The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 11, 2013

Lakeside will soon get its theater organ

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — The news is music to Lakeside High School officials’ ears.

The donated Kimball Theatre organ arrived on time, most of it has been rebuilt and installation has begun at LHS, said Vic Marsilio of Victor Organ Co., Austintown,.

“Work is progressing on schedule,” he said.

In June, Marsilio disassembled, packaged and removed the pipe organ from donor Gary Rickert’s home in Oak Forest, Ill.

The organ has 15 extended ranks of pipes, a xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, piano and toy counter — that all add up to a complex assemblage of pipes, wood, wire, electronics and mechanical devices that had to be taken apart and packaged.

In July and August, the organ was moved to LHS and console wiring installed in the back of the stage in the performing arts center, as was the pipes and chambers. The school has a separate event entrance that opens to the commons and the performing arts center, which features a 1,000-seat theater with a stage, dressing rooms, green room, concession area and lobby.

Throughout September and October, workers are continuing to install and tune the organ in time for a dedication concert scheduled in November and a holiday concert with the LHS choir and orchestra in December.

Marsilio is excited about the organ and its ability to draw people from Cleveland, Youngstown and Erie to Ashtabula for concerts and shows.

LHS Principal Donald Rapose said he’s excited about the history of the organ.

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

The Ashtabula Area City Schools Board of Education allocated $40,000 to the project out of its special permanent improvement fund. The board agreed the money will be used to pack, move and repair the organ.

Rickert’s friend, retired district treasurer William Hill, volunteered to raise the remaining $60,000.

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