After retiring from Paramount Pictures where he worked as a television broadcast engineering executive for years and after founding Vintageorgans.com, Jerrell Kautz set about to fulfill his lifelong dream of having a theatre pipe organ in his home. He scouted around and found a suitable residence not far from downtown Houston, TX and began looking for an organ that would work for the residential installation.
He came across this Rodgers 340 console which was salvaged after someone improved the electronics in it until it wouldn't work anymore. The 340 was beyond repair as much of the original electronics were missing and it could not be restored. "I removed virtually all of the analogue electronics in the instrument keeping only the keyers which I used to run the pipe organ pipe drivers. The organ console was respecified to match the organ I was building." The basis for this pipe organ is a Marr and Colton Theatre organ from the Kearney (World) Theatre in Kearney, Nebraska. The organ console was updated with this one, and the organ itself substantially enlarged. The organ cost more than the house by the time it was ready for playing. "No matter what one thinks it will cost to install a pipe organ, I suggest taking that number and muliplying it x 5 or 10!!! Everytime a person turns around it's going to be another $1,000 for SOMETHING. Trust me. This project is not for the faint of heart or wallet."
Yes, the organ can be heard up and down the street when played full tilt boogie. Normal playing volumes, however, are quite acceptable to neighbors and passers by; at the same time guests swimming and relaxing poolside outside the house on the patio and deck certainly have no problem hearing the organ.
An Opening Concert on this instrument was held in October, 2005 with over 40 persons in attendance as organist Jim Conners gave the debut recital on this organ. So many were in attendance that we installed camera video broadcast equipment and transmitted the image of the organist at the console to large screen televisions so all could see as well as hear the performance both inside and outside of the residence.
The chambers are directly behind the console with the swell shades encircled by the red theatre curtains. The Grand Piano plays from the organ as well.
The chambers are full! Overflowing. These pictures show some of the work inside.
This is the view from the chamber door looking in. Where can someone walk! It can be done but you had better be skinny. To the left you can see the 8' trumpets. Behind them is the concert flute. The main chest lies horizontally in the background. You can also see the Haskall bottoms of the Principal. Straigt in front is a moveable chest which will roll out of the chamber if room is needed. These are trumpets...A Posthorn now resides in this position and a new picture needs to be taken. On the right side you see clarinets. These are the pictures one can get without contorting too much.
Portion of the concert flute.
Chimes in the living room. The wooden speaker cabinet is a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet suitable for use with the Hammond concert organ also in the home.
These are but a couple of small portions of the massive harp that is inside the chambers.
This is a small portion of the Chrysoglott. This plus the harp equals heavenly music in and of itself.
Clarinets, oboes, metal diaphone 16's , 8' concert flute along the back wall, behind the diaphones are the 8 and 16 tibias.
In front are the clarinets, then some 8' Wurly strings, Wurly diaphones 16 and behind that are the big tibias.
Oboes and strings
Some very skinny 8' strings
Here is a picture of the main chest as it was going in.
In this one you can see the 16' diaphones, and above them some of the Principal pipework and some of the celeste string
Here you can see some wooden diapasons along the wall- ignore the towel that was to keep dirt out during installation! I'll post more pix as I can get em.
Here is some of the wiring inside the console. I thought I'd never get done soldering. Oh wait, I'm not. Oh well, more to solder I can do it.
More stuff, see the tremulants and a regulator under the chest
Part of the Glockenspiel....
Diapason wood pipes.
Yet more pipework
Behind the console is the shutter network. See the drums and other "toys" right behind the shutters. Interesting view. This was taken before the theatrical red curtains were hung around the shutters and you can see the console back is open being worked on.
Some more big pipework
Behind this secret door in the kitch lie the pipe chambers
Liberace style Gold spigots in the Master Bath
Chandeliers a la Green Acres and Liberace :-)
1920's and Liberace style throughout the house. What home installation would be complete without a Hammond on duty. No the pipe organ does not play the Hammond.
Alternate Baldwin piano for duets
No problem listening to the organ poolside at all - It's coming in LOUD and clear Ethel!
This is the 3phase 5 hp blower that provides wind to the organ. It is controlled by a computerized controller that you see on the wall. This blower is located in its own well insulated area off the utility room to help keep the noise down.
SoloPosthorn 16' Trumpet 16' Tibia 16' Vox Humana 16' TC Posthorn 8' Trumpet 8' Tibia 8' Clarinet 8' Oboe 8' String 8' Flute 8' Vox 8' Piccolo 4' Tibia Piccolo 2' Piano 8' Chrysoglott Glockenspiel Xylophone Chimes Solo Octave Coupler
GreatPosthorn 16' Trumpet 16' Tibia 16' Bourdon 16'(Prepared for) Clarinet 16' TC Bass String 16' Vos Humana 16' TC Posthorn 8' Trumpet 8' Diapason 8' Tibia 8' Clarinet 8' Oboe 8' String 8' Concert Flute 8' Vox Humana 8' Tibia Quint 5 1/3' Piccolo 4' Flute 4' String 4' Tibia Twelfth 2 2/3' Tibia Piccolo 2' Tibia Tierce 1 3/5' Fife 1' Piano 8' Glockenspiel Great Octave Coupler Solo to Great Coupler
AccompViolone 16' (Prepared for) Posthorn 8' Trumpet 8' Diapason 8' Principal 8' Tibia 8' Clarinet 8' String 8' Flute 8' Vox Humana 8' Skin Flute 8" Diapason Octave 4' Octave 4' Piccolo 4' String 4' Flute 4' Vox Humana 4' Super Octave 2' Mixture III Piano 8' Piano 4' Harp Chrysoglott Accomp Octave Coupler Great to Accomp Coupler Solo to Accomp Coupler Tambourine Tympani Sleigh Bells Chinese Block Castanets Cymbal Snare Drum TomTom
Accomp 2nd TouchPosthorn 8' Trumpet 8' Tibia 8' Solo to Accomp 2nd Touch Coupler' Great to Accomp 2nd Touch Octave Coupler'
PedalCountra Bourdon 32'(Prepared For) Trumpet 16' (Prepared For) Diaphone 16'(Prepared For) Tibia 16' String 16' (Prepared For) Bourdon 16'(Prepared For) Trumpet 8' Tibia 8' Clarinet 8' Flute 8' Piccolo 8' Typmani Bass Drum Cymbal Accomp to Pedal Coupler Great to Pedal Coupler Solo to Pedal Coupler
Other AccoutrementsBird Whistle Horse Hooves Surf Siren Celeste off Xylophone Reit Glock Reit Sostenuto Main Tremulant Reed Tremulant Flute Tremulant Vox Tremulant Tibia Tremulant Bourbon to Organist Coupler