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Organ welcomed back to congregation

April 15, 2002|BY STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Members of the Presbyterian Church of the Upper West Conococheague celebrated the preservation of a piece of the church's past Sunday with the rededication of its organ.

The 1959 Tellers organ was out of commission for six weeks while the Lawless-Johnson Organ Co. of Greencastle, Pa., repaired and refurbished it, said church organist Anna Belle Meyers.

"We've preserved the past, present and future," Meyers said.

Members of the West Seminary Street church celebrated the organ's repair during a service Sunday afternoon, which featured music played by Meyers and several other local organists.

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The church's 103 members held spaghetti dinners, bazaars and sold birdhouses to raise the $42,000 for the work, she said.

The Lawless-Johnson Organ Co. removed the entire console from the church to do the work.

"The console gets the most wear, and it absolutely needed to be repaired," Meyers said.

Repairs have updated the system, giving it more playing possibilities, she said.

The organ was added during renovations to the church in 1959. It replaced the original organ installed in 1902, Meyers said.

Some of the organ's pipes date back to 1903, Meyers said.

"It was to our advantage to have it repaired and refurbished for the future," she said. "It's a wonderful organ. It's served us well for 40 years."

Plans for the repair and refurbishment began in early 2000.

The work included the installation of new solid state combination action with eight memories, new chamber relays and a complete retuning of the regulation of the pipes.

Sunday's service included the music of guest organist Mary Huff, who is on the music and history faculty at Mercersburg Academy; Kim Duffield Delaney, church organist from 1979 to 1983; and John Johnson, organ builder and a partner in Lawless-Johnson Organ Co.

Meyers played hymns during the service, which was led by Pastor Michael K. Miller.

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