Dubuque Church To Renovate Its Pipe Organ

During the week of August 22, the congregation of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2155 University Avenue, Dubuque, will tackle the challenge of reassembling its 58-year-old sanctuary pipe organ in the culmination of a summer-long project called “Renewing a Music Legacy.”

In late June, more than 50 volunteers invested over 350 hours of labor under the leadership of specialists from Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd., of Lake City, IA, to disassemble the organ . Wind reservoirs and other selected components were loaded into trailers for transport to the Dobson shop and that of J Granger & Associates of Lansing, Michigan, where they were re-leathered and repaired.

Meanwhile, the volunteers hand-cleaned more than 2,000 organ pipes of all sizes on site, which have since been securely stored at the church, awaiting reassembly next week.

The church pipe organ was crafted and installed by the M.P. Möller Organ Company of Hagerstown, MA and was dedicated along with the new Westminster sanctuary building on September 13, 1964. It includes 35 ranks of organ pipes, gathered into four divisions and sounding through 27 stops or voices. The largest of the individual pipes are approximately 16 feet in length, while the smallest measure only a few inches. The action is electro-pneumatic and the control system digital, with full MIDI capability.

Since January, the congregation has mounted a $100,000 fundraising campaign to augment existing memorial contributions in support of the renovation project. Donations are still being accepted by the church to address the final costs of this significant renovation effort.

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