Beware the Organ Killer!

Ladder Buddies: (L-R) Pastor Angela Freeman, Sarah Roseberg and Pastor Jeff Lilley.

Ladder Buddies: (L-R) Pastor Angela Freeman, Parish Coordinator Sarah Roseberg and Pastor Jeff Lilley. Our maintenance guy, Gaylen, worked on straightening this out after this picture was posted on the church’s FaceBook wall.

On Monday morning, I needed to drop by LCH to pick up a Christmas carol book because Carl Crosier was going to be playing the piano for a school fundraiser. I ran into the guys from Aloha Roofing (who are replacing the roof this week) patiently waiting outside the building so I opened the gates. One of the men, John, asked if I could let him into the church so he could look at the ceiling, then casually asked if we had a maintenance man on staff. He said, “Oh, because he’s going to have to clean up a bit of dust when we take the tarpaper off the roof!”


The word hit me like a shot. I immediately texted Pastor Jeff Lilley and asked if the organ could be covered. Why? You’ll never guess that dust can be an Organ Killer! Here’s what I found on an FAQ page of Leek Pipe Organ Company:

Dust can be more damaging than one can imagine. An organ chamber should be kept clean of dust and debris. Since cleaning an organ chamber requires professional expertise it must be performed by a qualified organ technician. Dust usually accumulates on the casing, the floors, walk boards and wind chests. Dust may settle in the wind ways of the pipes impairing the speech. To a large extent dust is the leading cause of ciphers. The final result would be the congregation listening to the organ that is out of tune, one that ciphers and fails mechanically.

“After fire and earthquakes, the number one organ-killer is dust,” is what former Trinity Wall Street organist Owen Burdick said about the historic 1846 instrument in Trinity Church after September 11. You can read about the horrific effects of the dust, ash and smoke of the collapsing Twin Towers had upon the church’s organ by clicking here. According to an article in, the damaged organ was donated by Trinity Wall Street to Johns Creek United Methodist Church in Georgia.  “The soaring sounds of a pipe organ silenced when dust from the collapsing World Trade Center invaded its church sanctuary nearly a decade ago could soon fill a place of worship once again.”

Thank you, Jeff, Angela, Sarah and Gaylen, for taking time from your Monday morning to save LCH’s organ from Killer Dust!


About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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