Restoring and Rebuilding Your Instrument

Buzard Pipe Organ Builders was founded by John-Paul Buzard as a company dedicated to providing the most expert care for existing pipe organs of all vintages and manufacturers, in addition to designing and building new organs. As the Company has grown, we are able draw upon our Service Department staff’s rich and varied experiences, to render a wide variety of the highest quality work to existing pipe organs. Mr. Keith Williams, the Director of our Service Department, is acquainted with all manufactures of organs, specializing in those of the 19th and early 20th centuries. All of our staff are Members of the American Institute of Organbuilders, which is an educational body of individuals engaged in full-time organbuilding efforts. The Buzard Company takes the ongoing education of its staff seriously, offering in-house training and the opportunity to enrich one’s experiences by involvement in AIO programs and seminars.

When an existing organ is well-designed and built, and meets the musical needs of its owner, we may recommend that the organ be restored. Such restorations are carefully undertaken in accordance with Organ Historical Society guidelines. If an organ needs upgrading in order to ensure that it will provide long-term reliable service, we will thoughtfully propose and carry out appropriate modifications. When an existing instrument needs completely new mechanical systems or stands in need of tonal enhancement, we are exceptionally well equipped to undertake complete rebuilding projects.

Successfully enhancing an existing pipe organ is in many ways more challenging than building a good new one. The tonal and mechanical styles of earlier organbuilders are often quite different from current practice. One of the strengths of our Service Department is the ability to respect the work of our earlier colleagues, and to make changes and/or additions which improve an instrument’s ability to meet modern musical needs, but without imposing our own tonal ideals. We make additions or modifications in keeping with the character of an organ’s existing tonal palette, bringing out its best sound without taking it outside the style laid down by the organ’s original designer.

We are mindful of a client’s desire to be efficient with a renovation project’s cost. However, we will not install inferior components or materials in an older pipe organ, nor resort to wishful thinking when it comes to renewing older mechanical systems, simply to lower the initial cost. The fact that an older organ is being considered for renovation or restoration proves the permanent nature of pipe organs, and underscores the necessity that rebuilding work be of the same high standard as that which built it originally.

When you commission us for a restoration, a renovation, or a rebuilding, you are engaging professional full-time organbuilders, and the overhead which a significant workshop facility carries with it, not well-intended individuals who work from their homes or basement work areas.

The Process of Restoration or Renovation

If you have an existing pipe organ which you suspect is in need of some work, it pays to have a thorough inspection and appraisal made of the instrument, so that you will have the information you need to determine your course of action.

Keith Williams, Director of our Service Department, will visit your edifice, make the necessary inspection, and offer you recommendations in the form of a consultation document and a proposal. The information and guidance you receive will be well worth the fee for the professional time and expenses spent.

Should you decide to follow our recommendations and have your organ restored, renovated, or rebuilt, the work will be scheduled and supervised by our Service Department Shop Manager, and second generation organbuilder, David Brown. Our Service Department’s facilities, located only a block from the Company’s headquarters, mirrors that of the new organ production facility. A fully stocked and equipped workshop devoted just to Service Department projects awaits the arrival of your organ. Once the renovations or restorations to your instrument are complete, the instrument is tested before it is dismantled and sent back to you.

For more information about how to begin the restoration of your organ, contact:
Keith Williams, Service Department Director 217-390-4000 or