Plainville church pulls out all the stops as it reaches out for help to restore organ

Published on Sunday, 29 April 2018 22:03
Written by Erica Drzewiecki

Staff Writer

PLAINVILLE – Members of the town’s congregational church are asking for help saving their organ.

The giant instrument that calls the Congregational Church of Plainville home is more than a century old and in need of some serious repairs. None of that was audible during Sunday’s “Afternoon of Beautiful Music” however, as the organ’s pipes entertained a small crowd.

“It’s kind of like having an unreliable car you have to drive every day,” Organist Jurg Oggenfuss explained. “My job as organist is to lead the choir and support the congregation. It’s important to have a reliable instrument to play on.”

Oggenfuss was joined by former church organist Matthew Bartlett, who opened the concert with a hymn on the organ. Other performers included pianists Richard Carsey, Oggenfuss’ husband, along with Maryjane Peluso and her husband Peter Peluso, another organist.

The group performed classical selections from Debussy, Chopin and Brahms along with a few lesser known pieces on the piano and accordion.

“Our mission today is to give our organ restoration a jump start,” Peter Peluso pointed out. “It’s unusual for a church of this size to have a pipe organ that’s still in use. Most have switched to electronics. Only the larger churches are able to maintain the old organs.”

The organ came to the church 60 years ago after having already lived a long life, according to Oggenfuss.

“It’s a historic instrument,” he explained. “It was purchased for this church in 1959 and used before then. The pipes are over 100 years old.”

Music chairperson Ellen Binder welcomed church members and newcomers with open arms.

“The concert is free but we’re accepting donations for our organ,” she said. “Parts of it are close to dying and quite expensive to replace.”

She estimated repairs to cost between $30,000 and $40,000.

Choir member Ruth Boiczyk sat among the audience Sunday.

“I’m here to listen to the music and support the music ministry of the church,” she said. “It really is just as important as worship.”

Anyone who wishes to donate may make checks payable to the Congregational Church of Plainville, for the Organ Restoration Fund. They can be mailed to the church, at 130 W. Main St., Plainville, CT, 06062.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097, @schmittnbh or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain, Plainville on Sunday, 29 April 2018 22:03. Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2018 22:06.