Playing on the Aeolian-Skinner

Feb 18, 2013
Photo courtesy of PPC

Photo courtesy of PPC

They have been called “beasts.” They can be bought sometimes for as little as $20,000, only to have to be moved, restored, and installed, jacking the price up several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

These “complicated machines” are Aeolian-Skinner organs.

For one such organ being moved from Houston to Atlanta, it took a 54-foot flatbed to carry it. To restore and install it too 20,000 feet of electrical wire and the reconditioning of thousands of parts; 1,604 handmade pipes, 1,900 leather bits and “bellows,” 700 moving keys, knobs and pedals, which were washed, stripped and restored. The work took four men 7,000 hours, over seven months. (Luke Quinton,


Incredibly, wonderfully, and thankfully (for the listening public), Pasadena Presbyterian Church has an Aeolian-Skinner organ with 6,366 pipes with names like Waldflöte, Prestant, and Flautino for the “floating, expressive pipes,” or Cor de Nuit, Cymbel, and Sesquialtera for the “Swell, Manual III, expressive pipes.” The organ also has 256 levels of memory, toe studs, coupler pistons and “divisionals” for Great, Swell, Solo, Choir, Echo, and Pedal.

From PCC’s website, learn that the organ was constructed for PPC’s 1908 sanctuary, the console was installed in 1947, and that the organ was restored and completed in 2003. The organ was originally purchased by Pasadena resident Della O. Martin who had attended the church as a child.

This Saturday, February 23rd, PPC’s Friends of Music presents organist Meaghan King. She will be playing a varied program:

Meaghan_KingMessianen: Dieu Parmi Nous
Franck: “Pastorale,” Op. 19
J.S. Bach: Fugue in E-flat Major, BWV 552b
Haydn: three selection from “The Musical Clocks”
Widor: Symphonie No. VII, Op. 42, No. 3 (three movements)

Friends of Music Concert with Meaghan King
Saturday, February 23rd, 7:30 p.m.
Concert is free to the public; voluntary offering
Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena 91101 or call 626.793.2191



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