Jeffrey Verbeeck of the J Verbeeck Co. of Antwerp, Belgium, will be working on the repair of the Music House Museum‘s 1922 Mortier Dance Hall Organ over the next eight days. This massive organ, weighing around two tons, was damaged last winter when the museum lost its furnace. While still playable, a crack sustained by the temperature and humidity fluctuations cause the Mortier to lose several of its instruments. Verbeeck, who is very familiar with the instrument having worked with his father, Johnny, in 2013 to restore its inner workings, began work Oct. 31st. The J Verbeeck Company, founded in 1884, is one of the few companies in the world that can repair these instruments and, when possible, uses materials similar to those used in the original build to maintain historic integrity.
Thanks to the generosity of the Music House’s donor base, the museum was able to raise $80,000 to install a totally new heating, air conditioning and humidification system to protect their entire facility and priceless collection. Unfortunately the damage had already occurred to the Mortier leading them to reach out to Verbeeck for assistance. The Mortier is the ‘crown jewel’ of their collection and is one of only a handful of such instruments remaining. Guests on every tour marvel at its amazing sound and beauty. The Music House has moved into its Fall Hours of tours on Sat. from 10 am to 4 pm and Sun. from Noon to 4 pm through Christmas Eve and the entire week between Christmas and New Years. They have several exciting events scheduled between now and New Year’s. Information on these is available atmusichouse.org. The museum is located just north of Traverse City at 7377 US 31 North, Williamburg, MI.