Organ repairs resume; will continue through September

A multi-year organ restoration project of the Newton Highlands Congregational Church (NHCC) organ resumed in August 2023, providing hope for an enhanced musical future.

Because of missing parts, organ repairs begun in 2018 have lagged. “Work was interrupted by COVID in March 2020, and further slowed by supply chain issues and retirements,” stated NHCC choir member, historian, and treasurer Jim Harper.

According to NHCC organist Yevgenia Semeina, about one-third to one-half the historic pipe organ has not been working fully. Worshippers have been spared the pain of noticing the gaps thanks to Ms. Semeina’s great artistry.

The inner workings of the organ are located on both sides of the chancel, behind the visible pipes behind the choir loft, and over the church office. The repair work is being done by Andover Organ Company, a company that repairs, restores, and builds organs.

According to Andover’s Craig Seaman, “We will probably be working on the organ for a few more weeks, and have scheduled tonal finishing for the last two weeks of September. We very likely will be working in the church every day next week.”

Tonal finishing is the final step in an organ project. During the process, each pipe is adjusted to optimize its sound in the space.

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