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First Presbyterian Church, Marion, IN


Originally installed in 1904, First Presbyterian Church's organ was Opus 122 for the Estey Organ Co. of Brattleboro, VT. The congregation's historic Gothic church building, complete with authentic Tiffany stained glass windows, provides an exceptionally grand acoustical setting for this fine organ. The original 20 rank tubular pneumatic instrument had been enlarged to 33 ranks and electrified in 1957, but by 1982 it was clear that the aging Austin console, electrical system, and Pedal chests were in very poor condition.

Scope of the Rebuild Project

The company Reynolds and Associates Organ Services, Inc., also of Marion (near Indianapolis), was eventually called to give the organ the attention it deserved. A twelve week rebuilding project began in May, 1996, which included the following:

  • Reregulation of all of the organ's pipework;

  • Upgrade to Peterson OrgaPlextm multiplex coupler and switching system;

  • Installation of a Peterson Duo-Settm eight memory level combination action;

  • Complete renovation of the existing console, including new manuals, stop controls, and cabling;

  • Total rewiring of the organ;

  • Addition of an electronic extension to the Pedal 8' String to allow its use at 16';

  • Recovering of the reservoirs;

  • Replacement or rennovation of several Pedal offset windchests which had been damaged by water.

Other Highlights

The approximately 75 members of First Presbyterian Church, which was established in 1840, are pleased that their pipe organ now has a "new lease on life". One official of the church told newspaper reporters: "While the organ is 92 years old, that is relatively young. Many organs exist in the world which are several centuries old, and are still used regularly."

A rededication concert was held on October 27, 1996, featuring two organists; Leroy Imler and Dr. John G. Maher. At the concert, Mr. Imler said, "With a pipe organ you feel the sounds and the sounds are true sound. Even the best electric organ tries to imitate the pipe organ sound, and it's not a true sound."

Organbuilders Thad and David Reynolds of Reynolds Associates Organ Services, Inc. may be reached by telephone or fax at (765) 662-3108, or by email at info@reynoldsorgans.com

The Reynolds' company is a family business which has cared for large and small organs in central and northern Indiana for over 20 years.

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