J.H. & C.S. Odell, Pipe Organ Builders

Distinctive and refined instruments for worship

Edward Odell is the great-great grandson of Caleb Sherwood Odell, one of the founders of this firm. Edward began working with pipe organs from a very young age, accompanying his father and uncle on service calls around the New York metropolitan area in the 1970s.

Edward returned to organbuilding after attending Auburn University. He was hired by Austin Organs, Inc., of Hartford, Connecticut in 1995. After working in most of the company's major departments, he was promoted to Foreman in 1999.  He played a key role in several notable projects and participated in the construction of many landmark Austin instruments.

 Edward left Hartford in 2002 to broaden his experience and build on the work of his family’s historic firm.  As owner/proprietor of J.H. & C.S. Odell, Edward's responsibilities include mechanical and visual design, millwork, cabinet making, pipemaking, maintenance, voicing and tonal finishing.

Edward has been active in the American Institute of Organbuilders since the late 1990s. He attained professional certification at the Colleague level in 2007.  As an AIO volunteer, Edward has contributed significantly to the organization's activities. These efforts included acting as 2004 National Convention Chair, hosting two educational seminars and twelve years of service to the AIO Education Committee. Edward also worked on the AIO Outreach Committee from 2005 to 2012.

As a volunteer for the American Guild of Organists, Edward served as Exhibits Chair for two regional conventions (New York in 2007 and Boston in 2009) and Chaired Exhibits for the 2014 AGO National Convention in Boston. He reprised this role for the  2015 Regional in New Haven.  In 2018, the Brooklyn Chapter of the AGO honored him with their Person of the Year Award for his contributions and many years of service. 

In addition to work in convention planning and exhibition, Edward has written articles for both The Diapason and the Journal of American Organbuilding and lectured for AIO, AGO and NPM.

Edward is married to Susan Bridgewater Odell, an Architect and Senior Associate at Paul B. Bailey in New Haven. They live together in East Haddam, Connecticut and have been active both as volunteers in town government and the local Episcopal community.