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Small fire damages Chautauqua's famed Massey organ console

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Photo courtesy of Chautauqua Institution
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Sunday is the final day of the 2018 season at the Chautauqua Institution. But the Amphitheater's historic Massey Memorial Pipe Organ will not be available for the closing ceremony. The computer console used to program the organ was damaged by a small fire Tuesday.

It's been out of service since then. Chautauqua spokesman Jordan Steves said repairs are beginning.

"We have the best experts  who have been caring for the organ for decades," Steves said. "They have nine months to fix it. We expect the console will be 100 percent reading to go by the 2019 season."

Steves said the fire caused no visible damage to the organ itself or its pipes.

It's the second mishap this year involving the organ. It was damaged last winter by a leak in the Amphitheater's roof. Repairs were made in time for the opening of the current season in June.