Trin­ity Cathe­dral em­barks on fix­ing or­gan

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - Sal Pizarro Colum­nist

Last year, Trin­ity Epis­co­pal Cathe­dral in down­town San Jose cel­e­brated the ex­pan­sion and restora­tion of its bell tower. Now, the con­gre­ga­tion has its sights set on a new mu­si­cal mis­sion: The restora­tion of the church’s ma­jes­tic pipe or­gan, an in­stru­ment that’s be­gin­ning to show its 124 years.

“What we’re try­ing to do is re­store the or­gan to the way it was when it was built in 1894,” said Mike Joyce, who is in his sixth year as Trin­ity’s or­gan­ist and choir­mas­ter. “It re­ally is a mag­nif­i­cent in­stru­ment. It is re­ally, re­ally stun­ning.”

The in­stru­ment was man­u­fac­tured by famed Mas­sachusetts firm Hook & Hast­ings for Trin­ity Cathe­dral in San Fran­cisco, but was moved to the San Jose church in 1922. Over the years, it has been re­fur­bished and added to, but some parts were in­stalled im­prop­erly and some have just worn out. Five notes have “died” since Joyce started at Trin­ity, and he ex­pects more will fol­low with­out a restora­tion.

It also didn’t help that a con­trac­tor left the or­gan’s ap­prox­i­mately 3,000 pipes un­pro­tected dur­ing the re­place­ment of the

church’s roof sev­eral years ago — they were flooded dur­ing a rain­storm.

Trin­ity’s goal for its Pipes & Glory cam­paign is to raise $325,000 for the restora­tion, which would al­low them to take the pipes out and ship them to a restora­tion com­pany that would clean them up and re­build the chan­nels and chests that con­trol the air flow. Some stops will be re­con­fig­ured and the ma­chin­ery will be up­dated.

Mu­sic at Trin­ity, the non­profit arm lead­ing the cam­paign, or­ga­nized a month-long se­ries of fundrais­ing con­certs show­cas­ing the or­gan. The fi­nal con­cert is at 5 p.m. Sun­day, with Joyce on the or­gan ac­com­pa­nied by brass and per­cus­sion mu­si­cians. (Tick­ets are avail­able for $20 through Brown Pa­per Tick­ets or at the door.) Peo­ple can also “spon­sor” a pipe for $300 or make a do­na­tion of any size to the ef­fort at www.trin­i­­glory.

Joyce says it’s a real plea­sure to play the Trin­ity or­gan, which he says cre­ates a stately yet mel­low sound in the tra­di­tion of English or­gans. At one time, the in­stru­ment was “the” or­gan to play in the South Bay and was sought out by stars of the genre, in­clud­ing Vir­gil Fox, E. Power Biggs, Alexan­der Schreiner and Carl Wein­rich. Both Joyce and Trin­ity’s Dean, the Rev. David Bird, said they would like to see the church again be­come a reg­u­lar con­cert venue, as it was in its hey­day.

And with more res­i­dences be­ing con­structed around St. James Park, there’s def­i­nitely a pos­si­bil­ity for Trin­ity to make a mu­si­cal con­nec­tion with its new neigh­bors. “One of the things we’re re­ally try­ing to ad­dress is how dif­fer­ent this area is go­ing to be in the next few years,” Joyce said. BIRTH­DAY BASH » There should be nice weather Satur­day as His­tory San Jose cel­e­brates the city’s 241st birth­day at two his­toric sites down­town, the Per­alta Adobe and Fal­lon House. The fes­tiv­i­ties, which honor San Jose’s Tamien, Span­ish and Mex­i­can roots, be­gin at 11 a.m. with a flag-rais­ing in the court­yard of the San Pe­dro Square Mar­ket.

Live en­ter­tain­ment in­cludes mu­sic from the Mis­sion and Rancho pe­ri­ods and a dance per­for­mance by Los Lu­peños. There will be chil­dren’s crafts and ac­tiv­i­ties as well as birth­day cake. Tours of the Fal­lon House, the home of 19th cen­tury San Jose Mayor Thomas Fal­lon, will be of­fered for $8 ($5 for kids 7 and un­der and free for His­tory San Jose mem­bers).


Michael Joyce, or­gan­ist at Trin­ity Epis­co­pal Cathe­dral in San Jose, sits Thurs­day with the 1884Hook and Hast­ings rank or­gan that was in­stalled nearly a cen­tury ago.

Trin­ity’s goal for its Pipes & Glory cam­paign is to raise $325,000for the restora­tion.

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