Hughestown pipe organ celebrates 100th birthday

Congratulations to the people of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Hughestown as they celebrate the one hundredth birthday of their M.P. Möller pipe organ, Opus 2295. Chapter member and past Dean Michael Sowa presented a beautiful recital this afternoon marking the occasion with works by Bach, Buxtehude, Vierne, Young, and others in addition to an improvisation on a submitted hymn tune. The instrument at St. Peter’s was among the first Möller organ installations in the Wyoming Valley and it has been expanded and impeccably maintained over the years. It currently has nine ranks and 578 pipes.

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Estey Reed Organ to be featured in recital at St. Luke’s

Justin Hartz will perform a recital on an Estey Reed Organ Model “T”, 2 manuals and pedal c. 1915 on Friday, October 27, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 232 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton. The Estey Reed Organ, currently in use at St. Luke’s is on loan to the church through the generosity of the Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral Association of Scranton and its affiliated lodges and members.

Works will include compositions for organ by Byrd, Zundel, Vierne, Liszt, Frank, and an American composition “The Thunderstorm” by Thomas Philando Ryder.

Justin Hartz, a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was educated at Westminster Choir College and earned his M.M from the Juilliard School. He has been an E.Power Bigs Fellow of the Organ Historical Society, and since 1989 has been playing popular Christmas Carol sing-alongs and recitals on the 10,010 Aeolian pipe organ at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. His recordings include “HARTZ AND FLOWERS”, recorded at Longwood Gardens, and “DECK THE HALLS”, recorded on the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina.

Having a life-long interest in historical keyboard instruments, Justin Hartz enjoys selecting music which displays the unique characteristics of each one. Mr. Hartz’s interest in organs by the Estey Organ Company goes back to his high school years, when he purchased a two manual and pedal reed organ similar to the one to be featured in this performance.

The Organ as a Sign of Confession

The Lutheran Ministry Center, 1546 Monsey Avenue, Scranton, will host the Fall Gathering of the Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter, American Guild of Organists on Friday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m. The program will begin with Vespers followed by a buffet-style dinner and a lecture on “The Organ as a Sign of Confession in the First and Second Reformations, 1524-1624” presented by Dr. Sarah Davies, organist and musicologist.

Dr. Davies earned her Ph.D. at New York University with a dissertation on the geistliche repertoire in Renaissance Swiss and German tablatures for lute and organ (2010); her Masters thesis at Rutgers University was on William Byrd’s “My Ladye Nevells Booke” of 1591 (1973). Since returning to academe after more than twenty years in the New York music business, Dr. Davies has given more than twenty papers at musicology, interdisciplinary, German studies and keyboard conferences in America and Europe. Her recent presentation on the organ as a confessional sign in Germany and Switzerland will be published in 2017 by the University of Leuven. Her paper on the organ as the “Devil’s Bagpipe” was published in Budapest, and she is a contributor to New Grove. She is currently involved in an ongoing project on British, American and German organ sermons (Orgelpredigten) of the 17th and 18th centuries, and on the place of the organ in German Lutheran service orders (Kirchenordnungen).

The program is open to the public; AGO membership is not required. There is no cost to attend Vespers. Suggested donation for the dinner is $15 per person. Please register by Friday, November 3 by calling Raphael Micca, Dean, at 570-301-9253 or email dean@agopane.org.

German organist to perform recital in Wilkes-Barre

Stefan Kiessling, assistant organist at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany, will perform a recital at St. Stephen’s Church, Pro-Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, 35 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre on Friday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m. An offering of $15 per person ($10 for students and seniors) is suggested.

The recital will feature works by Bach and Mendelssohn, along with Max Reger’s thrilling Fantasy on Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A mighty fortress is our God) in commemoration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation.

Mr. Kiessling is an internationally known concert organist, having been invited to perform recitals and give masterclasses across Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States. As assistant organist at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany, Kiessling provides liturgical music, performs recitals, and assists with the church’s boys choir and Gewandhaus Orchestra. The church has a long history of distinguished musicians: Johann Sebastian Bach served there as Kapellmeister from 1723 until his death in 1750.

The recital is being sponsored jointly by Music from St. Stephen’s and the Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Job Opportunity: Faith Lutheran Church, Blakeslee

Faith Lutheran Church, Route 940, Blakeslee, is seeking applications for a church organist (keyboardist will be considered) to serve their two services on Sunday mornings plus Wednesdays during Advent and Lent. Holiday services are included such as Christmas, Easter and Ash Wednesday. Inquires, resumes and salary expectations should be emailed to faithlut@epix.net. Further information about Faith Lutheran Church can be found on Facebook or by checking the website: FaithLutheranBlakeslee.org.

Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza is coming to Scranton!

The pipe organ has been called the “King of Instruments.” The sounds of the pipe organ have inspired worshippers for centuries. Great composers have written countless works for the instrument. Pipe organs have been installed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls and theaters. The American Guild of Organists is passionate about the pipe organ and we want to share our love with a new generation.

Join us on Sunday, April 30 at Elm Park United Methodist Church in Scranton from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. for Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza. Participants will receive a behind the scenes tour of the instrument in addition to a chance to play it themselves (and eat some pizza!). All are welcome to attend. Students currently studying the piano are encouraged to bring a piece to play on the organ.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR PEDALS, PIPES, AND PIZZA!