Thursday, May 1, 2014

Saying Goodbye to my Schantz Pipe Organ


Saying Goodbye.

My 1942 Schantz Pipe Organ, which I've restored, rebuilt, played, owned and loved since 1992 has been sold and is on it's way to Texas.  I will greatly miss the beautiful, sweet sound of that organ, and the reliability of it's mechanics.  It was a pleasure to play and listen to.  Just a couple years ago, Mormon Tabernacle Organist Clay Christiansen played it during a visit to our house.  He was impressed, remarking that "it is as versatile as an organ many, many times it's size!"


In 1992 I learned about the closing and sale of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Barberton, Ohio.  I remembered a nice little pipe organ that barely worked anymore, which I had played in that church for a wedding in 1988, four years earlier. 
After many inquiries and losing out and getting back in, I was eventually able to purchase the organ, a Schantz pipe organ, for $900.00.  A long-held dream of mine, to have a pipe organ at home, a "Hausorgel", was finally coming to fruition! 


I lived in Akron at the time in a small Cape Cod styled home.  There wasn't really room for a church pipe organ there, so I insulated, drywalled, and heated my garage.  I built a chamber for the pipes, chests, and reservoir, a sound-dampening enclosure for the Zephyr blower, and lights over the console to read music by.  Over time, I made several modifications and upgrades, including adding three ranks of pipes, reconfiguring the stoplists, and converting the original stop control system to a Peterson Electro Musical Products solid state multiplex switching system. 

Special Music.

The Schantz pipe organ gave me many, many years of enjoyment and was a source of happiness in my life and in the lives of many in the community.  A second installation in my father's building allowed us to host silent movies, such as the 1927 Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Cheney, and other silent movies starring Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Laurel & Hardy.  We had nearly 100 people packed in many times while we'd project the silent movie and I would provide accompaniment from the organ console, improvising a soundtrack for the movie. 


In 2012 I purchased a small Wicks pipe organ, called the Wicks Fuga De Luxe.  It's a four-rank pipe organ, contained in a beautiful cabinet.  I immediately knew it would "fit" in our home, and I wouldn't have to drive to a different location in another town to play my Schantz.  The difficult decision was made to sell the Schantz.  I am so happy that it is going back into church work, to lead congregations and choirs in praising the Heavenly Father in song.  Under the expert care of Paul Jernigan and Shawn Sanders of Pipe Organ Technicians of Houston, the Schantz will be so well taken care of and will be refitted to a new purpose.
It was my honor to know this organ so well, to share so much music with it, and to be able to learn on it, teach on it, and share it's power and beauty with countless friends, family, and audiences.
I've made a YouTube video of pictures of the organ and a soundtrack of me playing Brother James' Air on this organ, as set by Dale Wood.  You can find that video here: Brian Ebie's Schantz Pipe Organ YouTube
The Last Picture of Brian Ebie's Schantz Organ Assembled
Brian Ebie's Schantz Pipe Organ fully disassembled
Pipe trays just before loading Brian Ebie's Schantz Pipe Organ
Schantz Organ Packed and Ready to be loaded
The Crew