Joseph Rotella is the founder and president of Spencer Organ Company. While completing a degree in music at Boston University, he apprenticed with renowned pipe organ restorer Nelson Barden and Associates. In 1995, he founded Spencer Organ Company, Inc. He has an extensive knowledge of electro-pneumatic pipe organs with a specialization in Skinner and Kimball instruments. His company has restored a number of notable instruments and takes great pride in restoring fine instruments to like-new condition resulting in many more decades of reliable use. Joseph is also very active in the business sustainability and economic relocalization efforts. He serves on the advisory board of the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, was one of the founding members of Waltham Local First, and in 2013 joined the Climate Action Liaison Coalition – an organization of small businesses working to address the climate crisis through internal sustainability as well as external advocacy. Joseph has testified at the MA statehouse, spoken at press conferences in D.C. with members of congress, had numerous letters to the editor published and spoken on the radio on a variety of social justice and environmental issues. He is committed to creating a better world for all, and sees his business as a part of this.
Erik Spooner has been involved in pipe organ restoration for the past 12 years with the Spencer Organ Company. He has had the distinct pleasure to work with many of the great performers and technicians in this field during this time where he has learned the intricacies and nuances between the different makes of the instruments and different “vintages”. Erik spends much of his time in the company making replacement parts and applying them to the restored components. Between this, some electronics/wiring work, and generalized project process maintenance he finds his days to be filled, but never too much to try to share information to those interested in those things organ and beyond. When not restoring pipe organs Erik can be found writing and performing his own music as well as collaborating with other musicians and artists. He enjoys reading/researching many different things as well.
Aravinda Ananda has been working for Spencer Organ Company part-time since 2006. She runs the office for the company, sometimes assists with on-site work, and has been leading some of the company’s sustainability efforts. In 2012, she designed and initiated the first (and now annual) SOC Green Summer Challenge – a program that engages employees in a number of activities that enhance their personal sustainability and wellbeing. Aravinda holds a master’s degree in environmental management and is working on her first book about shifting humans’ relationship with the living world.
John Kennedy has done work for Spencer Organ Company for over a decade. His primary work for the company focuses on refinishing, pipe work, and making of pneumatic pouches. John lives in Grafton with his wife Mary Anne and son Douglas. He has a love of architecture, the outdoors, and being with his family.
Martin Near began working at the Spencer Organ Company in 2007, having begun his career in organ restoration as an apprentice in the workshops of Timothy Fink, John Bishop, and Nelson Barden & Associates. Today, his time is divided between pipe restoration and tuning. In addition to his work for SOC, Martin is a freelance countertenor, specializing in Early Music, and is a core member of Blue Heron, a Boston-based vocal ensemble devoted to Medieval, Renaissance, and early-Baroque music. He began his musical studies at the Saint Thomas Choir School in New York, and went on to study Classical Composition at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Musical matters aside, Martin is the proud father of a four-year-old, is fatally dependent on morning coffee, and a fan of the Detroit Red Wings.
Joshua T. Lawton is an active organist, pianist and choir director in the Boston area and has worked with and for Spencer Organ Company since 2008. Though focusing most extensively on pipe restoration, he has engaged in mechanical and onsite work, including electro-pneumatic components, wood restoration, and console repair. Other interests include hiking, canoeing, recycling and renewable energy.
Rick Cutler first began working for Spencer Organ Company in the spring of 2013 as a Climate Action Liaison as part of the Climate Action Liaison Coalition, a group of small businesses (of which SOC is a part) working to address climate change. Rick has been trained as a Climate Reality Project presenter and in addition to offering many presentations in the Boston is also a board member of ETR -MA, (Environmental Tax Reform – Massachusetts) working to reform the tax code so as to reduce use of fossil fuels. Since joining the company, Rick has also been learning the intricacies of organ restoration from the ground up. He brings 30 years of carpentry and remodeling experience to the company, is a lifelong musician with a degree from the Berklee College of Music, and strives to dedicate his life to a sustainable future for us all.
Ryan French joined the team at Spencer Organ Company in January of 2014. Building on his experiences at Nelson Barden Associates, he is responsible for a variety of tasks including but not limited to woodworking, ductwork, leathering, and wiring. Outside of work he is a drummer in two rock and roll bands from the North Shore of Ma, and is a graduate of The New England Institute of Art in Brookline, MA.
Doug Richardson joined Spencer Organ Company in January 2014 with ten years of organ building experience working on new instruments and restoration projects with Noack Organ Company and Andover Organ Company. His reeds and wooden flues can be heard in a number of Noack organs, and he played a substantial part in the pipe work restoration for Andover’s St. Joseph’s Cathedral project in Buffalo, N.Y. Doug also has twenty-plus years of experience in carpentry and woodworking, machinery construction, and engineering support. Married for twenty-six years to his favorite teenage motorhead, he spends his free time playing with small boats, old cars, older houses, and large dogs of dubious lineage. He expects to start building his first real boat for his granddaughter Molly as soon as she can swim.