Fans compare pipe organs to orchestras, with settings and stops designed to allow a musician to mimic woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings and more. Cathedral of St. Paul sacred music director Lawrence Lawyer — one such fan — says you can feel their power especially in the lower pitches, when the wind through the pipes vibrates the air around your body.
A pipe organ worth the name, he suggests, should cause dress hems and pant cuffs to flutter just a bit.
But while the Cathedral of St. Paul has a splendid array of bells outside, the structure’s aging pipe organ insides had been struggling of late. Its switches and other controls were a bit out of date and worse for wear, and the pipes themselves were in need of some restoration.