possibilities or difficult life-and-death decisions? The Human
Genome Project may ultimately mean both.
Oberlin Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian
Studies placed its first intern last summer. Read this firsthand
account of his experiences in Moscow.
new organ takes shape in Finney Chapel. Profile 6 Economist
Gregory Hess and his student research assistant ponder the
relationship between war, economics, and the election cycle.
at Oberlin? Most definitely. A three-hour marathon of student
film shorts last May was just the tip of the growing celluloid
Ann Marie Gilbert inspires teamwork on and off the basketball
Oberlin Orchestra performed at the Getty Center, L.A. under
the direction of guest conductor John Williams.
facts you might be interested in.
Organ Grows in Finney
Installed Last August
by Anne C. Paine and Marci Janas '91 photos by Al Fuchs
than a year, the stage in Finney Chapel stood strangely empty. Now,
the gaping void has been filled by a new organ that promises to be
the capstone of Oberlin's impressive organ collection.
In June 1999, the organ that had for 85 years graced Finney's stage
was dismantled and shipped to the organ builder who will rebuild and
install it in its new home, a church in Fairfax, Virginia.
This made way for the Fisk Opus 116, a symphonic organ in the Romantic
tradition designed and built by C.B. Fisk that was installed in Finney
last August. Assembled almost in its entirety in the Fisk shop in
Gloucester, Massachusetts, the organ was then disassembled so that
no individual components were larger than the doorways through which
they'd have to pass. Pipes ranging in length from a few inches to
32 feet were individually wrapped and packed in wooden crates for
shipping to Oberlin.
A crew from Fisk spent most of August and September reassembling the
organ in Finney. Since then, pairs of Fisk voicers have been adjusting
the 3,951 pipes in a painstaking process that is expected to take
up to 10 months to complete.
"They do the voicing one pipe at a time," said David Boe, professor
of organ. "They have to establish the right level for the room, the
right timbre. Pipes can be quite willful. It's a matter of the voicers
listening to the room, listening to the pipes, and making many minor
adjustments. The pipes were shop-voiced, and that gives us an idea
of what the final sound will be. The sound so far is very promising."
Professor of Organ and Chair of the Division of Keyboard Studies Haskell
Thomson concurred. "The Opus 116 will be ideally suited for Romantic
and contemporary music," he said. "It is characterized by a virtual
rainbow of tone colors, with a dynamic range extending from the softest
flutes and strings to the most powerful foundations and reeds. It's
an instrument capable of making a crescendo from the most ethereal
pianissimo to a thundering fortissimo."
The organ's inaugural event is tentatively scheduled for September
28 and 29, 2001. Funding for the Opus 116 was made possible in large
part by the 1991 bequest of Kay Africa, a Fort Lauderdale philanthropist,
as well as by gifts from Karen Flint '64, the Phoebe W. Haas Foundation,
the William Penn Foundation, and the Kulas Foundation.