Eight years of work have finally paid off for a Lake City, Iowa-based maker of pipe organs. Lynn Dobson started his business in 1974, and says about 8 years ago he got a call asking if he was interested in building a pipe organ for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. He says the six and-a-half-million-dollar instrument is the largest concert-hall organ in the country.

It was finally unveiled in a series of concerts this past weekend. Dobson counted 11 concerts last week and there 9 scheduled this week. Lots of people are coming to hear the new instrument and he says music critics also came from all over the country, including one whose review appeared in the New York Times.

Dobson says his company’s become well-known, and the Philadelphia Orchestra sought them out. The sound is a very “sweet,” refined sound, Dobson says, and that’s why his company was chosen to build the organ for an orchestra famous for its lush strings and rich sound. He says, “The organ can blend right in and become just another instrument in the orchestra.”

This is a famous instrument already, and its creator says it can play in a whisper. It’s barely audible in the concert hall, but can crescendo to a volume that drowned out the whole orchestra the first day it was played. Dobson says obviously it can’t be that loud in performance, but, he chuckles, “it was fun to hear that.” He’s already got more jobs ahead, in Dallas and other locations he won’t tell about just yet.

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Dobson Organ Company