A new keyboard for the Massey Memorial Organ arrived from London on June 20, escorted by Chautauqua police. The original keys were ivory, but the replacements are made of bleached calf bone to comply with federal law. According to organ builder Paul Fischer, good keys are never plastic — they must be porous to absorb sweat and oils from the organist’s fingers.
Repairs to the Massey Organ began in January, after snowmelt damaged the organ’s console. Paul and Mark Fischer, the father and son who reconstructed the organ in 1992, have been racing to finish repairs before the season’s start.
“I’m beyond excited,” said Jared Jacobsen, Chautauqua’s organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music. “I’ve been living and breathing this whole thing for months.”