Organs of Oberlin, published in 2013 by Chauncey Park Press of Oak Park, Illinois, is one of several books by Stephen Schnurr. The 160-page book, hard-bound with color dust jacket, chronicles the history of the pipe organ at Oberlin College, the Conservatory of Music, and in the churches and residences of the town of Oberlin, Ohio.
From the 1854 Alvinza Andrews organ in the First Congregational Church to several organs recently moved to the campus but not yet installed, this book is the most comprehensive study made of the organs of this community dedicated to inspiring and educating many of the world's finest musicians.
At one time, Oberlin boasted the largest organ department in the world, and still maintains one of the largest organ studios in the United States. As noted by Professor James David Christie, not many cities in the world with a population of 8,300 persons can boast nearly three-dozen pipe organs. Four of these are world-class concert organs crafted by the firms of Flentrop, Brombaugh, Fisk, and Bozeman-Gibson.
The story of the organ at Oberlin has evolved over generations, including contributions by builders such as Aeolian-Skinner, Austin, Estey, Holtkamp, Moller, Roosevelt, Skinner, and even a fabled Casavant organ that was never built. The panorama of the organ at Oberlin will continue, as the Conservatory has recently acquired organs including one built in 1840 by Thomas Appleton, an organ which predates any other organ which has graced the town.
Professor James David Christie has written the Foreword to the book. Beautiful photographs by William T. Van Pelt, Trevor Dodd, Halbert Gober, and Stephen Schnurr are balanced with archival images gathered from many sources, including the Oberlin College Archives.
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