Our Story

We are a Company dedicated to the art, science, beauty, and longevity of the pipe organ. Our clients include churches, universities, organ enthusiasts, and organ hobbyists. Beside being a fully equipped pipe organ manufacturing facility, we also offer organ restoration, tuning and maintenance services, and new custom-built organs.

— The staff at Hupalo & Repasky believes craftsmanship and attention to detail need not be limited to only the construction of new, but also can be used to preserve the great works by those who preceded us.

Philosophy of Design

With all that goes into developing the mechanical and the artistic requirements of a pipe organ, we can never stray from our ultimate charge in creating an instrument to lead and inspire worship.  As pipe organ builders, we are entrusted with the responsibility to create instruments that reflect the long-standing tradition of the pipe organ and its service to the Church.

Tonal Inspiration

While it is difficult to impart the aural character of our instruments, it is possible to describe the manner in which we develop the tonal design by the following statement.  “The significant choice made between a Rohrflote and a Chimney Flute may seem subtle to the untrained ear.  It is, however, as significant as a painter’s choice between crimson and scarlet.”  For successful tonal cohesion it is necessary to be this particular in choosing the appropriate pipework.  Harmonic balance, articulation of speech, clarity of tone, and depth of sound all require careful consideration.

Our fundamental goal is to develop a tonal design with selected choruses, ensembles and solo voices that work within the scope of all musical literature.  Rather than supplying a pipe organ with a more narrow predetermined style of musical repertoire, we choose to build an instrument capable of creating the music drawn out by the organist.  We feel it necessary to avail the musician with a greatest possible collection of blend-able colors.

In order to meet the expectations of our tonal design, all new pipework in a Hupalo & Repasky instrument is custom built by our own artisans. With over 30 years of pipe making experience, we can utilize this back ground to maintain full control over all the particular characteristics necessary for the desired quality of each stop.  An additional source of pipes for many of our instruments has been through the use of vintage pipework.  Restored to “like new” condition, such pipework enables us to continue the artistic character and talents of our predecessors. It is a wonderful way to retain the beauty of the past, while—in many cases, providing a financial savings to our clients.  Quality vintage pipework is given serious consideration when it fits into our tonal design.

Components of Success

The pipe organ has a long-standing tradition in the church and has been an outlet for human creativity and praise.  Vibrant stained glass, sculpted marble, carved woods, symbolic paraments, and ornate vessels, have all  historically adorned the worship space.  This beauty can be awe-inspiring and assist one in the spiritual transcendence for worship.  Just as one hears the first chords of the organ, its case draws one’s focus form the ordinary to the sublime. A formidable structure of great beauty, the case gives the instrument a visual presence to lead the congregation—its primary responsibility.  It creates a musical reality for the instrument, much like seeing a quartet or a large orchestra.

In creating the visual design of a Hupalo & Repasky instrument, it is necessary to study the intended environment for the instrument.  This study is not limited to simply the visual character and physical structure of the space, but also includes the worship format, the history of the church, the practices of the denomination and the desires of the parishioners.  With this in mind, we can then determine whether it be contemporary or traditional in design, a case which compliments or reflects its room.  Careful study of line, materials, shapes and colors can bring about the desired visual effect of the instrument.

The console is the point at which the organist connects with the pipe organ in order to create music.  Because of this, it is necessary for the console to be a pleasing and well planned tactile environment for the musician.  The music rack, the stop faces, the pedal board, and the adjustable bench, all must be carefully and ergonomically located in order to work together and assist the organist’s ability to play the instrument.

To facilitate this interplay, all of our electric action consoles are equipped with tracker touch keys.  Carefully regulated, they create the response necessary for superb articulation, as well as the feedback which makes the action a joy to play.  To accentuate the natural connection between the organist’s fingers and the keys, we prefer to use natural materials for key coverings, such as bone or exotic hardwoods.

Stop controls, pistons, toe studs and expression shoes, all used by the organist to manipulate the instrument’s sound and tonal character, must be reliable, precise, and logically positioned. Sophisticated electronic systems such as multilevel combination actions –with many programmable functions, MIDI systems and state-of-the-art processors–incorporated where console mobility is required, are standard features in our consoles.  We carefully choose the manufacturers of our systems so that we can guarantee seamless function, as well as ensure a universality with our systems and those of other builders.

The consoles cabinetry is custom designed, and incorporates the finest quality materials.  They are constructed of select hardwoods, and sized to fit the specific space requirements and usage.  They are designed not only to match the cases of our instruments, but also to blend with the details of their environment.  The cabinetry –like our cases, is finished using dye stains and multiple layers of applied oils to create a resilient, rich finish.  This finish draws out the natural beauty of the woods.

Our windchests must fulfill four specific requirements:  efficient space usage, ease of service and maintenance, reliability, and–most importantly, provide for the most lyrical of pipe speech.  We find the slider-pallet style windchest fulfills these criteria for both electric and mechanical action instruments.  For a mechanical action organ, the benefits of a slider-pallet design have long proven their success in reliability and responsive articulation.  In the case of our electric action instruments, the electro-pneumatic pull down system most closely replicates the gentle, articulate quality found on a tracker pipe organ.  In smaller instruments, electro-pneumatic unit windchests are used to develop a more complete tonal design with limited resources.  All windchests are custom-built to each project’s requirements. 

The wind system used by Hupalo & Repasky provides expressive pipe speech as well as very effective tremulants.  It incorporates carefully balanced and engineered wind trunks fed through curtain valves and reservoirs of precisely calculated dimensions.  While the function of the reservoir is to provide the organ with an ample supply of wind at a regulated pressure, its design can also have a definitive role in the character of sound achieved.

Tradition of Service

From its founding, Hupalo & Repasky Pipe Organs has been committed to the care and maintenance of existing pipe organs through out the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether servicing new installations that only require regular tuning or vintage instruments in need of reconditioning, our technicians draw on many years of experience with organs by a wide variety of builders.

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