Wicks Op. 5145
Built in 1970 for Butler University, now rebuilt and installed
in Morgan Chapel at Greenwood United Methodist Church
Now, for some backstory....
In 2010 I moved from my home state of Arkansas to attend grad school at Butler University in Indianapolis. A few days after moving to Indy, I met the most beautiful girl - who inevitably became my lovely wife, Sarah, who also happens to be a very gifted pianist. On our second date, I took Sarah for a tour around Indianapolis to play various pipe organs that I had been given access to. What else is an organ nerd like myself meant to do to try and impress a girl!? We went to 2nd Presbyterian to play the big Aeolian-Skinner, Sweeney Chapel to play the Holtkamp tracker, and ultimately back to campus to play the only pipe organ on Butler's campus (sadly), a little 3-rank Wicks in one of the practice rooms. Some years later, Sarah confessed to me, that apparently that organ tour was the moment she "knew" there was to be something life-long between us. (Unbeknownst to me! I was still completely clueless!)
Anyway, fast forward a decade to July of 2020. I now work full time for a technology company, and one of our customers is Butler University. We do all of their technology solutions for classrooms, lecture halls, etc. I happened to have the master set of keys to the music building one day and thought I'd go check on the old Wicks, only to discover that it was GONE, sadly. That VERY WEEKEND, Sarah and I made a trip to Ohio to purchase the Hutchings pipe work for my tracker project, and upon walking into the gentleman's house, I saw a little Wicks, without it's case (just the windchest, pipes, and console) and I said, "I used to play a similar little Wicks when I was a student at Butler." The guy said, "oh yeah, this is it."
What are the odds!?
As we pulled out of the driveway headed for home, Sarah turned to me and said, "Do you want that Wicks?" and I said, "Naah, it's a lot of work, I have nowhere to put it, and I don't have the time to invest in it at the moment."
She said, "Well, it's special to me...."
"Well, say no more....."
So I went back to ask him to sell it to me.
So, the weekend after Thanksgiving Sarah and I drove back to Ohio, loaded it all up and brought it back home to Indy.
After ruling out putting in our house (thank God) we agreed it was best to put it in the chapel GUMC. I spent 8-10hrs a day, over that week rebuilding the windchest and reassembling the case. All of the pipes were in excellent shape, but the windchest/base had been utterly DESTROYED in order to get it out of the music building and into the previous owners house. That has all been rebuilt and is waiting to be stained to match.
The instrument was professionally tuned, and like many Wicks instruments, could benefit from some voicing work. After its rebuild, Wicks Op. 5145 was played publicly for the first time for the January 31, 2021 worship service.