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Arts / Entertainment

A splendid room for a world-class organ

January 19, 2009

In 1968, 25,000 pounds of intricately fashioned pipe organ parts and hundreds of board feet of solid oak casework were delivered to campus and installed in the Music Building. Several months later, the organ, replete with 2,096 pipes, 56-note keyboard, 32-note pedalboard, and 34 stops, was lofting notes to the heavens.

This summer, the Casavant organ, considered among the 25 greatest organs in the world, was moved to the University Center for the Arts, where master musicians and students alike are again touching the ebony, ivory, and rosewood keys.

3,000 hours of TLC

Parsons Pipe Organ Builders of Canandaigua, New York, spent some 3,000 hours cleaning, restoring, and moving the organ. Ric Parsons, the company’s president, said the new hall where the organ resides is “a splendid place for the Casavant. The visual appeal, the warm sound, the rich history – it’s like the room was built just for the organ.”

In 2004, the Stewart and Sheron Golden Endowed Chair in Liturgical Organ Studies was established, the first endowed chair for the College of Liberal Arts.

Continuing a musical legacy

An endowment fund to bring renowned organists to Colorado State to play and teach has been set up in the name of Robert Cavarra, longtime professor of music at the university and noted concert organist who died Feb. 8, 2008.

“Bob had a tradition of bringing to campus the very best organists from all over the world,” says Barbara Cavarra, Robert’s widow. “The Robert Cavarra Endowment fund is my way of continuing Bob’s musical legacy.”

To donate to the Robert Cavarra Endowment, visit the Colorado State University Foundation.

Originally published in Colorado State Magazine, Fall 2008.