough to contract for a large Austin, there's got to be substantial real property available for creditors to go after.   One of the journals I read regularly is Church Law and Tax Report, and I read it out of self-interest and for self-defense. I recommend it highly. See the website of ChurchLawToday.com http://www.churchlawtoday.com/newsletters.php   -- Dr. Ned H. Benson St. John's Presbyterian Church 1070 West Plumb Lane Reno, Nevada 89509 http://www.stjohnschurch.org    
(back) Subject: Austin book & CDs From: "William T. Van Pelt" <bill@organsociety.org> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 10:38:42 -0500   For those who would like to know more about the Austin Organ Company and = its interesting history and exceptional contribution to organbuilding, I have put Orpha Ochse's book published by OHS, "Austin Organs," on the opening page of the OHS Catalog website http://www.ohscatalog.org This book is current to late 1999 and begins "before the beginning" with John Austin's early work in Detroit where he built organs using his Universal Air Chest while he was an employee of the Clough & Warren Organ Company in the early 1890s. Some of these organs exist in playing condition!   A decade before Ernest Skinner had perfected his reliable electropneumatic organ action ca. 1910 and began building organs that are recognizable = today as Skinner organs (the 1906 Skinner at the University of Virginia is a = rare and intact example that proves the fact that early E. M. Skinner organs = are not recognizable as Skinner organs), Austin produced an entirely reliable, solid and innovative electropneumatic organ (and some tubular pneumatic organs also built on the Universal Air Chest) that gained for it a = foothold as the leading builder of the early 20th century and building a strong customer base in the "carriage trade." Some of these organs were even hand-pumped from *inside* the Universal Air Chest!   On the OHS Catalog website, recordings of Austin organs can be found = simply by entering the word "austin" in the search engine located at the bottom = of the opening page of the website.   Bill    
(back) Subject: RE: Suing a church From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 18:00:21 -0600   If the church in question has filed bankruptcy, there is an automatic stay against all property of the estate and all liens and suits. Austin would have been able to file a notice of claim along with the other creditors. The problem is that Austin would only collect pro rata as to its creditor class, and certain other secured interests may take priority in interest and get the lion's share of any existing proceeds of the estate. I would hope that organ builders would have a secured interest much like a construction loan in their instrument, but still they would have to seek relief from the stay, and then for what? To replevy the instrument and try to re-sell it? Many creditors receive nothing for their claim. In the end, if the debtor is discharged, all debts are no longer enforceable, so Austin could not sue.   It has been said that bankruptcy and the threat thereof is the last threat of the debtor; yet, it can be a necessary evil for people and companies who have hit hard times with no way out. There will be those on both sides of the question who abuse the system. Once a discharge in bankruptcy is obtained, one cannot seek bankruptcy again for at least 7 years.   It's sad to see a good long-standing business like Austin have to close.   I have not reviewed the proposed changes to the law - I've only heard rumors. Furthermore I say naught.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com     -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of Ned Benson Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 10:43 AM To: PipeChat Subject: Suing a church   Churches get sued every day, for all sorts of things, and not just the immoral actions of employees. All of us know the Roman church has been clobberred by suits filed by victims of ephebophilic priests. Far more pedestrian issues are regular causes against churches, too: land issues, the "noise pollution" from church carillons, traffice matters, employment issues, and failure to perform contractually.   If Austin organ got stiffed, they should sue the stiffer! If the church in question has filed for bankruptcy, Austin should still sue and join the list of creditors. If the church is big enough to contract for a large Austin, there's got to be substantial real property available for creditors to go after.   One of the journals I read regularly is Church Law and Tax Report, and I read it out of self-interest and for self-defense. I recommend it highly. See the website of ChurchLawToday.com http://www.churchlawtoday.com/newsletters.php   -- Dr. Ned H. Benson St. John's Presbyterian Church 1070 West Plumb Lane Reno, Nevada 89509 http://www.stjohnschurch.org     ****************************************************************** "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org List-Subscribe: <mailto:pipechat-on@pipechat.org> List-Digest: <mailto:pipechat-digest@pipechat.org> List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:pipechat-off@pipechat.org>      
(back) Subject: Migraines From: <Justinhartz@aol.com> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 22:56:50 EST   This is slightly off topic, but since we have discussions about church =   music situations which are not specifically "organ" related, here goes...!   The sound of handbells gives me migraines. No other idiophonic instruments do this to me.   Perhaps it is the tuning, or the fact that they are often played in = chord clusters in a closed environment that triggers the attacks. I can listen to carillon music, organ chimes, even electronic tower = bells without pain. Is anyone else so afflicted?   Justin  
(back) Subject: Diane Meredith Belcher in Recital From: <SWF12262@aol.com> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:12:21 EST   Dear Pipechatters, If you are in the Chicago area next Friday evening, this recital might interest you. Organist Diane Meredith Belcher in recital on the new Reuter organ at Trinity United Methodist Church 1024 Lake Avenue Wilmette, Illinois Friday, March 18, 2005 8:00 p.m. General admission: $15 Seniors, students, and AGO members: $10 Trinity United Methodist Church is located on the northeast corner of = Lake and Wilmette Avenues. Parking is available on Wilmette Avenue, west of = the church. The program will include works by William Mathias, Max Reger, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, John Weaver, Johann Sebastian Bach, Lee Hoiby, and Jehan = Alain. The recital is co-sponsored by the North Shore Chapter AGO.     Steven Weyand Folkers AGO North Shore Chapter Board Director of Music St. Lambert RC Church Skokie, IL    
(back) Subject: Re: Migraines From: <Swedish5702@aol.com> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:40:11 EST   Justin:   I know I am going to have one when the octave is added. Drives me = bonkers.   Best, Craig