BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Following essential renovations to the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Brockport, church staff thought it was a good time to replace the old organ.
“We were working with a 60-year-old Allen organ, which was on its last legs,” said Lynda Krens, a parishioner at St. Luke’s, and who volunteered to help play for us. “It was probably on its last legs for the last 20 years.”
This “new” organ was built in 1985 by Parsons Pipe Organ Builders in Penfield. It’s the second organ they built from scratch and it’s called Opus II. The organ was originally built for a church in Houston that closed. Parsons bought the organ back. It stayed there until an anonymous benefactor bought it and gave it to the church.
“First my mind went blank, and then you go ‘Oh my goodness …’ This is more than we could have dreamed of,” said Virginia Campbell, a parishioner at St. Luke’s.
Parsons measured the space, tested the acoustics, and found that the cozy fit was perfect.
“They were installing this, and putting this together, we came in and we saw all the pieces, more than 600 pipes here,” said Campbell. “It was laying out over the sanctuary, and bit by bit, and piece by piece, it came together. And then when they sat and tuned it, and actually played it — it was a very special moment.”
While we were filming, another organist named Jean Brooks stopped by, and fell in love with it.
“Oh I’m thrilled with it, I’m absolutely thrilled. I’ve substituted on different Sundays with the old organ, and I never complained, but this is lovely, it’s just marvelous,” said Brooks. “The touch, the tone, the ease, and the convenience of it [is amazing].”
Krens is a life-long musician and thinks the sound of the organ will help everyone congregation find their own peace.
“Music is sung prayer. When we have music that is, beautiful music, by an instrument like this — it takes you to a different place,” Krens said.
It may have come in pieces, but it will help this congregation stay whole. At least until the church turns 200 in 2038.