I went to the COAA Rally in North Tonawanda, New York, on 7/25/03.
What a great time! I'd never been to the Carousel Museum before,
nor been to such a big organ rally.
There were many impressive organs to be seen -- giant ones, little
ones, mid sized ones, restored, home-made -- each with their own unique
personality and appeal, and coming from all parts of the country.
One organ that stood out was the brand-new "Das Eichhoernchen" Dutch
street organ, owned by Kevin Sheehan and his wife; I believe they came
to the rally from Maine. It is a large _hand-cranked_ organ mounted
on a wood wagon, all built last year to Kevin's specifications by
Fa. Pluer in Bussum, The Netherlands. It's wonderfully painted with
a very cool and unique squirrel motif -- even the baton-wielding
band leader figurine on the front is a squirrel rather than a person!
The best part is the sound: very sweet but powerful, in my opinion the
best sounding organ there. The range is amazing, having a 16' horn
inside. Kevin made it sound great and made the cranking look easy, but
it's _not_ as easy as he makes it look: you have to crank at a steady
tempo, which takes some practice. I took some pictures, which I'll
have to send sometime later. (I need to finish the roll and get it
developed and scanned in). If you get a chance to hear this organ
anywhere, it's well worth the drive.
near Rochester, NY
PS: Note that "Eichhornchen" is spelled with an umlaut over the "o".
[ Right; the equivalent of o-umlaut is "oe" when 7-bit plain-text-only
[ is required, as in MMDigest. Eichhoernchen is the German name for
[ the red squirrel (sciurus vulgaris) of Europe and Asia. Visit the
[ Firma Pluer web site at http://www.bandorgan.com/ -- Robbie