Northlanders Build Pipe Organ Masterpiece

By KBJR News 1

May 15, 2011 Updated May 25, 2011 at 3:01 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - One of the world's leading pipe organ builders is a Northlander but his latest creation is staying right here at home.

Dave Anderson lets us listen to a thirty foot tall music machine that will keep one Duluth congregation singing for centuries.

This brand new organ has 55 stops, 72 ranks, 3617 pipes and was built right here in Duluth.

Its new home is First Lutheran Church on London Road and it replaces a 60 year old instrument that was failing.

The organ was built by Duluthian Dan Jaeckel and his team of six artisans.

"Dan Jaeckal is a member of the congregation and his shop is five blocks down London Road from us and he presented us with a number of good plans."

Sunday was the organ's maiden voyage and it performed flawlessly through the hands of organist Michael Elsbernd.
Jaeckel's creation shined from it's pipes to its paint.

"The milk paint is made from ground up minerals and rock. It's something Scandinavians used for a long time."

Building the organ took a long time, too.
Nearly three year's labor went into the multi–step project from shop to church.

"Building the parts here first and putting them together here first, dismantling it and resetting it up in the church."

The finished masterpiece stands nearly thirty feet high.

Jaeckel feels it should work much longer than the one it replaced.

The life expectancy is over 200 years and the congregation of First Lutheran is pleased about that.

"There are organs in Europe that Bach played that are still being played so we like to think 300 years from now, the next generations will still be singing!"

Dan Jaeckel's shop has built about 75 organs over the last thirty years.

They're in demand all over the world.