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The organ is coming along nicely, with tantalising sounds emerging from the sanctuary each week. Whilst we were working toward having the organ ready for a rededication concert at the end of January, featuring Clive Driskill-Smith, we understand that such a fine tuned instrument cannot and should not be rushed. With Covid related travel restrictions, Canadian lockdowns, and our socially responsible obligations, the Pipe Organ Committee have reluctantly agreed to postpone the concert until later in the year. It was decided that such an event should not be veiled and livestreamed, but celebrated with all the glory befitting the culmination of 3 or 4 years of hard work. planning and dedication to the Pipe Organ Project. We will focus on filling our sanctuary with people, music and spiritual ambience when the time is right. We thank your your continued patience.
Our fabulous Casavant 3062 is now back home. Jeff Weiler & Co are working to refitt the parts, pipes, console and more.
We need your help now more than ever as our fundraising efforts came to an abrupt end, albeit temporarily, but we still have to pay for the refurbishment. Please consider a donation in the name of a loved one, yourself, your organization, your pet! Whatever you give is tax deductible as the Friends of Casavant is a charitable organization and would help us enormouslly.
After many years in the planning the first stage of the Pipe Organ renovation actual is under way. This week with permision from the Bishop and Rev. David, JL Weiler & Co were able to dismantle the console in the sanctuary. We now have a few tidy piles of dismantled organ, and the work is in progress! Thank you again to all who have made this possible so far, but now we have actual bills to pay and we need your donations more than ever!
We have raised so far just over half of our $466,000 project; the cancellation and postponement of the Notre Dame Paris Catherdral Choir was a serious set-back to our fundraising timeline, but we are anticipating their rescheduled concert for Spring 2021.
In light of the recent Covid restrictions our fundraising efforts came to an abrupt halt temporarily, but once we know when we can resume our concert programs at least in part, we will continue with renewed eagerness along with other suitable social distancing fund raising projects. Dont forget if you have any ideas of your own, please let us know, and ofcourse any offshoot fundraising bakes, dances, dogwalking, whatever, will be gratefully received and celebrated.
Update March 2020
Dear Friends of Casavant 3062 and Notre Dame Ticket buyers,
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are saddened to report that the Notre Dame Cathedral Choir will postpone their US tour this coming April. We are working with Notre Dame Cathedral to set a new date in April 2021 as part of our Sounds in the Sanctuary series and hope to have information on this very soon. Please know that if you have purchased tickets, your seats will be reserved for these rescheduled performances.
The mission of Friends of Casavant 3062 (FOC), a secular, 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation is to restore and preserve Emmanuel’s Casavant pipe organ and increase its public awareness through a series of concerts. Each of our concerts help support the organ which as you may know, is undergoing a $466,000 renovation this spring and is to be completed by early December.
By postponing this concert, we are facing a significant loss of income. Your support is vital at this difficult time. You can help us by holding on to your tickets for the rescheduled date. If you prefer to donate your tickets, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will also consider making a donation to help mitigate the economic impact. Your generosity is deeply appreciated!
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Friends of Casavant 3062
203 S Kensington
La Grange, IL 60525 USA
The work is scheduled to begin next Spring after the Notre Dame Concert.
Here is a you-tube video for our Organ, created by Jack O'Brien, an LT student, taken during one of our Rock in the Sanctuary evening fundraisers.
Update June 2018
Our Capital Campaign is well under way for our Pipe Organ Restoration. So far we have raised almost $80,000 and need another $400,000. 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.
Remarks about our organ for the Friends of Casavant 3062 Organ
Organ Tuning report
"The reed stops in the organ are fast approaching the point of being untunable. Sure sorry that they can't be made more stable, but luckily the the restoration is getting closer"
Jeff Weiler, JL Weiler Inc, Pipe Organ Specialists, Feb 2019
“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 the summer of 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, 2020. 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 2020. 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 2020. Removal of the remaining pipes to be reworked off site will not affect the operation of the organs. It will not be playable during the summer of 2020 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 2020 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!!!