Most musicians will tell you that every instrument has its own unique “voice.” Having watched the new exhibit “Turn it Up: Golden’s Musical Memories” come together, I can say that is absolutely true. In the process of creating the exhibit, we’ve had the privilege of restoring a handful of instruments from our remarkable collection. If you read our blog often, you might already know that we’ve restored our 1860 square grand piano (thanks to Dan Holstein of Dan’s Piano Service and a generous contribution from Mr. Gene Child). But, you might not know that Dan also tuned a recently donated 1893 Regal upright piano that was showcased at Chicago’s Columbian International Exposition. He also restored a charming 1873 melodeon. Not widely used or even recognized today, melodeons—a foot-pumped reed organ—were once commonplace in American homes. Turn it Up features two such melodeons, one of which is a WWII-era field organ carried by chaplains onto the battlefield.
On Thursday, June 2nd, musicians Peggy Lyon and Kathy Turnbull of the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra will perform a series of short concerts on the newly restored instruments. Both will play a selection of pieces that were composed during the era in which each instrument was manufactured. I got a chance to spy on their dress rehearsal today and I am excited to share this glimpse of their remarkable music. (P.S. There are still a handful of tickets available for the event, so call 303.278.3557 to make a reservation).