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At the Home of Fred & Eva Beeks - Diane Bish

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Uploaded on Feb 19, 2010

During the Joy of Music Alaskan Tour, one of the stops was Skagway, Alaska where we visited the home of Fred Beeks. Fred and his wife Eva built their house specifically for a theater pipe organ. Also featuring clips from the famous White Pass Railroad.

Pieces played:
Toccata & Fugue in d minor
the end of Widor's Toccata

About Fred and Eva and the organ:

Fred purchased the organ in 1960, and when he and his wife moved to Alaska approximately ten years ago, they built their house around the pipe organ. The home is 64 feet wide, 32 feet deep, and two stories high.

Fred built the house around the many pipes. The first-floor living area is quite small, as the instrument takes up most of it. Fred's Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ has 925 pipes and sits in a special 12-by-20-foot room that reaches two-and-a-half stories high. Originally the organ was installed in the California Theatre in Dunsmere in 1925.

Upstairs, only one bedroom and a sitting area can coexist with the giant organ. The organ has sounds of drums, bells, xylophone, chimes, clarinet, trumpet and flutes. Fred designed an organ roll device so that the instrument can play itself.

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