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"I love every pipe"

A series of comments, reports, and reflections on the Restoration and Renewal Program at The Mother Church

From the September 2000 issue of The Christian Science Journal

"The first time I heard the organ in the Extension of The Mother Church was at Annual Meeting in 1981," commented Ed Starner, current Mother Church organist. "I was awestruck by its magnificence and beauty. Although my musical career included organ performance and church music, I had left music for a business career. As I sat listening to The Mother Church organ in 1981, I wondered what it would be like to play such an organ on a regular basis.

"In fact, that initial experience was the catalyst for my continuing to practice the organ daily, even while my full-time career at the time was in banking. I thought I should be ready if an opportunity presented itself to me. In 1993, at my audition, I was asked what I thought of the organ. I responded that I love every pipe."

The truthfulness of that statement is apparent as Ed leans forward and his face lights up with enthusiasm. Almost immediately after Ed started as organist of The Mother Church, renovation work on the organ began, and various pipes and chests were being removed continually, so that Ed did not have the whole organ at his disposal until December 1999. Actually, from February 1998 until January 2000, church services were held in the Original Edifice while the entire organ in the Extension was shut down for extensive renovation work. All eight divisions were releathered, and all pipes were removed, cleaned, and recollared.