PipeWorks Demonstration Organ

Normally stored at Westminster Presbyterian Church
Minneapolis, MN

Builder: Dobson Pipeorgan Builders, 2004
Manuals: 1
Ranks: 2
Action: Mechanical

PipeWorks—Twin Cities is a joint venture between Twin Cities American Guild of Organists (TCAGO) and Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC), Minneapolis started in 1998. Building on pilot materials from a similar Seattle program, PipeWorks—Twin Cities is a two-week education program primarily for young children in the public schools.

In 1998 TCAGO member and WPC elder Phil Asgian approached WPC Minister of Music and the Arts Melanie Ohnstad with the initial proposal and funds to create a joint venture between WPC and TCAGO. Bringing together the contributions of many volunteers, the first program of PipeWorks–Twin Cities was conducted Fall 2004 with the demonstration organ, affectionately known as "mini opus."

A major part of the PipeWorks—Twin Cities program was the construction of a demonstration organ. Made portable so it could be brought to schools, the instrument was designed to show major features of pipe organs. In addition to two ranks of pipes that run from the C below middle C to two octaves above middle C, there are ten sample pipes that represent the many different shapes organ pipes can take.

The demonstration organ was built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, incorporating pipes donated by the Schantz Organ Co. The pipes stand on a slider chest, whose sliders are moved by hand. When played, the keys open valves that can be seen through a plexiglass cover. The organ is made of American black cherry, and disassembles into two major components that fit through normal doors. The upper half incorporates the pipes, windchest and key action; the structural base includes the blower and windline. The joint between the two halves is just below the keyboard.

The ranks are 8' Gedeckt (wood) and 4' Principal (tapered). Pictured left to right are Lynn Dobson, Phil Asgian, Melanie Ohnstad.

The organ is housed at Westminster Presbyterian, Mpls. Since 2004 it has been used many times and has traveled to schools, churches and community centers, as well as at Pipe Organ Discovery Day.

--Information from John Panning of the Dobson Organ Builders.

--Information from the Organ Historical Society.

Last Update: 10/2012

Sample pipes, right to left:
Harmonic Flute (25% tin)
Hohl Flute (wood)
Principal (75% tin)
Gemshorn (50% tin)
Salicional (75% tin)
Chimney Flute (25% tin)
Gedackt (25% tin)
Trumpet (50% tin)
Oboe (zinc and 50% tin)
Clarinet (50% tin)
All sample pipes play 1' C and were donated by the Schantz Organ Co.