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Well-built pipe organs were designed to be restored, and with periodic restoration, to last for many generations. Because the structural aspects of the instrument are relatively stable, pipe organs hold their value and even appreciate over a long period of time. Restoration is usually appropriate for historically important and well-built organs. Over time, materials used in the organ deteriorate and need replacement or refurbishing to continue working properly. Since the cost of purchasing a new organ is prohibitive for many churches, restoration and renovation are often the best choices. Sometimes it also makes sense to technologically update an organ during the process of general restoration. When working on historic instruments we follow the Organ Historical Society Guidelines for Conservation and Restoration.
Renovation, also know as rebuilding, uses components of an existing organ in conjunction with new components. If a pipe organ has some redeeming attributes but also some deficiencies, then renovation is the best choice. We use up-to-date yet reliable, solid state and digital technology, and the industries most-perfected wind chests and other components. Voicing techniques are either historically grounded in the style of the organ being worked on, or based on modern voicing style innovations and techniques. After all, the organ tradition continues, and we believe the ‘renaissance’ currently taking place in the great concert halls and churches of our nation, will go down in history as one of the most inspired periods in organ building.
As the most complicated of all instruments, the organ incorporates so many different facets of technology and artistry. To properly excel at all aspects and achieve the highest quality results, we employ a network of specialists. These artisans each have years of experience and a proven track record in their given area (i.e. woodworking, re-leathering, reed voicing, etc.). This system also helps us provide services at less cost to our clients, because specialists work more efficiently and with fewer errors from inexperience. This new collaborative and cooperative method of working has become the norm for many prestigious companies who build new pipe organs. They can achieve superior results by not trying to do everything ‘in house’. The magnificent Walt Disney Concert Hall organ, arguably the most important organ of our time, is an example of collaborative organ building. Because we use this same innovative and cost effective way of collaborating to complete projects, we accomplish work of exceptional quality and reliability. We’ve built trusted relationships with the industries finest artisans who possess the specialized knowledge and equipment to perform specific manufacturing or refurbishing tasks required to create such a multi-faceted musical instrument.
Of course, there are some projects, or elements of a project, that must to be done ‘in house’. We have two fully equipped shop locations, with all the tools, materials and parts necessary to perform any restoration, renovation, voicing, or repair work as required by the situation.
It takes an extremely comprehensive knowledge of the organ, clear artistic vision, and grounded business skills to properly plan and carry out a project which results in a finished, successful musical instrument. Daniel Lemieux, President of Lemieux & Associates Pipe Organ Company, Ltd., is able to bring teams together and maintain a complete vision of the project and ultimate accountability.
"Dan is a true professional of his craft; Prompt, flexible, courteous; very knowledgeable about what is available and how to get the best results with each instrument." Vella Melzer, Organist, St. Cyril’s Catholic Church, Binghamton, NY