ABOUT THE ORGAN
It had been Mohawk Chapter member Gus Pratt's dying wish that his home pipe organ "would benefit young people", and so I( NYTOS) got Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park, NY involved. It has been a very positive experience in that the school is excited about an organ program. Unfortunately economics caused the school to radically alter its building construction plans repeatedly, with no clear vision now for the next 5 years. It would mean that the organ might have to be pulled out for construction/renovation several times - not good for any pipe organ.
Three generous donors were willing to add to NYTOS' funds, which caused us to rethink the project. It was decided that the dual capability of an Allen 324 Quantum ( 21 ranks Theatre,23 ranks classical Skinner) would serve the school better for both its Theater and Music programs. Therefore, to keep the program alive and show immediate results, Gus' pipe organ (a collection of several instruments and not wholly successful, plus parts we acquired to make it more complete) was liquidated. The added fact that Gus had worked for Allen Organs reinforced the soundness of that decision.
The new Allen organ was delivered in January 2010, and the installation will be complete by mid-March. The school is busily installing the sound system supports, and a retired Arts Teacher - Greg Semenchuk - is designing and building the grille work. The installation will be classic theater with "chambers" on house-left and house-right. Ultimately the sound system will have have a total of 20 Speaker cabinets driven by eight channels of audio.
A storage room is planned for safekeeping of the console, which will double as a sound proof lesson/practice room with headphone capability. While a grand dedication of the "Gus Pratt Memorial Organ" is part of the plan, the organ will already be heard (if all proceeds on schedule) for play-in/out at the High School Spring Musical. See for details. We truly believe that Gus Pratt is smiling because this is more organ than he could ever have hoped to present to a younger generation.