Hooghuys Organ Pages
The author

My name is Björn Isebaert, and I was born on 11 December 1976 in Waregem (B). Together with my parents and sister, I lived for a long time in Wannegem-Lede, a part of Kruishoutem. I studied Latin & Greek in secondary school, and in 1994 I started the same studies at the University of Gent.
Having graduated in 1999, I worked as a teacher for one year. However, in 2000 I started working on a doctorate (about de Paradeisos, a collection of poems ascribed to John Geometres) at the above-mentioned university; I got my degree in 2004. After that, I went teaching again; I'm now working at the College of the Paters Jozefieten in Melle.

Today, I'm living together with my wife Marleen (who's a veterinary surgeon) in Zingem, where we spend a lot of our time with our pets (two dogs, two cats, fishes, chickens, roosters, a sheep, …).

I got interested in mechanical music at the age of twelve (more or less). I spent hours in the carousel of Norbert Vroman (owner of LH522); then I found the address of Marc Hooghuys on one of the book labels, and I contacted him. Thanks to him, I found my way into the organ world: he made a member of the Kring van Draaiorgelvrienden and taught me a lot about (Hooghuys) organs, their history, … This partly explains, of course, why I prefer Hooghuys organs.
Furthermore, I'm also interested in Belgian dance organs and Belgian arrangers of organ books (especially August Schollaert). I also collect recordings (older ones, from the 50's and 60's in particular).
In 1996, I discovered the Mechanical Music Digest (MMD), which daily sends a digest with information, questions, answers, … concerning mechanical music. In this way, I quickly got into contact with enthusiasts outside Europe, who often provided me with very useful information.

It wasn't till December 2000 that I bought my first mechanical music instruments (well, I already had a 20-note Sankyo music box …): a Wurlitzer pianola (serial no.80245), which is still awaiting restoration …
In May 2004, I became the happy owner of a 36-key Verbeeck hand-turned organ; meanwhile, I've been cutting numerous arrangements for it by arrangers like Tom Meijer. Sometimes it's amazing what you can do with only 36 keys!

Page updated on 25.08.2006