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Pickle Piano Co. In the News


August 2, 1997


Laura Zahn Pohl


Chicago Daily Herald


Neighbor, pg. 5


Organ makes official debut in Carol Stream

Two years ago, the congregation of Lutheran Church of the Master would have never expected they'd be enjoying - much less owning - a new $ 25,000 organ.

"When the sanctuary was expanded in 1995, the congregation made a deliberate decision to purchase an electronic keyboard - not an organ," said Michael Benshish, director of music and organist at the Carol Stream church.

It didn't take long for the congregation to change its collective mind.

Last Sunday evening, a dedication and inaugural concert was held at the church for a new Baldwin C-400 Digitally Sampled Organ. This type of organ plays back recorded sounds of well-known European organs that are stored in digital memory. It has no pipes of its own.

The supplier of the organ, Pickle Piano Company and Church Organ Systems of Bloomingdale, sponsored the concert, which featured guest organist Merrill N. Davis III.

In 1974, Davis was chosen as one of the world's four finalists at the International Organ Improvisation Competition in the Netherlands. He has performed throughout the world, and also has helped design notable pipe organs.

"It's customary for an installer to provide a recitalist for an inauguration of the new organ," Benshish said.

While the musical mastery of Davis was new to the audience, the sounds of the organ were not. In fact, the instrument has been in place at the church since Holy Week in 1996. That's when Benshish asked to "borrow" an organ from Pickle Piano for some special music during Holy Week services.

"Due to logistics, they couldn't move it back for a couple of months," Benshish said. "Then some people in the congregation expressed an interest in keeping it."

The church council backed the idea to purchase the organ as long as the members could raise $ 25,000 by the end of 1996. After generous contributions and fund-raisers - including a dinner-dance and auction - the money was available for an outright purchase.

"And this came after a huge effort to raise funds for building," Benshish said. "Pickle Piano had agreed to leave the organ here while we raised the funds. They had faith in us."

Pickle Piano Company
104 West Lake Street
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Telephone: 630-894-2992
Fax: 630-894-2743
E-mail: questions@picklepiano.com

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