Photo 1

Photo 1. Drawknob console of the organ obtained to expand the Roosevelt High School organ. This console is not the Roosevelt console but shows the quality of the instument that will be used.


Photo 2

Photo 2. Swell division of the Palo Alto Moller


Photo 3

Photo 3. Great division of the Palo Alto Moller.


Photo 4

Photo 4. Some of the pipes in the Pedal division of the Palo Alto Moller pipe organ.


Photo 5

Photo 5. Space for rebuilding of Roosevelt High School organ. The space is the wood shop at Lincoln High School in Seattle and the items pictured here are the Roosevelt organ still in crates but ready to be rebuilt and expanded.








Carl Dodrill 11/04/08

The rebuild and expansion of the Froula Memorial Pipe Organ at Roosevelt High School has recently moved ahead dramatically due to two developments. First, the Seattle Chapter of the American Guild of Organists succeeded in meeting its fund raising goal of $25,000 for the rebuilding and expansion of the instrument. Carol Churchill of the AGO headed this fund raising effort which was strongly supported by Lora Lee Brown, immediate Past Dean of the Seattle AGO chapter and by David Lepse, current Dean. An important link in wrapping up this fund raising effort was an event in the new Roosevelt Theater on September 25, 2008 in which Jonas Nordwall played on an Allen electronic organ supplied by North Pacific Organ and Sound. Past Dean Ryan Dye was emcee for the event. The money raised by the AGO adds to those funds already made available through the Friends of RHS Froula Memorial Organ organization which with its President, Andrea Wilson, has championed this instrument for several years. Thanks to everyone, the rebuild and expansion of the Froula organ can now begin.

The second major development pertains to the need not only to rebuild the Froula organ but to expand it. In its original location, while there were only seven groups of pipes in the organ, it spoke quite well into an auditorium seating more than 1,000 due to favorable acoustical conditions. While the new theater seats just 575 people, the acoustics are not as favorable for organ even though they are better for other activities occurring in the theater. Further, times have changed since the original installation in 1940, and now new voices are needed as well as features such as MIDI and playback. How to add to the organ without changing its fundamental character has been a challenge, but now another organ has become available which was made by the same builder as the Froula organ. This builder is the Moller Company of Hagerstown, Maryland. This instrument has been in the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Palo Alto, California since its installation new in 1967, and thanks to the generosity of that church, the instrument is being made available for Roosevelt High School.

The photos below show what a fine instrument the Palo Alto instrument is. Since its installation, it has been immaculately cared for. It has the same type of drawknob console as does the Froula organ and it shows the same Moller style as the Froula organ. However, it has a total of 13 groups of pipes with many interesting voices not commonly found on instruments of small to intermediate size. These voices include 8' Erzahler, 8' Erzahler Celeste, 8' Viola Pomposa, 8' Viola Pomposa Celeste, 8' Krummhorn, 4'Koppelflute, and a 16' Trompette. None of these voices are to be found on the Froula organ, and thus the instrument from Palo Alto will make an excellent complement and addition to the existing Roosevelt instrument.

The Pipe Organ Foundation sent a team of five people to Palo Alto the last week of October, 2008 to dissemble the instrument and to bring it back to the Seattle area. The Palo Alto instrument arrived at Lincoln High School on November 3, 2008, and 14 volunteers helped unload it. It was placed alongside the Roosevelt organ in space provided by the Seattle School District for the rebuilding and expansion of the Roosevelt instrument.

Would you like to help with the rebuilding and expansion of the Froula organ? We need help of all types to make this organ a reality once again. See the section on Volunteers on this web site to view the types of tasks that volunteers do. Interested but would like more information? Contact Carl Dodrill at or at 206 236-3492. All types of help are needed and no experience is required.

Photos 1-5 in the left sidebar were taken by Carl Dodrill. You can see a larger image by clicking on the smaller image.

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