Hidden beneath the rolling mountains of Northern Virginia lies a subterranean marvel – Luray Caverns, home to the world’s largest musical instrument. As the caverns mark their 50th anniversary as a National Natural Landmark, the spotlight turns to The Great Stalacpipe Organ, an extraordinary creation nestled within the heart of The Cathedral.
Crafted by Leland Sprinkle in 1956, the organ spans an astounding 3.5 acres of the cave, earning its title as the largest musical instrument in the world. Despite being called a pipe organ, it is actually a percussion instrument, utilizing the cave’s stalactites.
Maintaining an instrument of such magnitude presents unique challenges. Larry Moyer, who has dedicated 42 years to the Caverns, serves as the lead engineer of the organ. His meticulous care ensures that the electronics and miles of cables, essential for the instrument’s operation in the cave’s damp environment, remain in optimal condition.
Despite the challenging upkeep, Moyer recognizes the importance of passing on the legacy. Apprentices Stephanie Beahm and Ben Caton are diligently learning from Moyer, ensuring that future generations can continue to bask in the captivating sounds of The Great Stalacpipe Organ.
Explore the hidden world beneath Virginia’s mountains. Share the wonder of The Great Stalacpipe Organ with others, and consider planning a visit to witness this unique fusion of nature and music.