Ten Years of PIPORG-L

Ken W. List

I do not now recall by what avenue I first became aware of the PIPORG-L -certainly not all that long ago. I can remember wondering if there would really be much of interest to myself, as I live each day submerged in the realities of full-time organ building and playing - and generally find my avocational interests in non-organ pursuits.

Well, what I failed to grasp at the outset was that there was, for a so-called professional such as myself, a wonderful opportunity to make use of this forum to help answer the questions of the aficionadi and amateurs who were wondering so many things about the complex musical instrument with which I work; and who had nowhere otherwise to get answers to those questions - and at the same time hone my skills in communication about that complex instrument. I learned that most are good questions - deserving of serious and above all truthful answers -and that I must never disdain those who have not had the opportunity to know intimately that same instrument which has held my heart and mind captive for so many years. Also, the ‘LIST’ taught me to be able to keep my e-mouth shut when others might more adequately deal with questions than I might or could!

On the other hand, the ‘LIST’ has afforded me with gleeful opportunities to flex my humor muscles by providing material for outrageous puns and just downright sillinesses whose primary purpose was to keep us from taking ourselves and our organs too seriously; yet also learn a bit of light-hearted ‘fun stuff’ about the box of whistles.

I will not claim to read every line which potentially comes to my screen -another delight of PIPORG-L is the option of selecting what one thinks may be of true interest or value to ones’ self - but I can surely testify that for any clarification or good explanation I may have been able to offer, I have learned a multitude of new facts and interesting tidbits from others: not always the professionals either!

In short - that is what PIPORG-L can be and is: a nicely disciplined and organized forum for the lively exchange of ideas and facts and fun, and for professionals to share their experience with amateurs - all together being those for whom the pipe organ holds a magic and delicious attraction. I am most grateful for its founding, its existence, and for its continued good work.


About the author: Ken W. List was trained from his youth up as an organist, harpsichordist, and oboist; and began his organbuilding career with Herman Schlicker in 1963. He apprenticed as a voicer, and ultimately became Assistant to the President. Following Schlicker's death, he became Plant Manager for Lawrence Phelps in his Erie factory until its close in 1979. After a brief period working with the pipe department of Rodgers as Tonal Director, he founded a small company of his own in Baltimore, under the name "euphonia." In 1999, he joined the staff of the Schantz Organ Company, as a voicer and finisher. He lives in Wooster, Ohio, and travels extensively in his work.