In the fall of 2009, the Schmidt Piano And Organ Service was contacted by Jack Layton, then Leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP), who was seeking to have the family organ restored. During the 1800s, the Layton family was involved in the piano and organ business, distributing and manufacturing pianos and pump or reed organs in and around Montreal. The organ, called The Symphony, was manufactured by the Thomas Organ Company in Woodstock, ON and sold by the Layton Brothers Piano and Organ Showrooms in Montreal.
“The restoration took over a year to complete,” says Gary Schmidt, namesake of the Schmidt Piano And Organ Service. “It was a joy to the Honourable Jack Layton and the family to have the organ restored to its original splendor … Layton was a true supporter of music and the arts in Canada.” All internal components, including the reeds, were cleaned and tuned in Schmidt’s Kitchener, ON shop.