Harpsichord built by Robert Bornemann in 1970 restored to life in the seminary chapel
Seminary Director of Music Ministries and Cantor Michael Krentz deeply appreciates the worship and music legacy he has inherited from others across the school’s history.
One special way he gets to relive that legacy is by playing a newly restored harpsichord that is now found in the worship space in the Schaeffer-Ashmead Memorial Chapel.
“The harpsichord was built originally in 1970 from a kit secured by then Choir Director Robert Bornemann, who also taught Old Testament at LTSP,” Krentz said. Bornemann’s wide-ranging interests also included a significant period working on Middle East archaeology.
“The harpsichord had fallen into disrepair over the years,” Krentz indicated. But the seminary community wanted to rebuild and restore it. The $5,800 cost to repair the instrument came in the form of donations from the Bornemann family ($3,000) and offering proceeds collected in the chapel.
“We engaged Willard Martin of Bethlehem, PA, one of the world’s foremost builders of harpsichords, to undertake the project,” Krentz said. Martin meticulously renewed the instrument, including fortifying the bench for the instrument “which was pretty wobbly,” Krentz said. The restoration process included refinishing the instrument’s exterior and putting in new strings and jacks. The instrument has inscriptions that acknowledge the dates of Bornemann’s fabrication of the harpsichord and Martin’s restoration of it.
The restoration took about three months. Krentz played the harpsichord in chapel for the first time in early January. The seminary plans to hold a dedication event for the instrument on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.