On Tuesday, February 14, the CB Fisk Organ Company descended on our sanctuary with a team of eight artisans led by project manager, Steve Dieck. Steve is the former president of the company who decided to begin his semi-retirement with the long awaited restoration and upgrade of our organ, aka Fisk Opus 50. The Fisk team moved in and setup their gear and then began the amazing task of removing the more than 2000 pipes, from the pretty big ones down to those that are smaller than your finger. The “facade” pipes that are the largest ones suspended on the wall on either side of the organ’s console will not be removed but will be cleaned and restored in place.
The console itself was almost completely dismantled and taken back to the Fisk workshop in Gloucester along with a number of other components where a lot of the work will be performed. Meanwhile, back in Winchester, Steve and another Fisk worker continued their work replacing and upgrading any number of inner parts. Nardone Electrical arrived on day 2 to change out the 50 year old power supplies with connections that will be used by new 21st century versions. Nardone also brought everything up to current electrical code.
At the end of the first week Steve was pleased with the progress and reported that no surprises were discovered. By early March the process will be reversed as the instrument is reassembled and the weeks long voicing and retuning process begins.
The schematic design work by Torrey Architecture continues. David Torrey met with the Music & Worship Arts Working Group on February 16 where some refined details were reviewed and the next major steps for the project were discussed. The Working Group (WG) decided that we want to bring to the congregation a comprehensive design that includes all of the desired features that have been proposed. In order to achieve this it will be necessary to consider if we need an acoustic engineer to analyze the designs and the space. A goal is to keep the room “live” for music while not making it hard to hear speakers. We also need to have some sense of cost. To do that David Torrey will see if he can identify a contractor who can provide what is known as a conceptual budget based on the design. Then we should be ready for the congregation to react to the proposal and weigh the benefits versus costs and decide what features will serve our dreams while staying within reach of our funding capacity.
We expect this last portion of the design phase will take us into the spring. It is possible that the real deliberations by the congregation may take place mostly in the fall.