The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 2127

Builder Identification

Victoria Falls, Texas, 1951–c.2010.

Additional Notes

  • Note from the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). Edited for the revised OHS Online Database website, 2017. —

    Rubin S. Frels was born Nov. 17, 1928, Victoria, Texas. He held a BA from Principia College, Elgin, Illinois. He established his firm in Victoria, Texas, 1951; active in 1996. [Died June 18, 2014, Victoria Falls, Texas –Ed.]

    Staff: Daniel Angerstein, Russell D. Franklin, Rex McKenzie Range.

    Sources:

    • Susan Caust Farrell, Directory of Contemporary American Musical Instrument Makers (Columbia, MO: The University of Missouri Press, 1981), 47.
    • Organ Handbook (Organ Historical Society, 1989), 59.
    • Elizabeth Towne Schmitt.
    •  

  • From OHS Online Organ Database Builders Listing editor, November 21, 2015 —

    Frels studied economics at Principia College in Elsah, Ill. He learned the theater business by direct association from his father, Rubin Frels Sr., who brought the movies to Victoria in the early 1900s. The younger Frels continued operation of the theater chain in Victoria Texas, with the theaters showing films and hosting live musical performances. He became interested in pipe organs, and in 1950, he began building organs as a hobby, which led him to Amsterdam and across Europe, attending conferences and mastering the craft. He opened Frels Pipe Organ Co. in 1951. He built custom organs for cathedrals in Mexico and churches across the United States, including Victoria, under his business Frels Pipe Organs, dedicated to restoring the instruments.

    Frels died June 18, 2014 in Victoria Texas. He had been ill for some years prior to his passing.

    Source:

    • Melissa Crow, "Rubin Frels remembered for his love of movies, music" Victoria Advocate, published on-line June 19, 2014, updated June 20, 2014. Accessed Nov 21, 2015.

Database Entries

There are 13 entries in the database that describe organs by Rubin S. Frels.


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