Opus 62, the pipe organ built for Ascension Church in Ipswich by C.B. Fisk.

On last week’s Historic Ipswich walking tour I met Rick Isaacs and Dana Sigall, a couple of Ipswich craftsmen who are intricately involved in the process of building traditional pipe organs at the Gloucester company C.B. Fisk. Each new organ is assigned a number. Opus 62 at the Ascension Memorial Church in Ipswich was built in 1973 and is a ground-breaking two-manual and pedal instrument with twenty-three stops and twenty-eight ranks. It continues to have great appeal to renowned organists.

Here’s a fascinating video from C.B. Fisk that follows the entire process of building a traditional pipe organ.

And here’s Rick describing how it all works!

5 thoughts on “Building a pipe organ

  1. Gordon, many thanks – nice article! My partner Nami, an organist and organbuilder at Fisk loves playing the Ascension Church organ! I hope to see you on 28th June!

  2. interesting story! back in 1963 the old North Church in Ipswich (Congregational – 1st Church in Ipswich) was hit by lightening and (while hundreds of people surrounded the streets around the church and watched) it slowly burned beyond salvage. (you can go into archives and look this up) As the church burned, and disregarding the fire-chief’s warnings, dozens of men from the church made trips in & out of the church salvaging books & papers hundreds of years old, – AND  disassembled the huge pipe organ inside. This organ was later assembled in the newly rebuilt church, and is still there to see. My dad, Alan MacMillan, was one of those men. My brother, Alan MacMillan, Jr., has lots of information and slides of that fire. (he’s in Rockport, MA – I’m out in Chicago-land) there are many people passionate about pipe organs! Julie Kline

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