Salmen Residence Organ, Wessington Springs, SD

Salmen Residence Organ 2008

Thank you for joining with us in the celebration of the re-opening of the music room and completed pipe organ. We apologize that we had to close the room to public performances following the July 4, 2007 concerts. In the fall of 2006 our home suffered damage in a freak hailstorm. While inspecting the damage to the roof, we discovered structural issues with the Enercept roof panels of the music room. The panels were not built with enough structural integrity and had deflected nearly 4” in the span of 24’. We decided that the most expedient house organ console.JPG manner to correct this flaw, and to insure that no future movement occurred, was with the installation of a system with beams and purlins. This required that a portion of the organ be removed and the remainder adequately protected from dirt as the construction took place. While the organ was in disarray, we took the opportunity to rebuild the instrument and to add the remaining pipe voices.

The organ has been a work-in-progress since we moved into this home in 1992. The house was David’s grandparents and was moved to this Jerauld County location in about 1940 after his grandparents had suffered the loss of two farms in the Underwood area during the depression era. The organ is the largest in South Dakota having 62 ranks and well over 3,000 pipes ranging from 32’ in speaking length to those that are smaller in diameter than a pencil having a speaking length of only about 1/2”. Much of the organ has been salvaged from other instruments. Mechanically, the organ’s windchests are primarily from Reuter and Moller organs and are of the electro-pneumatic pitman style. Pipe work ranges from sets that were built as early as the 1880s to a few sets that were built new for the instrument you hear today. Of special significance and interest are pipes in the Solo division. Many of these romantic and orchestral voices were built in the 1920s by the legendary organ builder E.M. Skinner, with the Orchestral Clarinet by Kimball.

The casework, with its non-functioning gold façade pipes was built in 1926 for the St. Paul Seminary Chapel, St. Paul, MN. When this casework became available, it was purchased and the dimensions of the music room designed to best accommodate this historic piece of furniture.

The wind for the pipe organ is produced by a 5-hp blower which is located in the basement. The organ operates on wind pressures ranging from three water-column inches to a maximum of 9 ½ inches. Wind is regulated by a series of “fireplace” styled bellows located throughout the instrument. Various wind pressures are achieved by adding weights and springs to the bellows.

house organ.jpg

The organ console, originally built in 1959, was rebuilt this winter and features the latest in solid state, microprocessor based memory and switching. It is conn

ected to the pipe organ with a single fiber optic cable. The organ now has 256 independent memory levels available along with record/playback of the actual pipes and a transposer. The control system of the organ is operated on 12-volt DC supplied by two, 75-amp rectifiers.

Following the renovation of the music room, cleaning, rebuilding of the console and the addition of the final sets of pipes, the organ had to be tonally regulated to best fit the room acoustically and for proper balance and blend. Dan Abrahamson, Lawrence, KS worked with David in this painstaking process in which each of the organ’s pipes was again taught to speak! A two-day tuning session followed the voicing.

Working with David on the organ have been technicians: Stephen Barnhart, St. Louis Park, MN; Doug McCord, Shawnee, KS; Roger Banks, Edmond, OK; Kris Harris, Denver, CO; Bill and Barb Harris, Cheyenne, WY; Martin Larsen, Hurley, SD; and Dan Abrahamson, Lawrence, KS.

Please join us on July 4 when John and Marianne Weaver will perform a Patriotic Spectacular!

Audio Samples

Bolcom, Jesus Loves Me, Chris Lane

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Karg Elert, Now Thank We All, David Salmen

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pdficon_small.gif 2008 Salmen home organ Specification

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