Orgelkids at St. Bede’s, Forest Grove

Orgelkids at St. Bede’s, Forest Grove

By Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Minister of Music and Organist
St. Bede’s, Forest Grove

On Tuesday, November 20th, the Parish Hall of St. Bede was filled with people of every age, discovering the amazing intricacies of a tracker pipe organ – not by looking at one or attending a lecture or reading about a tracker pipe organ – but by building an exquisite miniature playable pipe organ.

We took these parts – over 100 of them – and built a pipe organ.

Not one time – but three times that day!

Our first “build” was for and by adults. 22 adults from the Portland metro area, South Beach and Pacific City, Oregon and as far away as Salina, Kansas (sister-in-law of Tim Rake) joined David and me, my student helpers Xoe Chapman and Sarah Gheorghita, and St. Bede assistant Linda Jackson, to build the organ. Everyone was captivated and enthralled with the process and the sound of this amazing pipe organ.

Our second “build” was for and by children (kindergarten-6th grade). The Parish Hall became a lively exciting place for two hours in the early afternoon as 20 kids plus their adults once again built the organ. The kids loved answering the question, “Do we have a pipe organ yet?” When the bellows were finally installed, and the organ got its breath, the excitement reached a peak with every little one taking a turn to play the organ and then serve as the calcant (bellows pumper).

The late afternoon saw our third “build” with youth taking the lead and younger kids eagerly assisting – some for the second time. With this busy group the organ was built in record time. My student assistants, Xoe and Sarah, then shared some of their favorite pieces playing our sanctuary organ.

We did it! We built a pipe a two octave, fully functional and playable miniature pipe organ at St. Bede three times in one day.

For more information on bringing an OrgelKids USA organ building project to your church, click here to email Dr. Jeannine Jordan.

More photos from the day can be viewed at Promotion Music’s website.