Swedesburg church holding concert for renovation of historic pipe organ

The project began in 2021. In total, it cost $360,000.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 10:30 PM CDT
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SWEDESBURG, Iowa (KCRG) - On June 4th, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., the Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church is celebrating and showing off the completion of their historic pipe organ. The worship is at 10:00 am and the concert is at 2:00 pm.

“I feel like the luckiest person in the world because I get to travel the world and meet new instruments, new people,” said Jan Kraybill, guest concert organist for Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church.

She lives in Kansas City but has roots in rural communities. She’s from West Kansas. She says being in a place like this is important because she has Swedish heritage.

“Really special to me to come back to a smaller area where a dedicated group of people decides to come together to do something big and in this case they certainly have,” said Kraybill.

Christopher Arp, organist and choir director for the church has been key in renovating their 1928 pipe organ. The project began in 2021. In total, it cost $360,000.

“It’s been very rewarding to see that go from you know blueprint to being able to sit down and play and hear the instrument with all those new voices and how it all blends together and makes wonderful music,” said Arp.

Changes to the organ include its entire electrical system being replaced. There’s also a new layout for the pipes in each chamber. Four new sets of pipes were added to the instrument. With there being 14 hundred pipes originally, with now five hundred more.

“The result is that I have an instrument that is really a community of voices,” said Kraybill.