Brantley A. Duddy
Brant Duddy

Born January 25, 1929, Brant's parents were both musicians. Brant's father was a church organist (starting at age 12) and he taught piano, voice and organ. Brant grew up in a home that was literally surrounded with sound - a pipe organ, three pianos and lots of students passing through the house.

A summer job in the Philadelphia office of M. P. Möller during the summer of 1947 introduced Brant to the pipe organ industry. He went on to graduate West Chester University with a Bachelor of Education degree in Music while learning the pipe organ trade during summer breaks. Upon graduation in 1950 Brant went to work for the local Kilgen representative and stayed there until 1958, when he started working for the Philadelphia Austin representative. When the Austin representative moved, Brant assumed his business in Philadelphia until 1992 when a health problem forced Brant to give up the local Philadelphia work.

By 1969 Brant's health had improved and he had incorporated. Now employing six technicians to service 230 instruments including Austin installation and repair work, Brantley spent more time on the road than at home. Going in tandem with his maintenance business, Mr. Duddy helped the American Theatre Organ Society restore several Philadelphia area theater instruments. Brant was instrumental in supporting the saving of the Philadelphia Boyd Theater Kimball in 1968 and has served as Technical Consultant for the Dickinson Theater Organ Society ever since.

Brantley married Doris Haines in September 1950, and together they raised two daughters; Karen (1953) and Kim (1956). Doris handled all the office work while Brant managed the business. Doris continued her activities until her death in 2001 at which time Brant greatly cut back his organ service work to an handful of local instruments.

Brant has the rare gift of absolute perfect pitch. While a blessing for tuning pipe organ mixtures, Brant will be the first to tell you it can also be a curse. He's perhaps best known in the pipe organ industry for his uncanny ability to quickly tune an instrument perfectly. Ask Brant who he's tuned for and he'll mention such Classical artists as: Alexander Schreiner, Frank Asper, Flor Peeters, E. Power Biggs, Thomas Murray and several times for Virgil Fox. On the theater side it's another list of the famous: Dick Liebert, Eddie Weaver, Tom Hazleton, Del Castillo, Cass Parmentier, Rosa Rio, Lyn Larsen, Lew Williams, Jim Riggs, Charlie Balough, Jonas Nordwall and again, many more. Brant has served as the principal tuner for the vast majority of Dickinson Theatre Organ Society concerts since 1969.

Brant has been involved with the Philadelphia Municipal Auditorium Möller (Opus 5819) since age 18 when he first saw the instrument in 1947. A year later he would help in the preparation of it for the Democratic and Republican Conventions of 1948. During the last twenty of the instrument's playing years in the Civic Center, Jim Brenneman, Dave Umberger and Mr. Duddy brought Möller's Magnum Opus back to life (I tuned - what else). Documentation of the sound is still around, through David's efforts and those of Bill Greenwood, another Philadelphian. To put it mildly, the instrument OU is about to install was a one of a kind instrument, with the two consoles and player, a most unusual concept, and it worked!. It promises to be an awesome installation in the Sharp Concert Hall.