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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Renovated IC Church Pipe Organ Dedication Sunday

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pictured is the newly restored 21 rank Moeller pipe organ which will be celebrated this Sunday at the Cherokee Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Organ Concert at 2 p.m. Photo contributed
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church will present an organ concert to celebrate the newly restored 21 rank Moeller pipe organ and the renovation/restoration of the worship space on Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m.

The concert is free and open to the public. The featured organist is Rick Darrow, owner of Darrow Pipe Organs. Darrow is an accomplished organist and organ builder. He received his bachelor of music degree in organ performance at Morningside College in Sioux City and has given many concerts throughout the Midwest. He has over 30 years of experience as a church organist and approximately 30 years in organ building.

This is the second celebration at the church. The first was the dedication by Bishop Walker Nickless on Feb. 12, following a major 10-month restoration and renovation and the completion of the organ rebuild.

One year prior to the restoration project the parish contracted Darrow Pipe Organs to replace the 1928 Kilgen organ, which was an eight-rank instrument. It was replaced with a used, refurbished, digitized key system Moeller organ, which was built in 1975 and is a 21-rank instrument. It is about three times the size of the former organ. Due to various delays in other renovation projects, the installation of the organ was completed after the parishioners returned to the church for Mass on Nov. 26, 2011.

The renovation was a floor to ceiling project. A glazed tile floor from Italy was installed, three travertine, carved stone, medallions were placed down the middle aisle. Stations of the Cross and the baptismal font from St. John's Church in Quimby, and the sanctuary lamp from Visitation Parish in Maryhill were brought into the space. Statuary was repainted by Kris Hasse of Neola, Iowa.

Parts of antique altars from the early 1900's church in Minnesota were used to construct the side altars and reredos on the back wall. A new sound system, new solid oak pews, handicap doors and handicap areas in the church for wheelchairs were part of the renovation. The sacristy was redone with new cabinetry to create storage space.

"We tried to use local businesses if we could," said Pastor Father Bertrand. Haselhoff Construction in Cherokee was the general contractor for the project. Rehiele Decorating of Cresco, Iowa, were the decorators. Loew's Carpet of Storm Lake was sub-contracted for the floor. Gunder Church Furniture of Humboldt was responsible for the pews, the choir loft paneling, the wood plaques for the Stations of the Cross, and side altars and reredos behind the altar.

Nelson Electric of Cherokee did all the lighting for the church. Modern Heating and Cooling did the plumbing. Omega Organ and Sound did the sound system. Robinson Furniture and Floor Covering did the carpeting. Dale Bartel constructed sound cabinets, ambry for holy oils, and crosses for the Stations of the Cross. Valley Glass put in the windows for the doors.

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