Aeolian-Skinner Organ Renovation

By Zumbro Music Minister Kristy Giere

Zumbro’s Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ has been silent since Easter Sunday, April 17. No one misses the organ more than me! The organ is undergoing a major 7-month renovation project by Grandall and Engen LLC from Maple Grove, MN. The work has been delayed somewhat, but hopefully will be completed in November.

Here’s a recent update from David Grandall, lead organ technician:

Work on the Zumbro Aeolian-Skinner organ continues, slowly but surely. The organ had accumulated 52 years of dust. The dust is everywhere and there’s a lot of it. Pipes are being washed (some have already returned!) and the case interior is being cleaned. The three keyboards are being redone in Pennsylvania. We’ve already replaced the first batch of slider solenoids (stop motors), the other major task of this project. There is plenty of work yet to do, but we’ll get there with time. The entire facade of the main case has been starved for wind since the organ was built. It’s as if those pipes have had a severe case of asthma for the last 52 years. Correcting this issue has turned into a challenging organbuilding exercise. Thankfully, there haven’t been any real surprises through the project.

We’ll all anticipate the return of the organ to worship, concerts, and special events once it is completed in November. A special celebratory Hymn Festival is planned for Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 4pm with organist David Cherwien, Artistic Director of the National Lutheran Choir and Director of Music at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Left to Right: Peder Flaten and David Grandall