The few of us reed organ enthusiasts who appreciate the beauties of the instrument and strive to preserve and restore as many of them as possible face the difficulty that we are a small group faced with a big task. I have been asked many times to restore instruments for people but the reality is that I can’t get to them all.
What is the solution? We must encourage more people to take on the task of restoring their instruments. How can this be accomplished? One way which I recently tried was inviting anyone who was interested to come to my workshop to take part in the dismantling of my latest project. Frankly, I didn’t think I would have any takers but I was wrong.
On Saturday, the 4th February last, I was joined by two enthusiasts who spent the day with me and took part in the disassembly of my Estey Model H. I am a firm believer that there is no better way to teach about something like reed organ restoration than the hands-on experience one up close and personal.
Dick went home with the encouragement to make repairs to his Estey Artist Model organ. Mick went home with the Mason and Hamlin child’s reed organ confident that he could dismantle it and bring it back to life. Good result.
I know one thing for sure. I enjoyed the day talking all things reed organ. Hopefully it won’t be the last day of its kind. I really hope to see others come to investigate. The possibility of that is increased since I did an interview for local radio one evening during the week. I fear I will be inundated!