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Vinelander Donates Time, Expertise to Restoration of Church Organ

Richard Carroll of Vineland recently finished renovating the original Mason & Hamlin “Sankey” model pump organ at the Olde Bunker Hill Church in Olde Stone House Village in Washington Township.

He did the job at cost, donating his time and expertise.

A member of the Rowan University faculty of the College of the Performing Arts, Carroll specializes in servicing historic 18th and 19th century instruments. The solid walnut organ, made in the late 1890s, had been removed for repairs some years ago.

The Friends of the Olde Stone House Village, a non-profit dedicated to supporting the Olde Stone House Village, has lately been concentrating on a fundraising campaign on both Facebook and with direct marketing that provided the funds for the organ’s restoration.

Carroll currently plays bassoon and contrabassoon with the Bay Atlantic Symphony and has for the last 16 years served as organist/music director for the Grenloch Presbyterian Church. He also tunes and maintains harpsichords for the Curtis Institute and the Philadelphia Orchestra among other venues.

Mason & Hamlin organs were the world’s recognized leader in top-quality organs, using and at times inventing the best reed technology and construction methods until 1920. George and Cookie Kaizar secured this organ for the Historical Society of Washington Township in the mid 1980s. It was not playable but was bought to serve as church furniture when the Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church was moved to the Olde Stone House Village in about 1985. Carroll played it for the Magic of Christmas event on December 4 last year.