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A Detroit-based company is celebrating more than 30 years of building, redesigning and restoring pipe organs around the Midwest.
Covenant Pipe Organs works with churches and other musical venues to bring their old pipe organs back to life.
Recently, the team restored a pipe organ at Detroit's...
Rick Helderop has spent almost 30 years bringing old sounds to new places.
The Detroit-based organ builder has removed more than 50 vintage pipe organs from shuttered churches, rehabbed them and installed them in newer churches where they can be heard by a new generation of worshippers. Through the process, he has become an organ transplant specialist...
In this age of digital, portable instruments, pipe organs would seem to be obsolete. But Rick Helderop, who repairs and designs them for a living, says he’s as busy as ever.
Helderop, who owns Covenant Organs and has worked on the huge instruments for more than 30 years, recently restored, combined and installed two 1930s Kilgen pipe organs at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in White Lake and restored a 51-year-old organ...
The two pieces were carefully stacked up and are getting a painstakingly hand-crafted overhaul to combine the best pieces into one musical masterpiece inside the Russell Industrial Center.
"We had not planned for this at all," said Rick Helderop, who runs Covenant Organs.
Helderop said his heart stopped when he heard about the complex's impending closure.
The city's action at the Russell prompted tenant Rick Helderop, the owner of Covenant Organs, to seek another space for his organ building and restoration business, something he'd been considering for a while. He's planning to purchase a building four miles away, on Puritan. Many other tenants have also moved out or are planning to, he said.
Helderop said if he had known about River Rouge's effort to help artists, he would have checked out the city.