An original installation.
This congregation was known as Main Street Church of Christ prior to 1968.
"...A piano was used until the present organ was purchased December 7, 1931, at the cost of $2940..." ("A Venture in Faith...", page 43).
"The Main Street Church of Christ is installing a pipe organ, which the church recently purchased in Richmond. The organ was bought through the Starr Piano Company of Richmond but it was made in Warsaw, N.Y. It has all the parts usually found in a first class pipe organ." (Winchester Journal-Herald, Dec. 10, 1931, page 1).
"The pipe organ, which was recently installed in the Main Street Church of Christ, is now nearing completion as the grill work is practically finished, and within a few days the painting and decorating will be finished. It is hoped that this organ, which is the largest in Winchester, will be finished for the annual Easter musical program." (Winchester Journal-Herald, March 24, 1932, page 1).
"Church of Christ New Pipe Organ Recital. The services at Main Street Church of Christ last Sunday evening were a departure from the usual order, the principal feature being a concert introducing to the public the new church organ....Donald C. Gilley, director of music and teacher of organ in Earlham College [Richmond, IN], gave a fine program to a large and appreciative audience....[The selections] ranged from the crashing thunders of Cesar Frank's 'Piece Heroique', to the poetic, 'Spring Song' by Hollins. There were also a group of Handel, the lovely 'A Rose Bursts Into Bloom' by Brahms, and a brilliant 'Toccata' from the French composer, Widor, the last named making a tremendous climax....For this concert, the congregation owes its thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Fred Gennett from whom the organ was bought, and who tendered this program to the church as a courtesy which set the seal of goodwill upon the sale." (Winchester Journal-Herald, May, 5, 1932, page 1).
This instrument was removed by M.P. Moller pipe organ company in 1969 when they installed Opus 10670. Some pipes may have been reused, although the Moller contract does not specify. The decorative chamber grill remained when the Moller organ was installed.
Special notes #1: The Starr Piano Company of Richmond, Indiana, was a leading producer of pianos in the late 1800's & early 1900's; whose instruments are well sought after today. The fact the company helped the church purchase a pipe organ is a rarity as they never produced or were involved with organs. However, in the early 1900's the Gennett family took over the business. One of the Gennett brothers was Fred Gennett, mentioned in the news article above. In addition to pianos, they began to produce phonographs and in 1917 the company formed its own recording studio under the name of Gennett Records. Many of the early jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and other famous musicians were recorded in the Gennett studios. The musical connections Fred Gennett made with these artist may have been responsible for the selection of the Marr & Colton organ company.
Special notes #2: This instrument would have been among the last organs built by the Marr & Colton company and possibly the last church organ by them. John Colton left the company in 1932 and the operations ceased in the fall of 1932. The Marr & Colton company built mainly theater organs and this may account for the design of the chamber grill decoration.
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