88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Did you know there are pipe organs being built in West Allis?

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee
Meet John Nolte, the West Allis man that's worked with the huge instrument for over 30 years.

All this month on ‘In The Wings’ our topic has been music – so far we’ve talked to a local DJ that’s getting involved with the next generation, a festival organizer that’s bringing together artists for a great cause, and this week, we’re taking a peek behind a “music scene” you might not be too familiar with… Milwaukee’s pipe organ community.

Meet John Nolte, owner of Nolte Organ Building in West Allis, Wisconsin.Makenzie Boettcher | 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Meet John Nolte, owner of Nolte Organ Building in West Allis, Wisconsin.

Meet John Notle, the owner of Notle Organ Building in West Allis, Wisconsin.

John has been building and repairing organs since the 60’s, and operating out of his shop in West Allis since 1987, he’s worked with hundreds of organs over the years,

In business since 1987, Nolte Organ Building is most commonly known for building and repairing wood pipe organs. Makenzie Boettcher | 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

In business since 1987, Nolte Organ Building is most commonly known for building and repairing wood pipe organs.

“We’ve got pipes all over the world,” John explains, “we did all the wood pipes for an English cathedral organ a few years ago, we’ve done work with a company in New Zealand, we’ve got a set of pipes in China somewhere…”

But what all goes in to building a pipe organ? Listen to the full story from my visit to John’s shop below:

John's current repair project, an organ from St. Marcus church in Riverwest. John says projects and repairs, depending on the organ, can take up to a year to finish due to the instrument's intricacy. Makenzie Boettcher | 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

John’s current repair project, an organ from St. Marcus in Riverwest. John says projects and repairs, depending on the organ, can take up to a year to finish due to the instrument’s intricacy.

Want to learn more about John Nolte and the craft of organ building here in Milwaukee? You can visit John’s website for Notle Organ Building in West Allis here.

Makenzie Boettcher | 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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