BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — After four years and thousands of dollars in donations, the Hammond Street Congregational Church in Bangor unveiled its newest prize Sunday.
"It's just a dream come true,” Rev. Mark Doty said.
Hundreds turned out to celebrate and hear the 1861 E. & G.G. Hook Opus 304 boom through the sanctuary.
It is the first time a pipe organ has been played there in more than 50 years.
"It's really a thrill to be able to dedicate this organ,” Dr. Kevin Birch said.
The effort, spurred by the late Waldo McClure Libbey, took the generosity and dedication of countless community members. Libbey made a generous bequest to the church when he passed away, asking that a pipe come back to the church within 10 years.
"I just have this vision of him smiling and just thrilled because he would just love to talk about the old hook," Birch said.
The church located the more than 150-year-old pipes at a church in Boston, and retrofit them to the case already in the church.
"It's a win-win for the church when a beautiful organ is brought into the life of the congregation," Birch said.
A. David Moore, the man behind the construction and restoration of the instrument, said every single one of the hundreds of pipes is pivotal to that authentic sound.
"The full organ with playing all ten fingers you're getting the sound of more than 300 pipes at once,” he said.
Birch played a full recital to celebrate the new organ. It was a chance for both young and old to enjoy a piece of history in its new home.
"It means enhanced worship services. it means another beautiful cultural element in the community,” Birch said. "A sense of relief and a sense of excitement about what's to come. I hope some youngster hears the instrument and decides I want to grow up and be an organist.”