CHICAGO (CBS) — The city’s largest pipe organ is getting a make-over. Pulling it off is a young man with the skills of a carpenter, the brain of a physicist, and an ear for music.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole spent some time with him.
As ethereal music echoes through Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church, calling the man at the keyboard a musician is only part of his story.
Pipe organ builder Christopher Soer says he is “kind of a rare breed.”
“Pretty much everybody looks at me like: is that even a job?” Soer said.
But for the one-time computer programmer, it is.
“You are building a gigantic tree house for adults that also makes music,” he said.
The pipes in view from the pews are merely decorations, so Soer took CBS 2 behind the altar inside his musical treehouse.
It is a cramped world populated by 8,000 pipes of all sizes.
Kind of like Spider-Man, he easily navigates a vertical labyrinth of towering spaces.
Since last summer, his job has been reconstructing the skeleton of the church’s musical centerpiece.
“It is a misunderstood instrument,” Soer said. “It’s considered a relic.”
But the work of this organ doctor sure sounds good.
A debut concert of the refurbished pipe organ is scheduled for next month.