It’s official! DeBergerac Productions was chosen to create an overview of the Eastman House’s North Organ Installation Project.
Copyright George Eastman House
“This project is a perfect example of how dedicated volunteers who are passionate about a particular facet of the Eastman House can really make a difference in their community.” said Kathy Connor, curator of the George Eastman House and Legacy Collection.
Involved with the restoration are volunteers Joe Blackburn, an organist at George Eastman House for many years. “Joe Blackburn was the one that first contacted Dr. Richard Zipf in California about an Aeolian organ he was trying to sell. After about a year of discussion the sale became a donation to the Eastman House making the project feasible. Joe Blackburn is one of a team of seven volunteers including Rich Butts, Dick Eastman, Susan Godshal, Steve Kelly, Arvid Lakeburg and Larry MacDonald who have been instrumental (no pun intended) in bringing surround sound orchestral music back to George Eastman House.
Connor continued: “As a historian I feel it is crucial to document this very unique installation process. The video production will allow visitors the opportunity to see all the work that went into this project behind the scenes for many years to come. I selected DeBergerac Productions for this project because we have had great results working with them in the past and they are extremely flexible and easy to work with. I know the end product will be professionally done and will provide an exciting overview of the North organ installation process for our visitors.”
The documentary project is a source of pride for DeBergerac as well. The project is one of may the company has created for George Eastman House over the years.
“Because of our high regard for George Eastman and his legacy, we want to produce a film as rich and beautiful as the instrument the film will document, and the house it resides in”, said co owner Mike Champlin of DeBergerac. “We have been close collaborators
with George Eastman House for many years, and understand fully that anything produced for the museum must be world class.
DeBergerac Productions has worked professionally with both Joe Blackburn and Steve Kelly on many projects. Steve and Mike Champlin co-produced “The Kodak Colorama
“The opportunity to work with Joe and Steve is one of the great appeals of the project for us”, said Mike.
DeBergerac created the video to help fund this installation at the Memorial Art Gallery.
In addition to DeBergerac’s connection with George Eastman House, they also have a long history documenting organ restorations. In 2002, DBP worked with The Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) to assemble a video for potential investors and build a case for the installation of the Italian Baroque organ. That instrument, the first of several restorations spearheaded by EROI, is now installed at the Fountain Court of the Memorial Art Gallery.For Brian Steblen, the other owner of DeBergerac, the video is a document for the future as well as a record of the present.
“We feel we have all of the ingredients to make something special, to create more than just a documentary of a restoration project. We have the chance to document the story of those men and women who’s inspiration and effort made this restoration possible, a story to inspire those future generations who will enjoy an Eastman House once again filled with beautiful music.”
A debut opening concert is planned for Sat. Sept. 21, 2013.
Surround sound returns to Eastman House with new Aeolian organ – Press Release
Eastman House Unveils Restored Pipe Organ – WXXI News
Eastman House Aeolian Pipe Organ Event – George Eastman House
Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative: The Eastman School of Music has brought the sounds of the past to Rochester by installing an historic full-size Italian Baroque organ in the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery.
Colorama: About the Project
WXXI Arts Friday: Brenda Tremblay introduces you to Joe Blackburn, organist and volunteer who played an important role in bringing pipe organ music back to the Eastman House campus. (The South Organ)