For those of you who have been into the Buetow Music Center Auditorium you have seen the breath-taking ceiling-high organ that dominates the wall behind the stage (for those who have yet to see it, you are in for a treat). Considering the organ is an integral part of the auditorium, it may surprise you that it was not part of the auditorium for the first few years of Buetow’s existence.
|Buetow Music Center Auditorium before the installation of the concert organ.|
During the dedication ceremony of the Buetow Memorial Music Center, Mr. Paul A. Schilling, a life-long friend of the building’s namesake Herbert P. Buetow, was inspired to fund the concert organ project.
|Mrs. and Mr. Paul A. Schilling talk to Dr. Paul O. Manz about the pipe design for the new concert organ.|
The renowned Schlicker Organ Company was selected to build Concordia’s concert organ. The organ was designed specifically for the auditorium. Paul O. Manz, who was a member of Concordia’s music faculty at the time and is as beloved name in church music, worked closely with Herman L. Schlicker, founder and president of the company, to develop the tonal designs of the organ. Our organ was one of the last to be made by Schlicker. This organ is a master-crafted piece of work (I am not kidding about that breath-taking bit) and cost over $94,000 (how many semesters of tuition is that? I’ll let you do the math). The organ was delivered in pieces (pipes, keys, trackers, wind chests) and put together by John Obermeyer, local representative for Schlicker, and chief voicer, Louis Rothenbueger, who tuned and voiced the instrument to accurately fit the auditorium.
|Completed Schlicker concert organ installed in the Buetow Music Center Auditorium.|
A dedicatory recital was performed by Dr. Paul Manz on October 6, 1974.
|Paul A. Schilling at the organ dedication on October 6, 1974.|
Michael Hernick recently graduated from Concordia University, Saint Paul with a major in History. He spent his summer buried in the Archive digging up interesting nuggets of Concordia's history. We will be highlighting his work with Throwback Thursday post, Treasures from the Archive, throughout the year!