NEW ORLEANS AREA PIPE ORGANS AND THEIR HISTORIES

A service of the Steeple Chasers at www.neworleanschurches.com
and the New Orleans Chapter of the Organ Historical Society

MANUFACTURER: ERBEN (Henry)
OPUS NUMBER:  
YEAR BUILT: 1857 (Believed to be the oldest existing pipe organ in Louisiana)
   
ORIGINAL LOCATION:

Records indicate organ was shipped down river from St.Louis, MO.

   
RELOCATION 1: St. Michael the Archangel R.C.Church in Convent , LA
   
RELOCATION 2:  
   
RELOCATION 3:  
   
FINAL DISPOSITION: Organ is still operational. Completely restored by Roy Redman in 2005. It is thought to be the oldest organ in LA. OHS citation issued.
   
A PICTURE OF THIS ORGAN EXISTS IN OUR FILES:
(Click highlighted "YES" to view.
YES
   
NOTES SUPPLIED BY OTHERS:

Note from Rachelen Lien of OHS:

Louisiana’s Oldest Extant Pipe Organ Returns

The new year began with much joy and excitement when the Erben organ of 1857 was brought back to St. Michael’s Church in Convent, LA.completely restored by the Redman Organ Company of Fort Worth. The organ is no stranger to the New Orleans OHS chapter. It was first visited by OHS members Sidney Boner and Rachelen Lien in 1978. At that time the organ was unplayable and had not been in use for many years. Many trips back to Convent were made in the years that followed to encourage interest in having it restored. Because we considered the organ to be of great historical significance, the organ (still unplayable) was visited at the thirty-fourth annual convention of the OHS in 1989. A few years later, under the direction of then Society president, Roy Redman, members of the New Orleans OHS chapter gave many hours to make the organ playable. In spite of our efforts the organ was still badly in need of a restoration. It was also featured at our chapter sponsored New Orleans Organ Odyssey in 2002.


Since the organ holds the double distinction of being the only Henry Erben organ built for a Louisiana church still in its original location, as well as the oldest playable organ in the state, Rachelen Lien, then President of the New Orleans Chapter and OHS Archivist, Stephen Pinel, presented an Historic Organ Citation of the Society to the then current pastor, the Rev. Mariano J. Rizzuto on Feb. 5, 1997. It is important to remember that the late Dan Baudier, one of our most valuable members worked very hard behind the scenes to support and encourage the care and preservation of this organ. About a year ago the Rev. Frank Uter became the new pastor at St. Michael’s church. Formerly on the staff at the co-cathedral in Baton Rouge, Father Frank was fully aware and enthusiastic about the importance of this organ to the church. He began a fund raising campaign for renovation of the church including the organ and signed a contract with the Redman Organ Company for its restoration. All of our efforts were finally rewarded! Patience is indeed a virtue. It only took almost thirty years!

Fast forward to January of 2006. Many of our members were on hand to greet the arrival of the organ. Assisting Roy with the installation were Wes Miller of the Redman Organ Co., Norman and Roger Maunz, our chapter president,John DeMajo, Jimmy and Glenn McLellan, and Earl and Naomi Markey, Coming later in the week Rachelen Lien and Janet McLellan provided music to celebrate the event. Many members of the parish wandered in and out during the installation to look and listen and were very excited about the beauty of the organ.


   
SPECIFICATION: 1 Manual, 7 ranks
   
OTHER INFO: Hand pumped originally. Electrified in 1930's. Hand pump was restored 2005.
   

This page is a service of www.neworleanschurches.com
and the New Orleans Chapter of the Organ Historical Society