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Columbus Symphony Will Perform at The University Of Dubuque's New Pipe Organ Dedication

The performance's repertoire will include music from Léon Boëllmann, Edward Elgar, Alexandre Guilmant, Camille Saint-Saëns, and William Grant Still.

Columbus Symphony Will Perform at The University Of Dubuque's New Pipe Organ Dedication

The University of Dubuque will dedicate its new custom-crafted pipe organ in the John and Alice Butler Hall of its Heritage Center on May 15 with a special performance by the Columbus Symphony and world-renowned concert organist Alan Morrison. Conducted by Columbus Symphony Music Director Rossen Milanov, the performance's repertoire will include music from Léon Boëllmann, Edward Elgar, Alexandre Guilmant, Camille Saint-Saëns, and William Grant Still. With more than 3,000 pipes, the new instrument will expand students' musical horizons and enhance campus events for generations to come.

The Columbus Symphony concert for the John and Alice Butler Pipe Organ Dedication will be at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 15, at Heritage Center, University of Dubuque (IA). A free livestream of the performance will be available on the Columbus Symphony's YouTube channel.

This will be the Columbus Symphony's third performance on the University of Dubuque campus, having performed at the 2013 grand opening of Heritage Center and with Chris Botti in 2017.

"The Columbus Symphony is thrilled and honored to return to the University of Dubuque to help dedicate the John and Alice Butler Pipe Organ at a special Heritage Center concert event," said Columbus Symphony Executive Director Denise Rehg. "Remarkable support from philanthropists Joseph and Linda Chlapaty makes this cultural experience possible. Because of Joe's strong connection to both his alma mater and to the Columbus Symphony, a longstanding and meaningful relationship has formed, connecting the two communities through the power of music."

"We are excited to celebrate the dedication of the John and Alice Butler Pipe Organ with the Columbus Symphony and organist Alan Morrison. The performance will not only bring joy to our lives at a time when joy is needed, but it will do so in a very special way to honor all that John and Alice have done and continue to do in support of the University's Mission," said University of Dubuque President Jeffrey F. Bullock. "We are fortunate to have an organ program and a gifted organist, and grateful to John and Alice Butler for their investment in the University and its students."

The John and Alice Butler Pipe Organ was designed for teaching, solo recitals, and performances with other musical ensembles. It will not only be utilized as a practice and recital instrument, but it will also accompany campus events including worship, convocations, baccalaureate, choir performances, and Christmas at Heritage Center.

Dobson Pipe Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa, built and installed the organ. It is the 97th new organ built by the firm and its 20th, and largest, in the state of Iowa.

Weighing 21 tons, the John and Alice Butler Pipe Organ has 3,033 pipes ranging from 32 feet in length to half the size of a pencil. Most of the pipes are installed behind the façade on the left side of Butler Hall, with the largest pedal pipes placed in the hall's acoustically coupled attic and to the right side of the stage. Though not visible, these bass pipes will be heard with clarity everywhere thanks to an acoustical design by Threshold Acoustics of Chicago.

The visible pipes are not just for show - they are functional. These speaking pipes are made of an alloy of 85% tin with the remainder being lead and some trace elements like copper and antimony to harden the metal. The remaining pipes are made of similar tin-lead alloys or wood.

Two blowers totaling 10 horsepower supply the organ with the pressurized air or wind needed to play the pipes. These blowers are placed in the basement for sound isolation, and the wind is carried to the organ through large insulated ducts.

The console is located below the visible pipes. It has three keyboards, or manuals, played by the hands and one keyboard, or pedalboard, played by the feet. These four keyboards control four major groups of pipes, also known as divisions. A specially engineered system of mechanical linkages called the action connects the keys to the valves under the pipes, giving the organist intimate control over how they play.

Because of their great size or remote location, some pipes are played using a special electrical control system designed to operate simultaneously with the mechanical action.


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