Restoration Stories: Chapter Two
The Boston University Symphonic Organ
Nelson Barden explains the difference between a church organ and a symphonic organ is in the "string tones."

In this story, two 75 year old residence organs, or "symphonic organs," were rescued, then brought together and combined to create one amazing instrument -- The Boston University Symphonic Organ. A residence organ was a special breed of pipe organ which could be played from paper rolls, but could also create percussive effects. These elaborate machines were the electro-pneumatic predecessors to today's digital home entertainment systems. Ever wonder where the expression, "pulling out all the stops" comes from?

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Restoration Stories:
Chapter Two

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Bass and snare drums, cymbals, castanets and a xylophone, are only part of the symphonic experience.

Renowned pipe organ restorer Nelson Barden was made "restorer in residence" at Boston University, and charged with the restoration and creation of a brand new musical entity. A 1929 Skinner Organ from the former home of Percy Rockefeller had been donated to the university along with a 1930 Aeolian from the estate of Boston candy magnate William Schrafft. Nelson and his team labored for 12 years first restoring, then combining the two into a new and distinctive musical experience. Both instruments have been meticulously preserved and carefully brought back to working order and will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Restoration Profile
Glenn Roberts
South Carolina resident Glenn Roberts is founder of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation.

Glenn Roberts' mission is the repatriation and restoration of heirloom grains from the Antebellum south -- specifically, nearly extinct varieties of rice, wheat and corn which had been missing from the seed market for over 50 years. Glenn is a miller, farmer and the founder of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation. Find out more about this remarkable restoration at:

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Restoration Stories:
Chapter Two

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