Church Front

Photo 1. Seattle Maple Leaf Lutheran Church.

Church Altar

Photo 2. Front of the sanctuary.

Balcony Organ

Photo 3. Balcom and Vaughn organ in the balcony.

Crooked Pipes

Photo 4. Crooked Fagott pipes on the back wall.  Some were not secured to the wall and over time bent in various directions.

Bent Pipe

Photo 5. Example of a bent pipe.

Bent Pipe Box

Photo 6. Example of a bent pipe in the wood trough made specifically to help straighten the pipes.

Straightened Pipe

Photo 7. The pipe after it was straightened.

Pipe Organ Foundation Assumes Care of Organ at Maple Leaf Lutheran Church


Maple Leaf Lutheran Church has been added to the list of venues which the Pipe Organ Foundation now services.  Maple Leaf is a 250-member Evangelical Lutheran Church of America congregation located in Northeast Seattle.  It was established in 1947 by local Lutheran families.  The church has always valued music in worship, and a Balcolm & Vaughn pipe organ was installed in 1974.  It is a two-manual, 20-rank classical instrument with Baroque tonal qualities.  The pastor of the church is the Reverend Julie Blum, the Director of Music is Handel Shin, and the organist is Yoon Shin.

In February, 2016, our Foundation was asked to evaluate the organ as it had not been serviced for a period of time.  While the organ functioned well in most respects, several difficulties were noted, some of which were fixed immediately.  The remaining ones were detailed to the church, and the church agreed to an arrangement to both fix the problems at hand and to maintain the organ on an ongoing basis. 

While the Foundation tuned the organ on March 10, 2016, the major repairs were not begun until May.  The most difficult of these was straightening the 16’ Fagott zinc resonators, some of which had not been hooked and were crooked and leaning forward dangerously.  The photos show how badly some of the pipes were bent.   Volunteers Carl Dodrill, Carl Presley and Barbara Graham worked on this problem spent using a wooden 'trough' in which pipes were positioned and then pressed downward in order to straighten them.  The work was done very slowly and methodically, but with excellent results.  The entire effort brought to mind the Bible verse “…and the crooked shall be made straight” (Isaiah 40:4).  Other work included tuning and troubleshooting.

We plan several more visits to continue to fix items that need work and to tune as needed (especially at Christmas and Easter).

The Pipe Organ Foundation is pleased to be able to help the Maple Leaf Congregation in their pursuit of their beautiful music of faith!

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