On September 29-30, mechanical music fills the air at The Farmers’ Museum during its first-ever Carousel Organ Rally. Playing the happiest music on earth, these organs reproduce the sound of an entire band. Members of the Carousel Organ Association of America are bringing them and many hand-cranked grinder organs to Cooperstown, so come and hear them play!
The rally features a dozen large band organs, including the largest trumpet organ in Canada. Organs made by Ruth & Sohn, Gavioli, and Wurlitzer will be brought by members of the COAA from all over the eastern United States. In addition, many strolling hand-cranked grinder organs will be heard throughout the museum’s historic village. Holding its own, the Mighty, Majestic, Military Band Organ of the Empire State, which makes its home at the museum, will give regular concerts in the Carousel Pavilion.
Playing music that makes you smile, these organs are also fascinating mechanically and artistically. Bob Yorburg, a contributing carver of the Empire State Carousel, will demonstrate designing and carving a carousel organ facade. In a style he calls “amusement baroque,” Yorburg’s over-the-top baroque architectural carvings are whimsical and enchanting. For anyone inspired to try decorative carving, Yorburg’s book Acanthus Carving and Design takes readers step by step through drawing and transferring patterns, wood preparation, tool sharpening, carving and detailing, and finishing.
All the museum’s delightful activities throughout the historic village and farmstead continue this weekend. Another activity to captivate all family members is a hit-and-miss engine powering an ice cream churn, producing delicious Byler’s Ice Cream. This promises to be a memorable, fun-filled day for all!
Come to The Farmers’ Museum to hear and see the great gathering of the band organs. The rally is held at the museum from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Entry is included in the museum admission: Adults and juniors (13-64): $12.00; seniors (65+): $10.50; youth (7-12): $6.00; children (6 and under): Free. NYSHA members are always admitted free, as are active-duty and retired career military. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for more information.