Grandall and Engen

Grandall and Engen


Grandall and Engen did a renovation of the 1969 Reuter organ at St. Timothy Lutheran in St. Paul. Musicians and pastors had complained about the organ for over forty years. We were doubtful that anything could be done to improve it. However, Grandall and Engen completely transformed the instrument. They are experts on both the technical and musical side of organ renovation, including acoustics. They maximized the potential of this organ and its space limitations. Thanks to Grandall and Engen we now have an instrument which will ably lead congregational singing, accompany, and perform classic organ repertoire. I give them my highest recommendation.

Pro-active pipe organ tuning and repair, since 1984 Pro-active pipe organ service since 1984.

While we service many large instruments, construction and repair projects are intentionally kept small.


Work continues slowly on refurbishing the fifty year old Aeolian-Skinner/Sipe organ at Zumbro Lutheran in Rochester, MN. Many fussy adjustments in addition to cleaning. Finally the Great facade is getting full wind, so we will have to climb up and fix their speech. The same is happening to the Pedal facade. These pipes have been starved for air since installation in 1970.

Timeline photos 07/31/2022

Timeline photos


After Easter we began the 50th anniversary cleaning and renovation of the iconic Aeolian-Skinner/Sipe/Laukhuff organ at Zumbro Lutheran in Rochester, MN. Installed during the summer of 1970, and following recent construction in the church, the organ badly needs cleaning. This is our opportunity to re-bush keyboards and fix little problems that have developed over 50+ years of heavy use.

Meet the doctor who built his Bratenahl home around a pipe organ fit for a cathedral 04/20/2022

Meet the doctor who built his Bratenahl home around a pipe organ fit for a cathedral

Meet the doctor who built his Bratenahl home around a pipe organ fit for a cathedral This Bratenahl home has a musical secret


We invite you to our Organ Restoration Showcase on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:30 PM in Abbott Concert Hall!

We sincerely hope you will join us for the Organ Restoration Showcase on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:30 PM. This special program will include featured performances on the Hendrickson Organ by UWRF students, Organ Faculty Dr. Laura Edman, and guest artists, as well as information regarding the instrument and its remarkable history of excellence in performance and instruction. In addition, David Engen, President of Grandall and Engen LLC Organbuilders will present information about the current condition of the organ and plans for its critically important repairs, improvements, and updates. We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event and hope you will attend!

We would like to ask you to consider a donation to the UW-River Falls Foundation’s UWRF Organ Restoration Project at the following link: in William Abbott Concert Hall, Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. Since its installation in 1974, the Hendrickson Organ has been a truly distinctive instrument, supporting high-quality organ performance and instruction, and distinguishing UW-River Falls from many other UW System campuses. Our goal is to raise $125,000 toward the goal of restoring the organ, providing critical repairs, improvements, and updating the instrument for teaching and performing in the twenty-first century. W

In addition, we would like to ask you to consider a donation to the UW-River Falls Foundation’s UWRF Organ Restoration Project at the following link: . A gift of any size will make a difference! If you have any questions, please contact David Milne via email at [email protected] or Kellie Burrows in the Office of University Advancement at 715-425-3505.

Thank you for your consideration, and we hope to see you at the Organ Restoration Showcase on Tuesday, April 5th at 7:30 PM in Abbott Concert Hall!

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 02/13/2022

Have been doing pipe podiatry this week, replacing squashed toes with cast lead toes. Tedious, but a much improved result.

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 01/31/2022

Before and after pictures of today’s work. The Luther Seminary Casavant has been purchased by St. John’s Lutheran in Howard Lake, MN. The organ will find a new home in 2024 just an hour’s drive away. We will reconfigure it for the new setting in consultation with Casavant. Their pastor went to school here. Our thanks to the St. John’s volunteers who are helping us this week.


30-40 hours per week. General assembly, which includes low-voltage wiring for pipe organs in wind chests and consoles, assembly of small parts. No heavy lifting, but familiarity with basic woodworking and shop tools is helpful. Small and friendly staff. Salary is to start. Will review after 6 months. Offer basic health insurance (high deductible) and quite a bit of freedom to come and go. Familiarity with the keyboard to be part of a tuning team.


We have job openings. Take a look at our posted jobs!


Attention high school seniors!

A new FULL-TUITION scholarship to the University of Iowa will be offered this year for students who choose to major in organ. Organ experience is NOT required! Double majoring is strongly encouraged, so you can use music to pay for your college degree.
We're looking for students who love music and want to keep making music in college. The Organ Department has a multi-million dollar fund to help students stay out of debt, and we're committed to offering a new full-tuition scholarship every year. We have a large and thriving studio with 16 organ majors, so you'll have a supportive community to join right away.

We're looking for passionate and musical students with some keyboard experience. Choir training is a big, big plus! We want students who love to perform, but don't really see themselves becoming opera singers or professional instrumentalists. At Iowa, we specialize in transferring those high school musical talents and experiences into a new and rewarding field.

It's no problem to start with no organ experience in college. We have a team of teachers and older students who get new students started right away, in a fun and collaborative environment.
We also strongly encourage students to pursue multiple majors while being an organ major. There is a huge shortage of organists in the United States, and we have many alumni who are greatly augmenting their salaries out of college by playing organ part-time.
For more information, email Dr. Hand at [email protected].

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 08/02/2021

Making progress at Bethlehem Covenant in Minneapolis. Pipes are now in exposed wind chest and playing (but not tuned). Decorative cover being built in the shop. Dedication concert planned for Reformation Sunday October 31, played by Steve Self, organist at Grace University Lutheran and formerly Bethel University.


Today marked major progress toward completion at Bethlehem Covenant in Minneapolis. The new grill is complete and the chest for the exposed 8’ Principal was mounted. Winding and pipes to follow soon.


This week we started tonal finishing at Bethlehem Covenant in south Minneapolis. In the shop the crew is working on a three-layer exposed facade. Shown is the middle row. Because of the ceiling curve the biggest four pipes are Haskells that will hide behind what’s shown here. All of the front row are spotted metal pipes with long feet. The church’s architect came up with the layout, which will not be square to the chamber wall. The bass end will project farther out onto the chancel.

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 07/13/2021

Pulling the last big pipes from 1946 Moller Opus 7191 at former Joyce Methodist in Minneapolis. Building is destined to become condos.


Back in the mid 1970’s I went to Europe on an organ study tour, with Paul Bunjes as leader. We had morning classes, based on his doctoral thesis. While I learned some very interesting and useful things (like mixture analysis and mapping the organ’s crown) he had some very unyielding ideas. Today we come full circle and I’m going through the pipes of a Schlicker practice organ designed by Bunjes. I don’t agree with some of the voicing, which I’m sure he approved. I’m changing it so the pipes actually speak! It sounds much better when the pipe speaks when you press a key. They either never worked right or they have deteriorated over the years.


A lot of activity coming up. Will be finishing up Bethlehem Covenant expansion with tonal finishing in a couple of weeks. Concurrently the shop will be rebuilding a well-worn Schlicker practice organ designed by Paul Bunjes. Then we start the process of replacing Wicks direct electric magnets that have rusted hinges from several years of storage in a barn. One can never say organ building is boring!

Help Replace Dobson Employees' Tools, organized by Mike Sutcliffe 06/24/2021

Help Replace Dobson Employees' Tools, organized by Mike Sutcliffe

Help Replace Dobson Employees' Tools, organized by Mike Sutcliffe As most of the organ community is now aware, Dobson Pipe Organ Builders' factory w… Mike Sutcliffe needs your support for Help Replace Dobson Employees' Tools

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 06/10/2021

Update on Bethlehem Covenant in Minneapolis. Installation started today, and all chests are in place in the chamber. Crew includes Eric, Ione, Joe and Brady. David G took the pictures.


Bethlehem Covenant rebuild is progressing, with installation starting soon. Our summer intern Brady Zimmerman and Ione Butler are working on some last minute racking at what will be the "back" of the A-frame chamber. They are standing roughly where the two 16' bourdons will sit, at the back wall of the newly insulated chamber. The garage door represents the location of the swell shades, and the 8' Principal will be in front of the shades, exposed in the chancel. This is a complete overhaul and expansion of a 1948 Moller, Opus 7827. Tonal finishing in July.


Happy to see our organ at Lutheran Church of Christ Redeemer used as backdrop for these musical luminaries.


Our renovation of the 128 year old Steere organ in Menomonie WI is almost finished. Pipes went back in last week — with slider seals — and we did on-site regulating and tuned it to 440 at 70 degrees. Pitch was raised to be able to use it with other instruments. For the first time we were not dealing with slider leaks, allowing accurate tuning! It sounds good.

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 10/09/2020

On the voicing machine is the last rank — the Pedal 8’ Cello. Not in great shape. Some collapsed toes, ripped tuning scrolls, squashed trebles. All fixed now. The second picture is stacked trays with all 17 Steere ranks after cleaning and restoration. Everything went on a truck back to Menomonie WI today. Fortunately the church is closed so we shouldn’t run into anyone in WI infected! Postscript: truck arrived early enough that by Friday evening the crew got the pipes back into the Swell!

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 10/06/2020

Progress report on our work on the Steere organ in Menomonie, WI. The end is in sight. One picture shows Ione installing slider seals. This 128 year old organ has always had seasonal wood movement problems, and this removable solution we hope will solve the perennial slider leaks and resulting tuning issues. All of the pipes have been cleaned in the shop, after which they go to the voicing machine. 4’ Flute d’Amour is shown. Some of the painted facade pipes are visible in the background. Lots of age-related damage uncovered. Pipes will go back in next week.


Since the Northrop organ is one of our service clients, this is a nice overview of its history. Former TCAGO Dean Laura Edman wrote her doctoral dissertation on this organ’s history.

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 09/01/2020

New wind system for the Steere & Sons organ is coming along. Pictures from Eric Hobbs. The old reservoir would not come out without dismantling the ENTIRE ORGAN! It needed new leather, and there wasn't room in there to re-leather it in place. We reluctantly decided to replace it with three smaller reservoirs. There was just no other practical solution. Even though this is a violation of historic principles of conservation, parts of the organ have been significantly modified from the original and parts have even been electrified. In the absence of the money and committment from the church to take the whole organ down, we opted for this compromise.


Our next project is underway. It’s a Steere & Sons tracker from 1894, 19 ranks in Wisconsin. The facade stenciling was overpainted long ago and will remain as is. Parts were also electrified, so historic restoration is not in the plan. We are adding slider seals that can be removed in the future if desired. They will not affect the basic fabric. (This organ suffers winter leakage). Pitch will be raised to 440 at 70 degrees so it can be used with other instruments. Reeds are being restored by Chris Broome. Old leather nuts have been replaced. Wind leaks will be fixed. Church membership is proud of this instrument.

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 07/30/2020

The crew is in Grand Rapids, MN reinstalling the upgraded console on Schantz Opus 1556 (1979) at First Evangelical Lutheran. New keyboards with more pistons, new relay with multiple memory levels, transposer. We are also adding a 4' Principal and 1.3/5' Tierce to a very small Swell, which should help the balance between the Swell in back of the balcony and the Great on the balcony rail.. Schantz is reworking the Swell Trumpet for us. Minor revoicing, mostly making the 8' and 4' Great principals a bit louder. Thanks to Joshua Lindgren for the pictures.

In the 'Land of 10,000 Choirs' coronavirus concerns have Minnesotans singing the blues 07/13/2020

In the 'Land of 10,000 Choirs' coronavirus concerns have Minnesotans singing the blues

In the 'Land of 10,000 Choirs' coronavirus concerns have Minnesotans singing the blues With singing believed to raise the danger of infection, choral directors try to find a way forward.

8 Reasons the Worship Industry Is Killing Worship 06/30/2020

8 Reasons the Worship Industry Is Killing Worship

8 Reasons the Worship Industry Is Killing Worship This is not a curmudgeonly rant against new music. It's about freeing ourselves and our worship from the stranglehold of the industry.

‘Pipe Dreams’ Review: Vital Organs 06/22/2020

‘Pipe Dreams’ Review: Vital Organs

‘Pipe Dreams’ Review: Vital Organs A PBS film looks at an impressively capable yet oft-overlooked instrument and the musicians who play it.

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 06/05/2020

Practicing Covid safety and social distancing in our shop, to say nothing of the fashion statement made by the masks! Working on upgrades to Schantz Opus 1556 from 1979 at First Lutheran in Grand Rapids, MN. New relay with integrated combination action and multiple memory levels. More pistons and toe studs. Restore pedal board with new bushings and key tops. Replace cotton covered wire per NEC guidelines. Clean pipes and remove 41 years of dust. Add two ranks to the Swell. Rehabilitate the Swell Trumpet -- our thanks to Jeff Herr, Jeff Dexter and G&E alumnus Luke Tegtmeier at Schantz for their help.

A Case for the Pipe Organ 05/22/2020

A Case for the Pipe Organ

A Case for the Pipe Organ This blog post by LifeWay Czar Thom S. Rainer caught my attention recently. He's reporting on a poll he conducted to determine which instruments were the most and least preferred in worship. Of course, the results are skewed by Rainer's predominantly middle-aged Baptist and baptisty non-denom rea...

Our Savior's Lutheran organ spec 05/12/2020

Our Savior's Lutheran organ spec

Our Savior's Lutheran organ spec

Photos from Grandall and Engen's post 04/28/2020

We are open again! This is a week of transition as we work out the new social distancing rules for small businesses. Work resumes on reservoir repairs in Spring Valley, and next week we begin on electrical renovation and some minor tonal changes to an organ in Grand Rapids. Two very different organs by different builders, but in similar buildings.

Eine Orgel wird gebaut – Neue Kirchenorgel für Mariä Himmelfahrt Dachau 2015 –church pipe organ 04/28/2020

Eine Orgel wird gebaut – Neue Kirchenorgel für Mariä Himmelfahrt Dachau 2015 –church pipe organ

All in German, unfortunately for us, but it's a 20 minute documentary that shows design, chest construction, voicing, and quite a long sequence showing installation at the Maria Himmelfahrt Catholic Church in Dachau.

Eine Orgel wird gebaut – Neue Kirchenorgel für Mariä Himmelfahrt Dachau 2015 –church pipe organ Mehr als 20 Kubikmeter Holz, 2600 Pfeifen und zweieinhalb Jahre Bauzeit – und fertig ist die neue Kirchenorgel für Mariä H...


I’m sorry to report that good friend to the company and organist of Trinity Lutheran in Stillwater Dave Goulette died of Covid-19 on April 19. We tuned the Schantz organ for him for many years. Whenever he called for a tuning appointment we’d always devolve into a St. Olaf College conversation. RIP my friend.

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10550 County Road 81, Ste 118
Maple Grove, MN

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