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Christ Lutheran Church, Brooksville, Florida

Background

The original pipe organ at Christ Lutheran Church was built in 1925 by Virginia-based Lewis & Hitchcock, Inc. The instrument is unique in the North Florida area as it is actually two instruments played from a single console. There is a Choir Division located with the console in the front of the sanctuary and near the singing choir, with the larger instrument located in the rear of the sanctuary.

Why was the Organ Rebuilt?

Christ Lutheran Church committed to an eight year rebuilding project for a number of reasons. Keith Schenck, the church organist since 1991, explains, "Our congregation is committed to preserving our pipe organ's ability to provide for congregational singing, liturgical music and excellence in music overall. We rebuilt the organ so it would fit in the space we had designed for it and to ensure it had the newest available technology. This rebuilding project reflects a fine tradition of stewardship. We spent a comparable amount of money as would be needed to purchase an electronic organ substitute. However, our rebuilt organ will not get outdated and will provide many more years of service."

Scope of the Rebuild Project

In 1990, the organ underwent improvements which included upgrading to a solid state combination action and converting the Swell Division to electric action. Since then, Lewis & Hitchcock, Inc. has been engaged in an extensive and ongoing rebuilding program for the pipe organ. The latest phase of the rebuilding began in 1997 and included:

  • Installing state-of-the-art electronic controls;

  • Upgrading the Choir Division to electric action;

  • Releathering all electro-pneumatic chests;

  • Adding three ranks of pipes;

  • Addition of flute pipes.

Other Highlights

The congregation's dedication to the rebuild project was demonstrated in the success of its fundraising. "We raised every penny for the rehabbing," Mr. Schenck added proudly. "Our motto was 'Pedal, Pipes, and Keys for Christ.'"

The newly rebuilt organ was dedicated on March 1, 1998. Keith Schenck performed a first recital on the rebuilt organ on March 8, 1998. Mr. Schenck says, "It has been my pleasure to play one of the three church pipe organs in Hernando County. This is truly a grand instrument. Lewis & Hitchcock has provided this church with a wonderful gift of music for a long time to come."

Keith Schenck may be contacted at the Christ Lutheran Church at 475 North Avenue West, Brooksville, FL 34601; Tel: (352) 796-8331.

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