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Manchester church gets grant for organ restoration

January 02. 2013 10:23PM

MANCHESTER - The Unitarian Universalist Church, 669 Union St,, has been awarded a $2,000 grant from the Hunt Foundation of Manchester.

The Samuel P. Hunt Foundation was created in 1951 for general charitable purposes.

The grant will used to tune, clean and recommend a plan to restore the church's organ to the original condition when manufactured, andin time for the centennial celebration of the installation.

The organ was manufactured by the Estey Co. in Brattleboro, Vt., and installed in the curch in April-May of 1917. It is listed in the Estey Organ Database as Opus 1563.

It was first used in services on May 27, 1917, when the Rev. Yantis preached on the subject, "The Gospel As Found In Music."

The organ cost $2,750.00 installed.

The Carnegie Foundation gave $750 and the remainder was raised in the parish by gifts from $1 to $500.

The organ will be 100 years old in 2017, and has been in constant use for 95 years. The current organist is Roric Cunningham, 12, of Manchester. His instructor is Mark St. Hilaire, also of Manchester, who is also one of the church pianists.

The style of our organ is an "American Classic." It was built as a tubular pneumatic organ, which was state of the art when constructed.

Many feet of small lead pipe served as conductors of compressed air from wooden "chests." There were valves in the chests, one for each note. When the key was pressed on the keyboard, the valve would open and air would go through the lead pipes to the organ pipes causing the note to sound.T

he ranks of pipes in any organ are arranged in four families. The Diapason is the true organ sound. In 1965, the organ was fitted with an electro-mechanical valve system. The organ has an Austin Console.

For more information on the organ or the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester, go to

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