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Pickle Piano Co. In the News


March 17, 1997


Rachel Melcer


Chicago Tribune


Metro DuPage, pg. 1


Organ provides dreamy pipes, $400,000 instrument tickles congregation

Speaking of his "quasi-jazz improvisation" and "some avant-garde kinds of things," Merrill "Jeff" Davis III sounded more like a pop musician than the premiere performer on Trinity Lutheran Church's new $400,000 pipe organ Sunday.

Even Rev. Charles Mueller Jr. is given to references much broader than biblical hymns when describing his Roselle church's new pride and joy.

"There are times at a concert, when you're right up front, that you just get caught up in the music. Sometimes that happens with worship, too," he said. "Sometimes when I'm listening, I'm surprised my feet are still on the ground."

Crowds of congregants filled the recently enlarged sanctuary to hear Davis play the Rieger-Kloss organ at three services Sunday. They had waited through two years of design, one year of building, three weeks of assembly and six weeks of tuning and tonal voicing before the big day arrived.

The organ had its debut at two weddings Saturday morning, played by Trinity music director Brian Minikel. He said it was a wonderful experience, though a bit nerve-wracking; the massive instrument was still being tuned just hours ahead of the first ceremony.

"We were all a little nervous," said Rev. Kim Taylor, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Tucson and an uncle of one of the brides. "They were all still running around behind the altar making adjustments not long before the wedding.... But it went smoothly."

Two voicers from the city of Krnov in the Czech Republic, where the organ was manufactured, have been working on the instrument for six weeks. They will spend another seven days in Roselle to fine-tune its more than 3,500 pipes and 42 bronze bells, specially designed to fit the sanctuary at Trinity.

"I'm real happy that it's successful. We have enough of what we need and we don't have too much of anything," said Matt Bechteler, co-owner of Pickle Piano and Organ Co. of Bloomingdale, the North American distributor for Rieger-Kloss organs. He is also a member of the church.

"It's really a dream come true, in terms of being able to praise God through music and song," he said. "We tried to make this organ as flexible as possible so it's timeless. It will be here as long as this building stands."

Trinity historian Norma Thiemann recalled the church's humble beginnings in 1910, with nine families in a small building in the heart of Roselle. In 1971 the congregation moved to 405 S. Rush St., and the church underwent its third major expansion there two years ago. That was when plans for the new organ began in earnest.

"It sets us up as a congregation that says, 'Let's do it.' Instead of saying 'Why?' we say, 'Why not?' " Thiemann said of the huge project. "It says we're progressive and we're responsive to the needs and wants of the congregation.

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