• I have learned (as probably have many of you) of the tragic fire at the Dobson Organ workshop. A terrible thing to happen to such a valuable part of the church music community and the musical community at large. Some beautiful instruments have come out of Dobson and I ask for your prayers that they make a full recovery.
    You can read more about the fire here.
  • I just learned that there was a 4-manual organ in the shop, being built for a church in Australia, and that organ was a "total loss". So sad.
    I had the privilege of visiting Casavant twice and getting a tour of their workshop and from what I can see Dobson's workshop was on a similar scale. So I know what must have been lost.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,225
    I saw this early this morning. Their founder retired, I think, last year so I don't know who is in charge there now. Maybe they can rebuild but sometimes a tragic event can push a company out of business. Who knows what will happen next.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    This is tragic indeed.
    Let us hope (and pray!) that they can go forward.
    Wouldn't they have insurance for such events?
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    Even with insurance, all their projects will be pushed back years. It would take them at least a year just to clear the debris and build a polebarn, let alone replace all the tools, lumber, etc. etc. This will undoubtedly set some poor church's project back a few years too. The whole thing is just tragic.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW richardUK
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,225
    I am not sure anyone gets super rich in the organ building industry these days. The demand just isn't there. I know Moller was shipping one organ per week from its factory in the early part of the last century. I wouldn't be surprised if most companies now build fewer than 10 instruments per year, if that many. As to how well-heeled and prosperous Dobson is, or what their reserves are, I have no idea. I also don't know if they had any other buildings besides the one that burned.
  • richardUKrichardUK
    Posts: 78
    A friend of mine is director of music at St James Church, Sydney, Australia. Another friend of mine from college days has worked at Dobson's for years. The community in Sydney were excitedly awaiting their new Dobson organ, a very substantial project costing millions, which was being built in the workshop when the fire happened. They said they are devasted at the news the organ has been destroyed, but relieved all are ok except one worker with minor burns expected to make a full recovery. They put out a statement saying they hope the organ can be completed "at a later date." I also understand the community of Lake City, IA, the small town of 1,700 where the Dobson shop is located, has been wonderful, for example offering office space and other services so they can at least make a start to rebuilding. Others have promised to donate new specialist tools for them. Prayers for everyone involved.