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On September 21, 2012, after an absence of nearly 18 months, our signature Aeolian-Skinner organ was reinstalled and rededicated during our Shabbat Shuvah worship service. Now newly restored, modernized, and digitized, its pipes are sounding once again, filling our sanctuary with the sounds of our past, present and future.  

The Temple's Fifty Rank Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ began its life as a Pilcher organ, installed in this sanctuary in 1930, when our Temple building was new. In 1955, when the organ was twenty five years old, The Temple's organist, Emilie Spivey, engaged the renowned organ builder, G. Donald Harrison, president and tonal director of the Aeolian- Skinner Pipe Organ Company, to update and renovate our Pilcher.  Mr. Harrison’s reputation was built upon his ability to create brilliant, warm, sweet tones which gave the organs the capacity to function either as accompanying instruments or as a solo performers.  When rebuilding our Aeolian-Skinner, Mr. Harrison considered the architectural and acoustical qualities of our awe-inspiring sanctuary and crafted a one-of-a kind pipe organ that brilliantly supported the rich legacy of our Jewish liturgical music tradition. The organ he built for us at The Temple is one of only twelve throughout the United States that bears Mr. Harrison’s signature plate.  He produced an instrument whose voice is sweet yet at the same time, powerful, supportive, and multi-colored. It can speak in strident tones to imitate the sound of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah; can be the voice of reflection, meditation, and memory during a funeral service; or can evoke feelings of majesty and grace as a bride walks forward to meet her beloved under the chuppah.

Our Aeolian-Skinner consists of three components: the organ blower (located in the basement), which supplies the wind necessary to make the pipes sound; the playing console (located behind the ark), which is composed of five keyboards (hands and feet); and the pipes…all 2,500 of them (housed in the upper level of the choir loft), which await their turn to sound at the organist’s command.  Because of the vast array of stops, pipes, chests, and chambers, the capabilities of this organ are unsurpassed. It remains our unique treasure, and we are privileged to be the stewards who will usher it into its future!

Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784