Plymouth-Trinity's Casavant organ was rebuilt in 1987. The following article appeared in the January 30, 1987 edition of The Record newspaper:
By Laurel Sherrer
SHERBROOKE--For organist Pam Eby, playing hymns at Plymouth-Trinity Church has been a bit of a struggle in the past few months.
The pipe organ, installed in 1907, has been undergoing a major restoration job since September, and Eby has had to accompany liturgical music on the piano—something she finds very unsatisfying.
"I'm very unhappy playing the piano," she says. "You can try to lead (the congregation) but you can't. It doesn't have the sustaining power of the organ."
It won't be long, though, until Eby and the whole Plymouth-Trinity congregation will be hearing the organ resounding through the church again. And it will probably sound better than it ever did.
A $67,000 restoration job is in its final stages now, and an inaugural concert should be taking place in April.
The church has enlisted the services of Guilbault and Therien, a firm that makes, repairs and restores pipe organs. The craftsman started dismantling the organ in September, and since then they have cleaned and voiced "a couple of thousand" pipes, according to Guy Therien of the company.
Therien says what his company is doing to the organ is "giving back its true organ sound". The instrument, he says, was built at a time when the emphasis was on a sturdy, long-lasting product, rather than a well-crafted instrument.
"They were building mass-produced instruments without taking into account craftsmanship and the artistic aspect," he says. "They were not taking into account the sound of the organ, really."
The organ has served the church well up until recently. But over the past 10 years or so, its use has become more and more limited as, one by one, whole ranks of pipes would become unplayable.
"The organ was at its last stage of reliability," says Therien. "The action was not reliable so we decided to have the organ completely rebuilt and tonally revised."
In taking apart the organ, the restorers found some of the wooden pipes were cracked, metal ones had been pinched instead of properly tuned, and repairs had been made with masking tape.
As well as working on the pipes to make them sound better, Guilbault and Therien have installed an electronic system for activating the pipes. With the old mechanical system, there was a delay between the pressing of a key and the emission of a sound.
Eby tried the organ recently, although the restoration job is not quite complete. She says is has a completely different sound now. "It's super," she exclaimed. "It's a nice sound."
When the organ is fully restored, says Eby, it will likely be used for more than just church services. The inaugural concert will feature the renowned Jean LeBuis, an organist from Val d'Or. A concert series has already begun, featuring organ, chamber ensemble and choir recitals, all inspired by the restoration of the organ.
The fund-raising efforts for the projects are continuing, says Plymouth-Trinity minister Martyn Sadler. So far, about $50,000 of the $67,000 needed has been raised. Sadler says he's been surprised by the people's willingness to donate to the cause.
"People were willing to give to this project because it's a concrete thing," he says. "This remains and there's a permanence to it."
Even the people outside the congregation gave significant amounts to the project, he said.
(The Record, January 30, 1987.)
4th in Lent
Worship Leader: Tracey Badger
Details on a French-language event of interest to all!:
Dans le cadre du Programme Exploration de la foi et du leadership au sein de l’Église Unie du Canada, du 22 au 24 mars, 2019 :
Cette retraite sur une fin de semaine à la Villa Saint-Martin, au bord de la jolie Rivière-des-Prairies près de Montréal, offre un temps de ressourcement personnel ainsi que des expériences et des échanges en groupe sur la vie spirituelle.
Nous explorerons ensemble différentes pratiques chrétiennes:
• dialogues avec les textes bibliques
• prières gestuelles
• chants méditatifs, mantra
• rites et symboles
Ce module fait partie du programme de préparation pour les célébrants et les célébrantes laïques, tout en étant ouvert à d’autres personnes intéressées.
Angelika Piché, pasteure et directrice de la formation en français, au firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates et lieu de rencontre : du vendredi 22 mars à 19h au dimanche 24 mars à 13h
Frais de participation : 225 $ par personne (incluant les frais d’hébergement et les repas); 165 $ par personne si vous êtes inscrits au programme complet
Inscription : Veuillez vous inscrire auprès de Caroline Leamon à : email@example.com , 514-849-2042, poste 200 avant le 12 mars; les places sont limitées.
The next Youth Forum has been scheduled for April 12 to 14 in Magog.
For more info, talk to Shanna Bernier. Or check us out on Facebook!
In his Lenten message, United Church of Canada Moderator Richard Bott reminds us that this season is a time to think, deeply, about our relationship with God.
He asks us each to consider meeting with another disciple of Jesus, and exploring the question, “How is it with your soul?” You can find the video message on our YouTube channel.
The General Council Nominations Committee has launched a call for nominations for several vacancies.
People across the church are invited to express their interest, or nominate others who have the gifts to serve well in these leadership roles. The Nominations Committee welcomes hearing from anyone, and particularly encourages those from groups which have been traditionally marginalized in our church, including (but not limited to) youth and young adults, Indigenous and racialized members, those active in francophone ministry, and people who identify as disabled.
You can find United Church job and volunteer opportunities here. Check back regularly!
Join us at Plymouth-Trinity for a family-friendly worship experience. We have a children's corner in the sanctuary with craft supplies and helpful volunteers. Some Sundays there is also a 30-minute children's programme during worship-time for kids of all ages.