I saw my first pipe organ at age 13 and was forever hooked. A few short years later, my business partner Bill Baker and I started FBI. Business was generally brisk. There were times when it wasn’t, but we were so dedicated to its survival that even when we weren’t looking, it grew.
Foley-Baker, Inc. never represented or specialized in any specific builder, which gave us the independence to become exposed to most every type of pipe organ built. Nearly every make of electric and tracker action instrument became daily routine.
Field repair and tuning was my specialty and I’ve always sought out and hired others with interest and ability in good field work. All this detail to average service calls paid off and in time our teams became noticed for their dedication and attention to detail. With that came the chance to tackle some large instruments, starting with Skinner Opus 277 in Stamford, CT.
Over the years, we’ve attracted better and better technicians and have now honed the staff to what I consider to be one of the greatest groups that have ever made up the firm. We have a core of specialists that include a fabulously organized head of field operations, a wonderfully talented shop foreman, a voicer who’s the best I’ve ever worked with in forty years, and a head of field service that looks forward to tackling, and fixing any kind of organ out there… no matter how dirty, poorly lit or inaccessible.
This is all backed up by another core of dedicated technicians who thrive on perfection, be it in their shop or field work. There are 15 of us, and most have been with us for years. We meet every Monday morning to solve the world’s problems (or at least those of various instruments). It’s then that the value of all their cumulative experience surfaces. Seeing them brainstorming to create exciting new repair-routes for various instruments is humbling. I honestly believe it’s because we’re all so much on the same page that the overall flavor of the firm has attracted so much work, much of it very challenging. Small or large, we love every organ.
We also love to just talk about pipe organs. Please feel free to call or e-mail at any time. No matter where you are, we genuinely hope to hear from you.