The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 26, 2013

Organ being packed up to head to Lakeside High School

OAK FOREST, Ill. — Preparations are being made to ship Lakeside High School’s donated pipe organ to Ohio.

Gary Rickert of Oak Forest, Ill., donated the Kimball Theatre organ to the school, and Vic Marsilio of Victor Organ Co., Austintown, Ohio, is disassembling and packaging it.

“The removal project is going very well,” Marsilio said. “Most of the pipes and smaller chests have been removed and are ready for shipment.”

The only problem is the weather is making for uncomfortable working conditions.

“It is very hot and humid here and the air conditioning in Gary Rickert’s home is broken,” he said.

An organ is a complex assemblage of pipes, wood, wire, electronics and mechanical devices that need to be disassembled and packed.

According to Ashtabula Area City Schools Theatre Organ Project’s time table, the organ should arrive by early July.

Come July/August, the console wiring will be installed, as will the pipes into the chambers.

In September and October, the

wiring should be finished and the organ will be tuned in time for a dedication concert in November and a holiday concert with the LHS choir and orchestra in December.

Marsilio, who is rebuilding the organ for LHS, said the organ programs will draw people from Cleveland, Youngstown, Erie and farther to Ashtabula.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $100,000, according to the Lakeside High School Theatre Organ Project.

The Ashtabula Area City Schools Board of Education allocated $40,000 to the organ project out of its special permanent improvements fund. The money will be used to pack, move and make needed repairs to the organ.

Rickert’s friend, now-retired district treasurer, William “Bud” Hill, has volunteered to raise the remaining $60,000.

The organ has 15 extended ranks of pipes, celesta, xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, piano and toy counter. The actual replacement cost has been estimated at up to $800,000, by two organ companies.

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