COLLEGEVILLE -- St. John's Abbey will dedicate their new organ Saturday. The dedication had to wait a year because of COVID-19. Father Robert Koopmann, Professor of Music and Professor Emeritus, says the organ is an important academic asset.

It is a ministry for us that we spread good organ music and how to play it to the churches around, and for anywhere, anywhere in the world.

Students can earn a bachelor's or master's in organ, and their degree program includes playing the Abbey's organ, as well as many other organs around campus. Koopmann says the new organ will give them a chance to play an instrument that fills such a large space.

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The original organ of the Church was built in 1961, and this rebuild adds several more pipes, a new row of keys to the console, and updated electronics. Koopmann says the organ is central to the activities of the church.

Almost all of what we sing here is supported and enhanced by the organ, the colors of the organ.

Martin Pasi, the designer of the new organ was quoted in a St. John's publication as saying:

I was immediately intrigued by the Breuer architecture of the church building and its grand acoustics. The goal of this project was to add to the existing Holtkamp organ in order to match the large scale of the building with an appropriate amount of sound.

The new wood pipes and other woodwork was done by Abbey Woodworking. Pasi says they kept the original organ as is to preserve its historical importance. The dedication is Saturday night at 7 p.m.

St. John's Organ