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MMD > Archives > October 2004 > 2004.10.18 > 03Prev  Next

Remembering David Junchen
By Jack M. Conway

Hi Group,  Douglas Henderson mentioned the "Traveling Moeller" organ
used by Reginald Foort.  It is near Glendale but actually in Pasadena,
California, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.  It is now maintained
(or not maintained) by the City of Pasadena.  Before the last concert
that I attended there the organ needed considerable work to put it in
concert condition.  This work was kindly provided by the Nethercutt

As to the "Encyclopedia Of The American Theatre Organ", Volume One
and Two are David's books.  Volume Three was taken over by Preston
J. Kaufmann whose name appears on it as author.  I don't believe that
Volume Three is what Dave had envisioned.

I had the great good fortune to have Dave work on organs in my
collection.  He was recommended to tune my Wurlitzer 146A band organ.
He was great fun to talk to while he was working.  He not only tuned
the organ but got non-working pipes to speak, voiced the ranks, and
then tuned the pipes.  It is amazing the change that can be brought
about to an instrument by a skilled technician.  When he finished it
was as though I had received a new organ.

Later, when I obtained a Unified Reproduco 2 manual 4 rank pipe organ,
Dave agreed to bring it back to playing condition.  When I think back
about it, it is a wonder that he stuck with it.  I must have driven him
crazy.  After the first couple of days work on the organ I would greet
him with, "Will it play today, Huh? Huh?" like the little kid I am,
wanting to hear my new instrument.  I think he was as pleased as I was
the first day that it played.

Until Dave worked on the Unified Reproduco it had never occurred to
me how many skills a organ builder has to have.  Dave had a large and
heavy tool box filled with tools I had never seen before.  In setting
up the Reproduco he used skills as a woodworker, electrician, sheet
metal worker and plumber, in addition to tuner, voicer, and pneumatic

Just before Dave moved to the Chicago area to install and finish the
Sanfilippo organ, he introduced me to Ron Sanchez, another skilled
rebuilder, as being the ideal person to take over maintenance of the

I also feel fortunate to have the Christmas "G" roll arranged by Dave
and a copy of his Ampico roll of "Sleigh Ride", which really gives my
Ampico a workout.

I feel very fortunate to have known Dave Junchen.

Jack M. Conway, Los Angeles, California, USA

(Message sent Mon 18 Oct 2004, 21:36:43 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  David, Junchen, Remembering

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