Pipe dreams can come true. On Feb. 19, the full, rich tones of the organ at St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr Parish and Oratory, Milwaukee, will once again reverberate throughout the building.

pipe-organOrganist Lee Erickson works on a repair project on the St. Stanislaus organ in Milwaukee on Thursday, Feb. 9, with Dave Broskowski (above in background) of Broskowski Pipe Organ Service of South Milwaukee. Erickson will play at an organ dedication concert at St. Stanislaus on Friday, Feb. 19. (Catholic Herald photo by Ernie Mastroianni)David Broskowski from Broskowski Pipe Organ Repair of Milwaukee has recently completed the painstaking job of restoring the organ, with parts dating to 1893, bringing the instrument back to its former glory.

After spending approximately four months of work on the organ, Broskowski, who worked on the project with St. Anthony organist, Lee Erickson, admitted he was pleased with the results.

“It is a beautiful church building with wonderful acoustics and a wonderful organ; I am happy to see the results as I have tuned and worked on this organ for the past 23 years,” he said.

Broskowski explained that the organ was last refurbished in 1956 and included many pipes from the original 1893 organ, along with organ parts that were added during that restoration.

“What we did was to clean the pipes and regulate them to produce the proper tone. Then we put in and redid the action of the organ, which is the part that controls the playing of the pipes,” he said. “Then we rebuilt all the bellows with new leathers and we supplied a new control system – this is the part that translates what the organist plays on the keys and pedals and makes the pipes play according to the organist’s wishes.”

Broskowski also replaced the console – the portion of the organ containing the keys and pedals. The

If you want to go:
Organ rededication
and choir recital
Sunday, Feb. 19, 12:30 p.m., following 10 a.m. Latin Tridentine Mass and reception
St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr Parish
and Oratory
524 W. Historic
Mitchell St.

renovated console was originally built and installed for the organ in the former minor seminary chapel building on Kinnickinnic Avenue.

“The project cost right around $50,000 and was raised by the parish because they realized that what they had was better than replacing and buying a new one,” he said. “It is a real quality organ with excellent tone. The original 1893 pipes came from an organ built by the Schuelke Organ Company located on the south side of Milwaukee at the turn of the century. The Schaefer Organ Company did the 1956 restoration from Slinger. So, with the console from the minor seminary, this organ is the compilation of three different organs. It was a good use of existing resources and maintaining Catholic history here.”

The 12:30 p.m. organ rededication and choir recital is Sunday, following a reception after the 10 a.m. Latin Tridentine Mass. Under the direction of choir director Thomas Darien, the St. Anthony and St. Stanislaus choirs will perform. Erickson is excited to hear the organ’s robust sounds. 

“It’s nice when everything works and I am so happy that the parish thought it was important to restore this beautiful organ. It’s hard to play it properly when it isn’t working,” he said. “We will be playing some music that isn’t too lofty, and it’s nice that the St. Stanislaus Choir will be participating, too.”

The organ restoration is significant to parishioner Michele Kolp as she not only grew up at St. Stanislaus Parish, but so did her parents and grandparents.

“This organ is part of our history and in 2016, this parish will be 150 years old,” she said, adding. “There are not many parishes that can say that.”

Kolp anticipates a large crowd of current and former members of St. Stanislaus to attend the event.

“We want people to know that we are still open and that our church is a wonderful historical landmark,” she said. “We are still going and that says a lot about our spirits and the mission of the Kashubes of Jones Island, the family who founded this parish.”