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The Hill Auditorium Organ

Michigan Today has a great feature on the pipe organ in Hill Auditorium (shown at left in its original Ann Arbor home in University Hall, courtesy of the Bentley Library).

Did you know that the organ was manufactured by a Detroit company for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893)? Or that it contained 3,901 pipe ranging in size from a drinking straw to a tree trunk when it was first built?

Henry Simmons Frieze, the founder of UMS, a professor of Latin, a three-time president of the University of Michigan, and an amateur organist, was the biggest advocate for the acquisition of a world-class organ.  He died before his dream was realized, but Albert Stanley and Francis Kelsey launched a public fundraising campaign that brought the organ to Ann Arbor, where it was named in honor of Henry Simmons Frieze.

Read more about the fascinating history of this beloved instrument.  And tell us about your experiences with and memories of the Hill Auditorium organ in the comments area below.