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PipeWorks Demonstration Organ
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Lynn Dobson, Phil Asgian and Melanie Ohnstad

PipeWorks—Twin Cities is a joint venture between Twin Cities American Guild of Organists (TCAGO) and Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC), Minneapolis. Building on pilot materials from a similar Seattle program, PipeWorks—Twin Cities is a two-week education program primarily for young children in the public schools.

In 1998 TCAGO member and WPC elder Phil Asgian approached WPC Minister of Music and the Arts Melanie Ohnstad with the initial proposal and funds to create a joint venture between WPC and TCAGO. Bringing together the contributions of many volunteers, the first program of PipeWorks–Twin Cities is planned for Fall 2004.

A major part of the PipeWorks—Twin Cities program was the construction of a demonstration organ. Made portable so it could be brought to schools, the instrument was designed to show major features of pipe organs. In addition to two ranks of pipes that run from the C below middle C to two octaves above middle C, there are ten sample pipes that represent the many different shapes organ pipes can take.

The demonstration organ was built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, incorporating pipes donated by the Schantz Organ Co. The pipes stand on a slider chest, whose sliders are moved by hand. When played, the keys open valves that can be seen through a plexiglass cover. The organ is made of American black cherry, and disassembles into two major components that fit through normal doors. The upper half incorporates the pipes, windchest and key action; the structural base includes the blower and windline. The joint between the two halves is just below the keyboard.

Sample pipes, from right to left:

Harmonic Flute (25% tin), Hohl Flute (wood), Principal (75% tin), Gemshorn (50% tin), Salicional (75% tin), Chimney Flute (25% tin), Gedackt (25% tin), Trumpet (50% tin), Oboe (zinc & 50% tin), Clarinet (50% tin). All sample pipes play 1' C.

All pipes were made by the Schantz Organ Co.


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