I saw my first pipe organ at age 13 and was forever hooked. Half way through college Bill Baker and I had 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.
We started in 1968. In those days, piano work made up a good part of things. Thanks to some quality advertising and a great staff our piano business alone grew to cover the care of nearly a thousand instruments. By 1984 both pipe organ and piano departments were large enough to let us split the businesses. The piano techs took all the 88 note work and I stayed back with a few good organ technicians to focus on building a national reputation for quality pipe organ services. We never represented any specific builder and that 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 (thank you Craig Ferguson and Joe Dzeda).
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 techs who thrive on perfection, be it in their shop or field work. There are about 15 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. Beholding them brainstorming to create exciting new repair-routes for present or future commissions 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. As this web site suggests, some of it’s high end or at least very challenging. Small or large, we love them all.
We also love to 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.