From Joseph Dzeda of the Thompson-Allen Organ Co.,
curators of the organs at Yale University.
Nick has shown me your correspondence about the success of the Milton restoration you carried out for Trinity Church’s historic Hall organ.
After having looked after this instrument since it’s rededication, and having kept in touch with the client’s representative, I can say that I consider the work you did on the organ to have been a complete success.
The ancient pipework, nearing 200 years old, and the beautiful chassis and case of the organ have survived admirably, in my opinion. I recall my previous encounters with the organ in its pre-restored state (or, more accurately, in its state following some unsuccessful restoration work by others). There is no comparison, of course. In times past the pipework of the organ was in very poor condition and the chassis was not reliable. This is in sharp contrast to the organ’s present condition following your work on it.
The winter of 2014-15 was one of the worst I can recall, and most of the organs we care for complained mightily about the cold, dry weather and the extremely dry indoor conditions in which they were expected to work. Even instruments that have given little or no trouble in past winters were in trouble.
The Milton organ, while we did have to make one special visit to regulate the action for the super-dry conditions, came through very well in my opinion. The organ could be played every Sunday, and when we made the special visit to regulate the action, was remarkably in tune. The global adjustments you provided made the necessary regulation relatively easy, and after a few minutes with the organ, it was fully playable once more.
Furthermore, having deleted the retrofitted expression box and pedal clavier, the organ is much easier to service. We have been able to tune the organ to its unequal-temperament much easier than in years past by removing the front ornamental “pipes,” and it is now a pleasure to service this organ.
I am grateful that Trinity Church decided to have you restore this venerable organ, and I believe the work you did was sensitive, thorough and even affectionate in nature. You have transformed what had been, in recent years, a cranky old organ into a beautifully-restored artifact from America’s past.
A. Thompson-Allen Co., LLC