The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1646

Builder Identification

Lake City, Iowa, from 1974.

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, rev. ed. by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1997). -

    Established by Lynn Dobson in Lake City, Iowa, 1974; active in 1996.

    Staff (1991): Robert Blythe; Elmer Dobson; Muriel Dobson; Lyndon Evans; Karen Gaddis; Dana Garrett; Roger Greene; Bill Griffith; Brad Hart; Randy Hausmann; Jerel Hiveley; Robert Hoppe; Paul Iverson; Tom Kult; Andrew Lundsgaard; Arthur Middleton; Steve Morton; Neil Palmer; John Panning; Bill Picht; Robert S. Savage; Linda Schaeffer; Meridith Sperling; Robert Sperling; David M. Storey; Jon H. Thieszen; Linda Sharp; Stanley Stein; David Storey; Burton Tidwell; Robert Werner; Sally Winter.


    • Letter to David Fox.
    • Organ Handbook (OHS Press, 1989), 68.


  • From the OHS Database Builders Listing editor, September 7, 2016. -

    Dobson Pipe Organ Builders was established by Lynn Dobson in Lake City, Iowa, 1974. The firm primarily builds mechanical key action instruments, but uses electric action for some larger instruments, sometimes in collaboration with other firms: West Market Street Methodist Church - Op. 71 with Manual Rosales, and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels - Op. 75 with Manual Rosales and building architect José Rafael Moneo being prominent examples.

    The evolution of the firm-s tonal style has been gradual. Although there have been examples of specialized instruments (an organ in Italian style for Indiana University), most have an eclectic design. The firm-s earlier instruments explored the neo-Classic aesthetic, but in the early 1990s, their work became more complex, blending both Classical and Romantic influences. A significant step on this path was the construction in 1992 of a large two manual organ for St. Luke-s Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Its eclectic tonal design, while providing more than a nod in the direction of 19th century English music, allows it to perform a wide variety of literature with fidelity.

    Staff (2015): William Ayers, 1994, voicer, pipemaker;   Abraham Batten, 2006, technical designer;   Kent Brown, 2006, cabinetmaker;   Lynn A. Dobson, 1974, president and artistic director;   Randy Hausman, 1988, cabinetmaker;   Dean Heim, 1988, shop foreman, general organbuilding;   Donny Hobbs, 2003, technical designer, voicer, archivist;   Ben Hoskins, 2014, general organbuilding, voicing;   Arthur Middleton, 1987, machinist, key action, wood pipes;   John A. Panning, 1984, tonal director;   Kirk P. Russell, 1990, business manager;   Robert Savage, 1989, leatherwork, electrical, general organbuilding;   Jim Streufert, 2007, windchests, general organbuilding;   John Streufert, 2007, voicer, general organbuilding;   Jon H. Thieszen, 1975, technical designer;   Pat Thieszen, 2009, general organbuilding;   Sally J. Winter; 1983, accounting and secretarial;   Dean C. Zenor, 1990, key action, administrative



Database Entries

There are 125 entries in the database that describe organs by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders.

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Builder's Nameplate. Photograph by Andrew Schaeffer

Builder's Nameplate. Photograph by Angelina Ngo