Give Now

IU’s Third C.B. Fisk Organ To Be Installed In Alumni Hall

The Fisk Opus 91 will make its debut sometime in 2013.

a drawing of a large room with people sitting at round tables and a large organ adorns the far wall.

Photo: Indiana University

An artist's rendering of how Alumni Hall might appear after its renovation and the installation of the Fisk Opus 91organ.

The Jacobs School of Music and Indiana University have just announced the acquisition of a significant organ by builder C.B. Fisk, the same builder who designed and installed the Seward Organ which now graces Jacobs’ Auer Hall. The new organ, known as the Opus 91, will be installed in a renovated Alumni Hall at the Indiana Memorial Union.

Jacobs School of Music organ curator David Kazimir explained the moment when the Fisk company contacted him with this opportunity.

 It was November of 2010, and I got an email from Greg Bover and Steve Dieck saying, “Do you think IU would be interested in the Littlefield Fisk?” And after I picked myself off the floor, I went and found Janette, and that was basically the start of it.

The Chair of the Organ Department, Janette Fishell says that in addition to the Seward Organ, Fisk Opus 135, the Opus 91 will provide a greater depth of study for  organ students.

We have a very large organ department. In a day when many organ departments in conservatories and schools of music are shrinking and, very sadly, some are drying of them are even drying up completely, we’re very fortunate to have a thriving program that is growing by leaps and bounds. Those students need not only more instruments, but they need a variety of instruments to fully gain the expertise they need in a variety of styles.

For an organist in this day and age, to be an expert in our field, it’s understood that you have competency if not expertise in the full range of repertoire from the 15th century/16th century through today. And that means you have fluent technique that takes you from all the instruments that represent the historic range.

That Opus 91 is in the French Baroque style of construction, which as David Kazimir explains, comes with some unique challenges itself.

Like Auer Hall, it has all mechanical control of the keys- tracker action -which is direct control of the organist having over the valves of the wind chest. And the stop action is all mechanical. You’ve heard the phrase, “pulling out all the stops.”  Well, this comes from the ancient days of organ playing before electricity in which you physically pulled a switch into position to turn on the organ stop, and the Organ in Alumni Hall, which is Opus 91 in the Fisk work line, has mechanical stop action, so our students will have the experience of not only playing the organ, but they might be up there with a performer assisting as registrants.

Hopes are that the instrument will be installed beginning May of 2013. Plans are underway for dedication concerts in Fall of 2013.

David Wood

Originally from Leavenworth, Kansas, David Wood moved to Bloomington in 2005. He received his Bachelor of Music from Kansas State University, and his Master of Music from the University of North Texas. He studied ensemble direction at the Jacobs School of Music's Early Music Institute and joined WFIU in 2006 as an announcer. In 2008 he became WFIU's Music Director and also served as Art Bureau Chief from 2008-2013. David’s interests include Irish music and language (particularly traditional singing), music and religion, running, the outdoors, and, of course, classical music!

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Harmonia Early Music

A Tale of Telemann


This week on Harmonia we celebrate Telemann’s legacy.

Read more »

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

More from Harmonia »

This Week on Earth Eats

Cary Fowler: Plants Are On The Front Lines Of Climate Change

Entrance to Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Cary Fowler of Global Crop Diversity Trust talks to us about climate change and what crop diversity used to look like before we started privatizing seeds.

Read more »

Earth Eats is a podcast, radio program and blog of the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

More from Earth Eats »

This Week on Focus on Flowers

Good Investments


Shrubs are long-lived inhabitants that help create the architecture of our gardens.

Read more »

Focus on Flowers is a weekly program about flower gardening hosted by master gardener Moya Andews.

More from Focus on Flowers »