Portland’s Merrill Auditorium has hosted several great performers with a variety of talents. Perhaps none are as diverse as it’s Kotzschmar Organ that has called Merrill home for over 100 years and that recently received a major face lift.

The organ was disassembled and sent away to Washington two years ago to be renovated. The project cost $2.5 million to restore the organ’s console as well as it’s complicated 7,100 piece piping system. Ray Cornils has been the municipal organist at Merrill Auditorium since 1990 and according to him the Kotzschmar’s air system didn’t hold up as well as the rest of the organ over the years.

“100 years old it was not going to continue to hold the air as it needed to and there’s a lot of leather parts, a lot of moving parts there that need to be air tight,” said Cornils.

The century old organ is now back in Portland, tuned, and ready for shows that will satisfy just about everyone’s musical tastes.

— Rob Nesbitt for WCSH (click for full article)