A Celebration of the Casavant Pipe Organ

Cathedral organist and AGO Pennsylvania Northeast chapter member Robert Wech, a graduate of the Oberlin Music Conservatory, Oberlin, OH, and a church organist with 49 years of experience, will present “A Celebration of the Casavant Pipe Organ,” on Friday, October 9, 8:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Cathedral, 315 Wyoming Ave., Scranton. The concert commemorates the 30th anniversary of the installation of the Casavant pipe organ at the Cathedral. Mr. Wech will feature works of Clerambault, Bach, Mendelssohn, and Franck. A free will offering will be received to support St. Peter’s Cathedral. This organ replicates those built in the 1700’s. The blower that provides the air for the pipes is the only electrically-powered device on the organ, everything else is mechanical, making it unusual. For information please call the Cathedral at 570-344-7231.

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POP!

All around the mulberry bush… No, this POP isn’t about monkey chased weasels – or soda, for that matter. It’s all about the pipe organ! Join the Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter for a Pipe Organ Party on Saturday, October 3 at First Presbyterian Church in Clarks Summit. The party begins at 10:00 AM and is geared toward children and teens interested in learning more about the king of instruments. No previous organ experience is necessary. Hope to see you there! For directions, click here.

Additional stop on Philadelphia trip

I am pleased to announce that arrangements have been made for us to tour yet another organ during our November 7 Philadelphia trip: the 1937 Aeolian-Skinner instrument in Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church on Locust Street.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church was founded in 1848. The church building was begun that year, dedicated in 1850, and finished in 1851 when the tower was completed. The architect was John Notman, also responsible for the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square and the Athenaeum. The church, an example of Gothic Revival, has long been one of Philadelphia’s most fashionable. A strikingly beautiful chapel within the church has a silver altar. The parish buildings and the garden create an effect not unlike that of an English church. The organ, built in 1937 by the famous Aeolian-Skinner Company, incorporates earlier pipework by Austin/Carleton Michell, the Wanamaker Shop (string organ), and recent additions by Cornel Zimmer.

Here is the revised itinerary for the day:

8:30 AM • Bus departs from Park and Ride in Pittston (located at the intersection of Rte. 315 and Oak St.)
11:30 AM • Approximate arrival time in Philadelphia
12:00 PM • Organ Recital in Macy’s
12:45 PM • Lunch (on your own; there are many good restaurants in the area)
2:00 PM • Approximate start time for tour, which will include the Wanamaker Grand Court organ and newly restored Wurlitzer theater organ
3:00 PM • Approximate time to ride to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

The time of departure will be determined by the length of the tour. We will leave Philadelphia around 4:30 PM and the ride home will be roughly two hours. There are restroom facilities on the bus and light refreshments will be provided for the ride home. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Fall Trip: Wanamaker Organ, Philadelphia

The Pennsylvania Northeast AGO Chapter will be sponsoring a bus trip on Saturday, November 7 to tour the Wanamaker Organ located in Macy’s Department Store in downtown Philadelphia. As many of you already know, this instrument is the largest functioning pipe organ in the world. It has 461 ranks, over 28,000 pipes, and is controlled by a massive six-manual console! Please mark your calendars and try to make it if you can – this is really a unique opportunity.

The fee for the trip is $35. It is non-refundable and may be mailed to Bob Reynolds, our chapter sub Dean, at the following address by October 15. Please make checks payable to “Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter AGO.”

Here is the itinerary for the day:

8:30 AM Bus departs from Park and Ride in Pittston (located at the intersection of Rte. 315 and Oak Street)

11:30 AM Approximate arrival time in Philadelphia

12:00 PM Organ Recital

12:45 PM Lunch (on your own; there are many good restaurants in the area)

2:00 PM Approximate start time for tour, which will include the Wanamaker Grand Court organ and newly restored Wurlitzer theater organ

The time of departure will be determined by the length of the tour. We will leave Philadelphia no later than 4:00 PM. The ride home will be roughly two hours.

If you would like to learn more about this instrument, including its history, stoplist, program schedule, etc., you may visit the following website: www.wanamakerorgan.com. Questions? Contact us.