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NEWS STORIES

Sounds of Historic Organ Fill Antigo ChurchSubmitted: 04/29/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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ANTIGO - Probably no sound makes you think of a church or cathedral more than the music of a pipe organ.

And there's nowhere else in the Antigo area besides Faith United Church of Christ where you can hear that majestic sound.

"They're pretty much a dying breed. I don't know of anyone that has a pipe organ of this caliber in the area at all," says church historian Mary Griffin.

It didn't used to be that way.

The pipe organ was built at First Congregational Church - now called Faith United Church of Christ - in Antigo in 1915.

"It was one of three in the community that was put in at the same time, but this is the only one left. The other two have been torn down," Griffin says.

Four times a year, once in each season, the church hosts an organ concert.

The music fills the sanctuary.

"It's beautiful. There's no way to describe it. The music is awe-inspiring. If you close your eyes and just listen to the music, it's terrific," says Griffin.

There's a surprise.

Those beautiful gold pipes you see do absolutely nothing.

"What you see in front of you is just a façade," Griffin says.

In back, she shows us.

"This is the actual pipe, and they're all wood. Each of the pipes has what note it plays."

But you need to be careful around the originals.

"I do know that the original pipes are made of lead and zinc, so don't lick them," Griffin says.

The organ was built for $2,900 almost 98 years ago.

Now, it's insured for about a quarter-million.

"It is part of our church that gives everybody great pride," she says.

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