Open the doors to the Jan and John Christensen Concert Hall and you will see the massive Casavant Pipe Organ, which has called Strauss home for nearly 35 years. The organ, which was manufactured by Casavant Freres of Quebec Canada, is 28 feet tall, 29 feet wide, and weighs a whopping 17 tons.
The organ arrived at UNO in October 1985 in 5,000 separate pieces. This included 2,677 pipes in 48 different ranks, 31 stops, and required tuning by a team from Paris, France. Its $300,000 price tag was donated to the University of Nebraska Foundation by friends of Willis and Janet Strauss. After its completion and dedication in April of 1986, Casavant Freres said it was “their best instrument ever.”
But best of all, the Casavant Organ isn't just a feast for the eyes, it's also a one-of-a-kind learning tool. For decades, students with a love of ‘tickling the ivories,’ have been allowed to specialize in organ studies, which has given a lucky few the chance to play the massive work of art themselves.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.