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Grace United Methodist Church, Urbana, IN


The historic, six rank 1928 Holtkamp, Voteller, and Sparling organ at Grace United Methodist Church had not been playable for several years. In fact, the 75 member church had already acquired an electronic organ. But fortunately, some members were determined to save the pipe organ in their 1880 church.

Scope of the Rebuild Project

The Marion, Indiana firm Reynolds Associates Pipe Organ Services, Inc. was able to make significant improvements to this organ despite very limited funds. Upgrades included:

  • Reregulating all pipework;

  • Replacing aged electropneumatic note actions with electromechanical actions installed in the existing cavities;

  • Installing a new Peterson Diode Matrix switching system;

  • Entirely rebuilding the console including the manual keyboards and pedalboard;

  • Installing a new reservoir and tremulant;

  • Fitting a new Peterson swell shade operator.

Other Highlights

This organ features an unusual "Ludwigstone" stop: Each pipe consists of two Melodia pipes in a common shell, back to back. A very warm, beautiful Flute Celeste effect is created by tuning one pipe slightly sharp and the other slightly flat to pitch.

The pipe organ was rededicated in late 1998 with a recital by Dr. John G. Maher, Professor of Music at Indiana Wesleyan University.

While the proper operation of this instrument was restored, neither the look and feel of the console nor the original sound were changed. Following the rededication recital, a church trustee who had originally opposed the project (thinking it could not be done) realized that he had been wrong and was very glad the organ had been saved. The electronic organ was promptly sold.

For more information you may contact Reverend Ken Parsons at the church. Reynolds Associates Organ Services, Inc. may be reached by telephone or fax at (765) 662-3108, or by email at info@reynoldsorgans.com .

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