Church Keyboard Center announces that President Nelson Dodge has joined the committee working with the Orange Catholic Foundation to raise $2 million for the restoration of the Hazel Wright Memorial Organ for the future Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, California.
Fundraising for the organ restoration was officially launched on May 18, 2013 at a benefit concert performed by Hector Olivera, with underwriting provided by Rodgers Instruments, Robert Tall & Associates, Ruth Charles of Charles Music, and Church Keyboard Center.
The Hazel Wright Organ is an internationally famous pipe organ inaugurated at the Philip Johnson-designed 2,700+ seat Crystal Cathedral in May, 1982. With nearly 16,000 pipes, it is the largest European-built organ in America and one of the largest organs in the world. It has been featured on the internationally televised Hour of Power, making it one of the most recognizable organs in the world.
The Hazel Wright Memorial Organ was built by Fratelli Ruffatti of Padua, Italy. The organ is a combination of a 1977 Ruffatti organ installed in the Arboretum on the campus of the future Crystal Cathedral and a 1962 Aeolian-Skinner organ that was formerly at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.
After three decades, time, sunlight, heat and water have caused damage to the organ, which is now in need of a total restoration.
As part of the For Christ Forever $100 million capital campaign, Orange Catholic Foundation is working to raise $2 million to:
- Refurbish the Hazel Wright Memorial organ to its original high performance condition.
- Restore the sound of the great Cathedral organ to its original character.
- Eliminate potential causes of future organ malfunctions and related maintenance costs.
- Repair the connections between the Arvella Schuller Carillon and the organ console inside the Cathedral so the 52-bell carillon can once again be played from the organ.
An “Organ Restoration Committee” led by Monsignor Arthur Holquin, pastor of the Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano, has been designated to oversee the restoration of the organ. The restoration process will include removing the organ from the Cathedral, transporting the organ to the Fratelli Ruffatti workshop in Italy, restoring and reinstalling the organ in the future Christ Cathedral. The expected completion date is prior to the dedication of Christ Cathedral in 2015.
Donations may be made online and more information is available at the For Christ Forever web site. Gifts should be designated for “Organ Restoration”–100% of the amounts donated will support this important and historic project.