Organ to Or-Gone: OU to close American Organ Institute

There’s been a complete organ shutdown at OU! Surprisingly, we’re not talking about OU Medical Center, but OU the currently controversy assailed institution!

You may have heard the University of Oklahoma has announced it’s closing the American Organ Institute and shutting down the – oxymoron alert – organ technology program. In case you weren’t aware, you’re not on another adventure with Doc Brown. It’s 2019.

I mean, seriously, if I hadn’t read about this with my own eyes I would’ve sworn that someone was screwing with me.

According to Channel 4, there are six students who major in organ technology and 17 who take organ technology courses for their major in pipe organ music. Clearly, this is a massively popular field to be heading into, and I shudder at the prospect of them having to instead study the Casio keyboard.

Then again, this institution has provided some of the most prolific instrumentalists of all time. Before we write off this sacred place of knowledge, let’s acknowledge some of these heroes of the organ world…

The Phantom of the Opera…

That one dwarf from Snow White…

That guy your racist grandfather still listens to – Buddy Cole…

And, lest we forget, J.S. Bach himself…

I believe I’ve proven my point. We will not stand for this injustice! There are literally dozens of us prepared to fight tooth and nail for the reinstatement of this necessary program. I mean after all, as this behemoth of learning is shut down, we all must wonder “What’s next?” I can’t imagine a future without the esteemed OU Street Lamp Lighter program, let alone losing the Telegram Operator Institute.

In these times, all we can do is send up thoughts and prayers through the pipes.

Uncle Lenny is our newest deranged contributor. Wish him luck.

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35 Responses


  1. This truly is a tragic event! Those of us involved in church music and specifically playing the organ are VERY sad to read this. The Institute has been very helpful in locating resources for our assistance. Sure would be nice if everything wasn’t measured by money!!


  2. Q What did Micheal Douglas give Katherine Zeta Jones on their wedding night?
    A: An antique organ.

    <>


  3. Mike Gundy is a an organ donor…Oklahoma State – 1 Oklahoma – 0


  4. Don’t forget Booker T. And the guy at the ballpark who plays that little run up to the crowd yelling “Charge!!”. If you can call 100 people a crowd.


    1. Billy Preston – pretty sure he’s the last picture above. /s

      Great organ playing in rock ‘n’ roll. https://bestclassicbands.com/13-best-rock-organists-9-6-166/

      Seriously, this is a disaster for the organ industry. It’s an internationally known program.


      1. Yes, it’s a disaster. OU’s program is the only one in North or South America. There’s one in Sweden and one in Germany. Period. Our organists have impacted the music world internationally. Letters of protest have come in from as far away as the palace at Versailles, because the music world understands the uniqueness and importance of this work. Too bad Oklahoma is taking another giant step backward in education.


  5. I believe that “J.S. Bach” is actually a picture of Albert Einstein. Still very famous


    1. Nope. That’s Bach. Look it up.


      1. It would be pretty cool if it was Bach, but since he died decades before the first photographic image was ever captured, I’m pretty sure it’s not. Or did they dig him up, stuff him and pose him, and make him resemble Einstein in the most remarkable way, just to fuck with us?


    2. I’m pretty sure that’s Karl Marx, the 1920s American comedian that had the big mustache, the busy eyebrows and usually wore glasses.


      1. Karl? Forget it. He’s rolling!! (Graucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo, & Gummo forgive you!)


  6. Why do you think “organ technology” is an oxymoron, Uncle Lenny? Do you think reeds, pipes, couplers, stops, bellows, etc. all grow naturally?


  7. It is ironic that the one-of-a-kind program, the American Organ Institute, is located in the land of glib ignorance. The AOI is well-known in the learned music community, on the national/international scene, and serves a specific, highly technical, ongoing, and relevant level of expertise. The flippancy of the public reaction is judgy and arrogant in its ignorance. (The last picture is Albert Einstein, btw.) Your attempts at packing in even more humor with lamplighter and telegram references miss the mark.


    1. I did not know there were so many organ enthusiasts reading this blog.
      Live and learn.



  8. Hey that is Samuel Clemens nee: Mark Twain,not Johan Sebastian Bach like you said.


    1. Geesh, no, no it’s not. I’m ready to start taking bets on this one – any takers? It’s Einstein, folks. He played the violin. It’s actually a pretty well-known pic of Einstein. And a good likeness of him, to boot.
      And I think it’s a shame that an organ tech program would get the ax, too. But, c’mon, we all know that the charter for O.U. explicitly states that the primary purpose of the place is the practice and study of football.
      Get with the program.


      1. But but but….the American Organ Institute is a program our football team can be proud of!


      2. 😉


  9. As an ignorant lay-person I very much laughed my frickin ass off at this article:)) Thank you Uncle Lenny for that😉


  10. If SOMEONE doesn’t teach organ technology, who will build and fix organs? All those church organs out there won’t stay functional without maintenance.

    That said, it ain’t right to expect Oklahoma taxpayers to carry this expense alone. As the primary users of pipe organs, perhaps the religion industry will step forward with money to fund and endow this program’s future.

    Perhaps, when pigs fly.


    1. So don’t tell me you’d be OK with a state funded educational institution accepting $ from religious entities? You’re gonna have to give up your ACLU card.


      1. They wouldn’t have to. You know how many private, alternatively accredited religious schools exist out there? Surely one of them could afford the price of teaching how to build and maintain organs, since it’s so rare to see them outside of churches.


    2. The AOI has been funded by private donations all this time. It hasn’t cost the taxpayers anything!


  11. Wrong again, vH. I would indeed be ok with a state (partially and diminishingly) funded educational institution like OU accepting money from religious entities to support an essentially secular field of study like organ building and maintenance.

    I don’t hold an ACLU card, but I do sympathize with them. I don’t believe that they would object to that either.

    Beyond your caricatures, you have no clue about how people to your left think, do you?


  12. I don’t know, Patrick. I get that this site is mostly satire, and I try not to take it too seriously.

    However, it’s tough when so many of this site’s articles poke fun/criticize/whatever at some cultural (or lack thereof) aspects in Oklahoma…then, in the next breath, you’re criticizing/poking fun/being satirical at this educational program being removed from the curriculum. This program, while not popular or enjoyed by the masses, is still an important piece of culture in which Oklahomans can be proud.


    1. Yep, you’re so right, O in A.
      Plus, he won’t man up and admit his attempt at deep-faking the Einstein photo went badly wrong.


      1. What Einstein photo?

        That’s no deep fake. It’s some amateur musician whose hairstyle kinda makes one think of the “longhair” baroque music of Bach.


        1. Moreover, Mr. Einstein was not even playing Bach when this photo was taken, but Mozart.


  13. I been hearing this “Oklahoma culture” thing a lot lately… Could someone please explain to me how this obscure stuff that the broader public knows nothing about is “Oklahoma culture?”

    Please explain how organ maintenance is a uniquely Oklahoma profession and therefore a part of our culture.

    And since we’re on the subject of our culture, what is Oklahoma culture? Cuz I thought it was mock land runs and proud Natives and Roger&Hammerstein musicals? As well as our ability to always come together in any disaster and help one another.
    Not crazy buildings and weird massively expensive college courses that none of us ever heard of till it was time to stop wasting money on it.
    I’m all for deciding our legacy will be we are the weirdest(you know like Willy Wonka)… We should all be on the same page though, shouldn’t we?


    1. I’m not sure that the article (or I) am saying that organ maintenance is a uniquely Oklahoma profession, nor is the article and I saying that it is a part of “Oklahoma culture”. What I’m saying is that we should take advantage of every opportunity to encourage study and continuation of the arts. This educational program does that. My disappointment is that The Lost Ogle chose to present a satirical view when i was hoping they would take a supportive view.

      Your impression of Oklahoma culture being nothing but mock land runs, Natives, and Oklahoma! the musical is lazy and reeks of what Hollywood thinks of Oklahoma. I’m not going to spend any time trying to explain this aspect to you. If that’s your prevailing theory, then you’re not going to get anything I’m going to tell you. Good luck to you….I wish you the best.


      1. Yep. It connects us to people of unusual talents around the world in an unique and interesting fashion. Thatgoal shouldn’t be so hard to understand, but you gotta quit watching “The Batchelor” long enough to understand it.
        On the upside, the Center for Kazoo Studies is still flourishing.


        1. The bachelor.. Hmm that’s funny😜


  14. Maybe if the organs could be reprogrammed to pump oil, score touchdowns or something the Organ Institute would get more support from the Bored of Reagents? Maybe the marching band could add a calliope and have someone tune it up as part of the halftime show to get some more interest from the monied few?


  15. Over the years I have learned to take care of my own organ.

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