Raffle is raising money to repair First Presbyterian's beloved pipe organ

Goshen. The organ has served the church well since it was installed in 1931. But it won't make a sound without the console, which needs to be replaced to the tune of $100K to $200K.

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  • Church organist Jonathan Hall (Photo by Geri Corey)

  • The raffle fundraiser pays tribute to Paul E. Wright (1928-2012), "Goshen's Music Man" (pictured)

"Our wonderful organ has also been host to a number of community organ concerts, Christmas Carol sing-a-longs, weddings, and numerous other events, providing endless hours of uplifting musical pleasure."
Lisa Montalbano, raffle organizer

By Geri Corey

Congregants of the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen are looking to raise money to repair their beloved historic pipe organ.

To raise the needed funds, they are sponsoring the Paul E. Wright Organ Fund Raffle. Tickets will be available for purchase throughout June and July.

With one winner selected daily throughout August, each ticket will give the participant 31 chances of winning either a gift card or gift certificate from local merchants.

“This organ has been serving our church and surrounding communities for the last 80-plus years and is desperately in need of some tender loving care,” said Lisa Montalbano, raffle organizer. "Our wonderful organ has also been host to a number of community organ concerts, Christmas Carol sing-a-longs, weddings, and numerous other events, providing endless hours of uplifting musical pleasure."

First Presbyterian was the church home of the late Paul E. Wright, known throughout the community as “Goshen’s Music Man." He is remembered for his years of dedicated service not only as the church organist for 40 years, but also as a beloved music teacher and director of Goshen Central High School for 30 years.

“We feel this is a lovely opportunity to pay tribute to a great man,” Montalbano said.

Tickets are $10 each, three for $25, or 5 for $40, and may be purchased at the church office, 33 Park Place, Goshen; at Great American Weekend; through the church website at fpgoshen.org; or through social media.

To make a cash donation, send a check to the First Presbyterian Church, 33 Park Place, Goshen. Put “Paul E. Wright Organ Fund Raffle” in the memo.

The organ was installed in 1931 and has served the church well ever since. But now the console needs to be replaced, said Jonathan Hall, the church’s present organist.

“The console is the business center of the organ," said Hall. "It’s where the organist plays the keys and pulls the stops to make the organ sound. The sound then comes from the pipes, in this case, located across the room — in the balcony. If the console doesn’t work, the organ doesn’t make a sound.”

Hall estimates the cost of replacing the console at between $100,000 and $200,000.

“I’m deeply grateful to the congregation for its support and to the community for their interest in this beautiful instrument," he said. "We’ve been offering concerts to which the entire community is always welcome, and many community members have attended."

Hall will perform a recital of American organ music, plus a sing-a-long, on Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m., during the Great American Weekend street festival.

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