April 2012

  What’s in a name? Did you ever meet someone named Smith? Ever wonder where that name came from? Ever wonder why Smith is such a common name? Your friend John Smith is descended from a blacksmith, or maybe a silversmith. Smith is a common…
Hochhalter, Inc., Salem, Oregon: First United Methodist Church, Eugene, Oregon Hochhalter, Inc., Salem, Oregon First United Methodist Church, Eugene, Oregon Hochhalter, Inc. of Salem, Oregon has designed and built a low-profile console for…
  Foley-Baker, Inc.,  Tolland, Connecticut Duke University Chapel,  Durham, North Carolina The 1932 Aeolian at Duke University Chapel has as colorful a history as any American organ. In 1930, at a time when contracts had grown…
  A musical village on the edge of a metropolis From 1920–1940, the organists at churches in Oak Park, Illinois distinguished themselves, certainly by talent, but also by hard work and a vision that went beyond playing hymns for…
  While a junior or senior in high school, I found a newish LP in the local public library: Fugues, Fantasia and Variations—Nineteenth-Century American Concert Organ Music (New World Records, NW280). Dated 1976, it was no doubt…
  Restoration of the 1770 Tannenberg  organ at Zion Moselem Lutheran Church, Moselem Springs, Pennsylvania, was completed in September 2011 by R. J. Brunner & Co. of Silver Spring, Pennsylvania. The earliest of the nine extant…
  Rhythm and counting The music that we as keyboard players work with on a daily basis involves time as well as pitch, timbre, and other qualities of sound. We are so used to this that it seems like something that does not need to be…
  A matter of manners In the first days of the twentieth century my great-grandfather and his seven brothers ran a large and successful silk business, importing thread from China and weaving fabric. There was a sprawling mill complex…
Bach from Finland and Medici Music from Italy   Elina Mustonen’s recording of Bach’s Six Partitas for Harpsichord An artist of distinction new to me is the superb Finnish harpsichordist Elina Mustonen. Her 2009 recording of the Six…
  Robert “Bob” Colby died November 22, 2011 in Buffalo, New York at the age of 87 from complications due to stroke. He had a long career in the organbuilding industry that began with the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, developed at the…