Update June 2018
Our Capital Campaign is well under way for our Pipe Organ Restoration. So far we have raised over $50,000 and need another $450,000. We appreciate any contributions; small or large. We welcome also any fund raising ideas, parties, events or other means of raising the money. We have recently embarked upon our 3 year Capital Campaign Drive and are looking for pledges to support the project.
Here are ways you can donate:
We need you to help with our Pipe Organ Restoration Project
Update November 2017
Fundraising for our Casavant Opus 3062 is well under way. Friends of Casavant 3062, now a 501c3 charity, will promote and present fund-raising opportunities, through concerts, events and more.
Check out the events page for our latest fundraising events and concerts (dont forget to scroll down for all events!)
and our facebook link https://www.facebook.com/events/150598642265242/
You can donate here at any time, online, or mail in donations, made payable to Friends of Casavant 3062 and mailed to
203 S. Kensington Ave, La Grange, IL, 60525.
Please call the office on 708 352 1275 if you need any assistance or more information.
A remark about our organ for the Friends of Casavant 3062 Organ
“This beautiful old organ is like driving an old vintage car, with some functions inoperable, slow to respond, or simply ‘sound’ when not called upon, probably due to the deterioration of the pipes and/or openings. Some notes are ‘fuzzy’ and therefore do not blend with other notes. For example I rehearsed on a Tuesday and by Thursday some same notes were not playable. It will be delightful to play it once it is restored to its former glory.”
LTHS Accompanist, 40 year Organist, Sherilyn Monkemeier, Dec 2017
Facts and Figures for our Casavant Organ Opus 3062
The organ was installed in 1970 under the direction of Lawrence Phelps, the mid-century tonal designer who established the American Organ Reform movement. He personally designed our organ for the space to blend perfectly with the marvelous acoustics of our historic building.
The Organ’s Current Condition
Around 20% of the pipes and valves are no longer functioning. This is due to a number of reasons including: Long periods of heat and Humidity, Lack of major maintenance through the years, and wear and tear. If we continue to do nothing, it will eventually be non-functioning.
The Restoration Plan
The work on the organ will happen over two consecutive summers, 2019 and 2020, in the following stages:
Stage One: Swell and Pedal divisions, façade and console (organ will not be playable for a few months)
Stage Two: Great and Positiv divisions, Pedal Psaune 16’, & tonal work on site (organ will be playable except for one Sunday)
This is a project where we pay as we go. However the total cost for the restoration will be about $450,000 for the two stages. An optional stage Three has been proposed which completes Phelps original design with the addition of an Antiphonal Division in the balcony (essentially another smaller organ playable from the console) at additional cost of $150000.
We plan on beginning disassembling the organ and removing the console right after Easter and the Christ Church Choir concert in May, 2019. This is the most common time to begin a major renovation according to JL Weiler and Casavant Freis, who will be doing the work at Emmanuel and at their workshops in Chicago and St Helens, Canada. There will be scaffolds set up and plastic dust barriers around the organ space. They will be carefully crating and loading the disassembled organ pieces onto trucks for shipment. We must reserve this time slot now with a signed contract and modest down payment.
The work will commence on and off site during the summer with weekly monitoring and regular updates by the organ committee. The plan is to install the refurbished console and components by Advent 2018. There will be a noticeable improvement in the sound and features of the organ with the completion of Phase One.
Phase Two will begin again after Easter 2019. Removal of the remaining pipes to be reworked off site will not affect the operation of the organs. It will be playable during the summer of 2019 with the exception of one or two Sundays when work is being done. It will not have its full range of sound obviously.
The organ will be re-assembled again by Advent 2019 and restored to its original glory.
The optional Phase Three can happen during Phase Two if fundraising goes well, or be delayed to the following year. It would be slightly more economical if combined with one of the other phases. The work crew would not have to make a special trip back to Emmanuel and shipping costs would be combined.
- The organ has 44 stops, 46 registers, 63 ranks and 3156 pipes.
- Buying a used instrument and retrofitting it to our space would actually cost more than repairing ours. (St. Paul of the Cross in Park Ridge recently did this and the bill was $750000)
- It takes 1.7 seconds for the sound to travel from the pipes in the front to rear balcony of our church!
- after our refurbishment, we will own one of the best sounding organs in the country. This will attract many professional groups to our church.
- There are over 20000 moving parts in a pipe organ of our size.
- The maximum sound output is 130 Decibels-in the range of a jet engine!!!