Marion church prints book about organ

Published: March 2 2014 | 7:01 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:04 am in

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Marion will release a children’s book — “Opie’s Great Adventure: The Little Pipe Organ” — about the church’s vintage three-manual E.M. Skinner pipe organ today.

The organ — and book’s main character — Opus 695, nicknamed Opie, was built in Boston by Skinner and his team in 1928, and was recently restored by St. Mark’s.

The church purchased the rescued old pipe organ from St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bronx, N.Y., and began restoration work in 2011.

They had it moved to JL Weiler’s workshop in Chicago to begin complete restoration. St. Mark’s built an expansion to house Opie once restoration was complete.

The story follows the organ’s journey to St. Mark’s, first through hard times at St. John’s and the restoration, told through the voice of Opie, the organ and his friend, a church mouse.

Illustrated by K.C. Kiner Wortman and written by Michelle Phillips, Ron and Barbara Ritchie from St. Mark’s also collaborated on the book, published by KC & Kompany.

There will be a signing today along with a concert by organist Nathan Laube at 4 p.m. at the church, 8300 C Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids. Other signings will be from 1 to 3 p.m. March 22 at Java Joint Coffeehouse & Eatery in Cedar Rapids and April 5 at Thou Art Gallery in Anamosa.

For more information, call (319) 462-3094.

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