Magazine article The American Organist

Ask the Organ Builder

Magazine article The American Organist

Ask the Organ Builder

Article excerpt

Agohq.org/ask-organ-builder

Our 1937 organ needs to be cleaned. Can volunteers from the church accomplish this task?

Cleaning of an organ is a routine aspect of organ maintenance. Along with all other aspects of our craft, it requires special care, knowledge, and experience. It is very easy for inexperienced and unsupervised people to cause considerable (and expensive) damage to organ pipes and mechanism (and buildings!). In certain situations, church volunteers might be able to assist with an organ cleaning. This may mean that the organ company could use fewer of their professional staff, but their work would take longer, since more supervision would be required and the process would require more time. This sometimes can result in a cost savings, and sometimes does not.

Another important consideration is the question of insurance. Church volunteers need to be covered by the church or denomination's policy against damage to the organ and premises and injury to themselves and the organbuilders. …

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