The 1902 Estey Artist Reed Organ was gifted to St. Mary’s by James Anderson, long-time church member, in memory of his parents, Andy and Vera Anderson
James Henry LeBatard, deacon and musician at St. Pierre’s Episcopal, shows the 1902 Estey Artist Reed Organ
to Harvey Smith
James Henry LeBatard presents Harvey Smith a letter transferring the antique organ to St. Mary’s Episcopal
Harvey Smith and Jim Drake (not shown) pick up the 1902 Estey Artist Reed Organ at St. Pierre's Episcopal Church in Gautier
James Anderson, long-time resident of Bolton, enjoys the sound of the organ which he donated in memory of his parents
In response to an inquiry, Anderson received a picture along with the history of the organ. One look at the beauty of the instrument led Anderson to decide that the organ was just the one he wanted to purchase and donate to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of Bolton. The age and beauty of the old organ complimented the age and beauty of the church.
LeBatard described the instrument as being a 1902 Estey Artist Reed Organ. “The Estey Company was the 'top of the line' company for manufacturing Reed Organs,” wrote LeBatard. “The instrument was designed for the serious organ student who did not have access to a pipe organ. It has five and one-half ranks of reeds, and is suitable for accompanying hymns as well as playing a variety of music for recital. The organ is entirely mechanical in nature, like a tracker pipe organ, except the bellows were removed and an Estey blower was installed sometime in the 1930s. The organ has great ‘lung power’ and supplies enough sound to fill the room.
“As with a mechanical pipe organ, it takes some getting used to for the organist. Like riding a bicycle, the more one plays the instrument, the more adept one becomes at playing it with precision and skills. I should say that the instrument is in excellent condition, and was played every Sunday (and major holy days) during the time we had the instrument. The organ needs to be played and I think its style and sound will be well suited to St. Mary’s Church in Bolton.”
Anderson is elated over the purchase of the organ and anxiously awaits the instrument’s arrival in Bolton. “My mother, Vera Anderson was a musician,” Anderson commented, “and she and my father, Andy Anderson, were members of the Bolton Baptist Church. When I was growing up, the original Bolton library was in the back part of St. Mary’s. I have many fond memories of 'checking out' books from dear Miss Sessions. I’ve sung in Episcopal choirs most of my adult life so enlivening St. Mary’s with a new organ that is period to the design was high on my list of things to do for this glorious space. A brass plaque to be placed on the organ will read: “Dedicated to the Memory of Vera Ross and Andy Anderson.”
“My ties to the town of Bolton run deep,” stated Anderson who is Creative Director at Amacker, Inc., advertising and marketing. Anderson also directs The Chimneyville Readers Theatre and plans to do a benefit reading of his adaptation of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory at St. Mary’s in December.
Anderson is looking forward to the September 12th Celebration of the Holy Eucharist at St. Mary’s. “It’s going to be a glorious day,” said Anderson who plans to sing in the choir. Also raising their voices in song will be choir members from St. Alban’s and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Churches.
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: Make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalms 98:4
Rebecca Blackwell Drake