Mr. Hupalo offers thirty-four years of organ building experience necessary to construct a classic pipe organ. An early interest in pipe organs and sacred music lead him to study music at the Hartt School, University of Hartford. However, his great love for music performance did not fulfill his creative sense that building organs would.
John began his organ building career in the metal pipe shop at Austin Organ Inc. In the pipe shop he attained all the skills necessary to manufacture organ pipes from the small to the large. He worked casting sheets of metal with all the varied alloys used in pipe making. Spending almost ten years learning pipe making, one might call him a master pipe maker.
His career did not end in the pipe shop. He continued to add to his skills and experience, first by joining the cabinet shop as assistant cabinetmaker crafting consoles and wooden pipes. He then furthered his experience by fabricating organ components in the parts department, which crafted all the parts for Austin consoles, chest actions, and moving parts of the organ. This exposed him to machinery of all types. Many of these machines were made at the factory for specific jobs such as making the Austin chest actions. This apprenticeship at Austin was invaluable.
Having gained a full range of organ building experience, Mr. Hupalo founded his first enterprise, a custom pipe shop in Connecticut. His company manufactured and supplied organ pipes to numerous independent organ builders throughout America. In 1986, Mr. Hupalo accepted an offer to join the San Francisco based organ builder, Schoenstein & Company. For the next eight years, he managed the pipe shop. His skills contributed to developing the pipe shop, which included casting facilities and training pipe makers along with making most of the new pipes for Schoenstein. Within the first few years, Mr. Hupalo was developing the rebuilding standard for reed pipes used in the rebuilding of the Mormon Tabernacle organ and developing the French romantic reeds from information gathered by Jack Bethards during his study tour in France.
In 1994, Mr. Hupalo started his own pipe shop, the Hupalo Organ Pipe Co. while he remaining active in supervising the Schoenstein pipe shop. During this period, Mr. Hupalo made pipes for many notable organ projects, among them: St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catholic Church (Rosales Organ Builders Inc.), the pipe facade for the Jacksonville Symphony Hall organ (Quimby Pipe Organs), and rebuilding all pipes of the E. M. Skinner at Hollywood High School (Austin Organs Inc.).
In 2001 Steve Repasky and John Hupalo formed Hupalo & Repasky Pipe Organs, LLC. Since then the company has been building, rebuilding, and servicing pipe organs. Mr. Hupalo is a member in good standing in the following organizations: the American Institute of Organbuilders, the American Guild of Organists (currently a member-at-large), the British Institute of Organ Studies, the International Society of Organ builders, and the Organ Historical Society.
Organ building satisfies my creative sense
Mr. Repasky holds a bachelor of music degree in organ performance from Youngstown State University and a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Repasky is a member of the American Institute of Organbuilders, the Organ Historical Society, and the American Guild of Organists.
Steve served as organist for churches since his parochial school days. He was organist at Old St. Mary’s Church in the early 1980′s and music director a St. Patrick Church, San Francisco for nearly 30 years. Steve is currently associate music director at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco. He has one of the largest private collections of organ, chant, and sacred choral music on the west coast. He performs regularly as an organ soloist, accompanist and choral conductor for the Noontime Concert Series as well as several other Bay Area concert venues.
His apprenticeship with organ building began in 1990 with Schoenstein & Company. Over the years, Mr. Repasky has gained extensive experience in the building, restoring, and voicing of pipe organs. He is also an experienced organ service technician, taking care of many of the more notable organs in northern California. One of the highlights of his career is the restoration of an 1812 English chamber organ. This charming instrument was completely rebuilt from the inside out. Damaged parts were meticulously restored and missing parts were made to match the originals.
In 1995, he was the program chairman for the annual convention of the American Institute of Organbuilders in San Jose. Mr. Repasky has served two terms as subdean (program chair) for the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is currently serving as a member-at-large on the chapter board.
“I was fascinated by pipe organs at a very early age and can remember wondering, unlike most musical instruments, why the pipes do not move when the organ is played. I am always awe stuck by the sound, design, and mechanics of a pipe organ.”
Mr. Visscher received his bachelor’s degree from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania where he studied organ with Dr. James Boeringer. Mr. Visscher holds the title of “Master Organbuilder” with the American Institute of Organbuilders. He gained extensive experience in organ building while working for the organ building firms of James McFarland & Co., Bozeman & Gibson Co. Inc., and Rosales Organ Builders, Inc.
For eighteen years, he owned and operated his own firm, Visscher Associates located in the Santa Cruz area. During that time, he built many new instruments through out California. His most notable instrument being the seventy-three rank organ for Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco.
Mr. Visscher is currently the music director and organist at All Saint’s Episcopal Church, San Francisco.
“Pipe Organs are the essence of Life.”
Mark Dahlberg began his career in organ building at the age of thirteen, studying and researching a wide variety of instruments in Minnesota and the Dakotas. While continuing to learn the trade of organ building, he pursued his education in pipe organ perfomance, music, art, design, physics, and religion at Concordia College and Augsburg College, both in Minnesota. Mark established his own pipe organ company in Frazee, Minnesota, in 1985. He completed two large church installations and serviced pipe organs in the Midwest before joining a prominent Pacific Northwestern builder.
As project manager and design engineer, Mark was responsible for the visual design, mechanical functions, physical layout, and actual construction of each instrument produced by that firm. He concentrated on refining and improving instrument design to produce a pipe organ of high quality and perfomance. He has extensive experience in mechanical engineering, developing many new and innovative components and systems. During his tenure, Mark worked with the church, architects, acousticians and suppliers, coordinating all major projects from start to finish. Utilizing Autodesk CAD programs for 3D instrument layout, he continued to advance the quality and level of drawings for the production of instruments.
After a brief sabbatical, Mark applied his years of experience to another of his passions, church design and construction. For over eleven years he had been the lead client liaison, designer and project manager for prominent design/build general contracting firm who specialize in the design and construction of churches in the tristate regions of Minnesota and the Dakotas.
Utilizing years of experience working with church clients, he functions as a design liaison for the architect. This allows for intimate knowledge of the project and enables seamless coordination between the church client, architect, and construction team. Mark has greatly expanded is construction background. Whether it be local/international building codes, design/documentation, engineering, bidding, zoning, interrelations/coordination between subcontractors, construction techniques, etc.; this background is all necessary to successfully function as project manager.
With any large capital church project, comes the concern over resources. In the 26 years he has work with congregations and this position with a professional development consulting firm, Mark has amassed a great deal of experience in how to fund significant projects. There is always a level of trepidation in embarking on a large capital campaign to fund a vision or dream. Having a member on our staff who can answer your questions and aid in building your funding campaign, is a unique and valuable asset.
Besides his roll as client liaison, construction manager, Mark is also responsible for all corporate marketing and promotion at Hupalo & Repasky. He has developed a complete marketing format and strategy for ease of production and quick response time.
“Undeniably the pipe organ is the greatest machine ever fabricated by the hands of artisans, disguised as a majestic work of art, brought to life by one musician through the notes of a composer all working in grand harmony to reveal the magnificence of our Creator”.