The Fall Class of 1917 started a fund known as the “Pipe Organ Fund,” donating $300 with the suggestion that subsequent classes and other donors add to this account. With the approval of the SGIG, Frank C. Patton, 33°, a pipe organ valued at $25,000 was purchased in 1926 from Kilgen and Sons of St. Louis, Missouri.
The Kilgen organ was formally dedicated on Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26, by Mr. Clarence Eddy, America’s foremost concert organist at the time. Mr. Eddy gave a series of four recitals. At the time, special organ recitals were given each month, and were open to the public. After nearly 90 years of use, the Scottish Rite Cathedral Board voted to restore the organ at a cost of $175,000. Numerous Scottish Rite Masons donated generously to the project, and Bedient Pipe Organ Company of Lincoln, Nebraska was selected to undertake the project.
The organ was dedicated on December 7, 2014 in memory of George Rice, 33°, who played and maintained the Scottish Rite organ for many years. Sadly, George passed away on May 2, 2013.
Omaha organist Jim Boston stops by the Scottish Rite each week to play the organ, which keeps moisture in the pipes and the keys in tune. We asked him to show what the organ can do, and we recorded this short video of the Scottish Rite's 90 year old pipe organ in full form!