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

More than 150 years building distinctive and refined instruments for worship

Edward Odell, CAIO 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 pursuit of a lifelong goal, Edward returned to organbuilding after attending Auburn University. He was hired by Austin Organs, Inc., of Hartford, Connecticut in 1996. 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 Austin in 2002 to devote himself exclusively to the work of his family’s historic firm.  His intent was not only resurrection of a family legacy, but the desire to establish facilities for all the disciplines involved in organ building.  After many years of hard work, that dream has been largely realized; in addition to millwork, the Odell shop is now casting pipe metal in house for the first time in over 100 years.

  Today, in addition to management, Edward's  responsibilities at Odell include training, mechanical and visual design work, cabinet making, voicing and tonal finishing with a recent emphasis on metal casting and pipe making. 

A dedicated professional who has been active in the American Institute of Organbuilders for over 15 years, Edward holds AIO membership in  at the Colleague level.  Valuing the importance of organ building pedagogy, as a volunteer Edward has contributed significantly to the organization's activities. These efforts include acting as 2004 National Convention Chair, hosting two educational seminars at the Odell shop and 12 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 addition to work in convention planning and exhibition, Edward has written articles for both The Diapason and the Journal of American Organbuilding and lectured extensively 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.