News May 2008

Mercer Island Report Features
Blessed Seelos Project

The Friday May 30, 2008 Mercer Island Reporter features an article about the Blessed Seelos Catholic Church organ project. The article also discusses the Pipe Organ Foundation and Carl and Halie Dodrills leadership as well as the work of other volunteers. There is a nice photo of some of the organ pipes and Carl walking among them. Follow this link to the full article.

Announcement of Pipe Organ Open House

We are pleased to announce two open houses to see and hear the newly assembled and rebuilt pipe organ for the Blessed Seelos Catholic Church in New Orleans. These open houses will occur on Sunday, May 18 from 2:00-4:30 PM, and on Saturday, May 24 from 2:00-4:30 PM, and they will be at the Foundation facilities at 4488 West Mercer Way, Mercer Island. David Locke, Foundation Board Member, and the organist from Holy Trinity Lutheran church on Mercer Island will be demonstrating the instrument. There will be open console time as well. Everyone is welcome.

Blessed Seelos Catholic Church had a devastating fire inside the sanctuary in 2003, the pipe organ was totally destroyed, and funds are not available to replace the instrument. Further, Katrina devastated the Parish Hall of the church, and this the basic existence of this important parish in the Archdiocese of New Orleans was badly threatened. Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, Seattle Community Church, and others rebuilt the parish hall, but there was no money for an organ. The Pipe Organ Foundation agreed to provide a rebuilt instrument free of cost to the church, the supporting Seattle area churches will pay to have it moved to New Orleans, and the Loews Hotel of New Orleans will provide free lodging to the 13 volunteers who will go to New Orleans in early June to install the instrument. See the Volunteers Section of this website for information and pictures on the work of the volunteers on this project.

The pipe organ(see photo below) is a two manual, 13 stop instrument which is a rebuild primarily of the Bleitz Funeral Home Moller from 1928, but with parts from a 1922 Moller and from other instruments as well. It is electropneumatic and electromechanical, and it includes a Syndyne electronic switching system with features such as multiple memories, transposer, auto pedal, etc. The tonal design of the instrument was by James Stettner of Stettner Pipe Organs of Seattle. The instrument was designed especially to meet the needs of the parish of which 40% of the parish is either deaf or hearing impaired.



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