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May 22, 2019

University Musical Society organ

December 5, 2016

University Musical Society organ

Old school: U-M in History

Topic: History

The Frieze Memorial Organ sits inside University Memorial Hall in 1896. View a larger version of this photo. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

This month in history (122 years ago)

In 1894, the University Musical Society bought the great, 3,901-pipe organ that enthralled guests at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The organ measured 34 feet wide by 25 feet deep and was created by the Farrand & Votey Co. of Detroit. Efforts to purchase the organ, which cost $15,000, were spearheaded by professors A.A. Stanley and Francis W. Kelsey. Through a fundraising drive, UMS received large donations from U-M alumni and “music enthusiasts” from Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Chicago and New York. On Dec. 14, 1894, the organ was named after Henry Simmons Frieze, a former U-M acting president and UMS' principal founder. In 1913, the organ moved to Hill Auditorium, and in 1928, most of its parts were replaced.

— from the Bentley Historical Library and "The Great Pipe Organ," Feb. 2, 2016, University Musical Society website 

Tags: Old School