• LP High School's 1929 Aeolian Pipe Organ recently received repairs to make it playable, but we need community support to fully restore it.Online fundraising for LPHS Aeolian Pipe Organ Restoration

     
     
     
     
     


     
    History of Our Pipe OrganLP organ
    The pipe organ in LP’s Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium was donated in 1928 to the high school as a generous gift from Mrs. Eda Matthiessen. It was built by the Aeolian Company of New York, which was a dominant maker of residential organs at the turn of the 20th Century. The size and public nature of the organ makes it a rare example of the Aeolian Company’s musical instrument craftsmanship. The LP pipe organ features more than 2,100 pipes, featuring 3 manuals, 43 stops, and 28 ranks. The Aeolian Company also built a well-known pipe organ for the Duke University Chapel a few years later.
    The inaugural performance on the organ was on May 19, 1929 by popular Chicago organist Edwin Stanley Seder. Other great organists, including Virgil Fox, played the organ over the years. Unfortunately, the passage of time led to a decline in the organ’s condition, and storm damage in 2011 rendered the instrument inoperable.
    Since that time repairs have been made to make the organ playable again, but considerably more work is required to fully restore the historic instrument.
    The School District currently estimates the cost of fully restoring the organ to be roughly $400,000.
    Restoring Our Organ Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium
    A series of phased restoration projects will allow our school and community to once again experience the majesty of this amazing instrument as it was originally created. These projects include upgrading the blower room, restoring the console, making repairs to and cleaning the pipes in the organ loft, restoring the organ's harp, installing digital player equipment to the console, and improving the acoustics and sound dampening in the auditorium.
    How You Can Help
    Considering the current state of school finances, it would take an incredibly long time for the School District to allocate the funding necessary to perform all of the work required to restore our organ. But with strong community support, we could see the organ restored to its proper condition within a few years.
    Donations can be made using the online donation tool below or by contacting Matt Baker, LPHS Director of Communication & Fundraising, at (815) 220-2703, mbaker@lphs.net, or 541 Chartres Street, LaSalle, IL 61301
     
    To honor those who support the restoration project, LaSalle-Peru Township High School has established the following recognition societies.
     
    Special Support Recognition
    LaSalle-Peru Township High School is prepared to recognize a family or business that makes a major gift of $100,000 or more toward organ restoration and auditorium preservation by providing them naming rights to the 1929 Aeolian Organ. Just as the Matthiessen family’s generous gifts were recognized in the past with the naming of our auditorium, we feel it’s appropriate to fully honor any family or business who comes forward today to help us make a giant step forward in the restoration of the organ.
     
    The Matthiessen Family Society
    Named in honor of one the families that most supported LP High School, members of the Matthiessen Family Society are those who donate at least $10,000 toward the restoration of LP’s Aeolian Organ and the future upkeep of Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium. Donors will be:
    red button recognized on a seat nameplate & wall plaque
    red button listed on the Organ Donor website
    red button invited to special events
     
    The Blow Family Society
    Named in honor of one the families that most supported LP High School, members of the Blow Family Society are those who donate $5,000-$9,999 toward the restoration of LP’s Aeolian Organ and the future upkeep of Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium.
    Donors will be:
    red button recognized on a seat nameplate & wall plaque
    red button listed on the Organ Donor website
    red button invited to special events

    The Thomas J. McCormack Society
    Named in honor of LP High School’s Superintendent at the time of the construction of Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium, members of the McCormack Society are those who donate $1,000-$4,999 toward the restoration of LP’s Aeolian Organ and the future upkeep of Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium.
    Donors will be:
    red button recognized on a seat nameplate & wall plaque
    red button listed on the Organ Donor website
    red button invited to special events
     
    Patron of the LP Organ
    Patrons of the LP Organ are those who donate $500-$999 toward the restoration of LP’s Aeolian Organ and the future upkeep of Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium. Donors are recognized on an auditorium seat & on a wall plaque.
    Friend of the LP Organ
    Friends of the LP Organ have donated $250-$499 toward the restoration of LP’s Aeolian Organ and the future upkeep of Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium. Donors are recognized on an auditorium seat & on a wall plaque.
    Sponsor an Auditorium Seat
    Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium Seat Sponsors are those who donate $100 toward the restoration of LP’s Aeolian Organ and the future upkeep of Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium. They are recognized by having their named engraved on a nameplate on the back of a seat in Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium. 
    Sponsor an Organ Pipe
    Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium Pipe Sponsors are those who donate $50 toward the restoration of LP’s Aeolian Organ and the future upkeep of Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium. They are recognized by having their named engraved on a plaque in Matthiessen Memorial Auditorium.