Greater Pittston area Organ Crawl

Our chapter will be holding an Organ Crawl in the Greater Pittston area on Saturday, May 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This tour will give organists, lovers of music and history, and those interested in learning about the organ an opportunity to tour three local historic pipe organs – both on the outside and inside!

Special thanks to our webmaster, Raphael Micca, who has agreed to serve as tour guide for this event.

Here is a the schedule for the day:

Saint Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – 9:30 a.m.
Saint Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hughestown is home to M. P. Möller’s Opus 2295, a small yet versatile instrument. Saint Peter’s organ was restored and enlarged in 1994 by Charles W. Gibson and Associates of Monroeville, New Jersey. Much of the original pipework has been replaced, but there are several ranks which date back to 1917 when the organ was first installed. The organ now has a brighter and cleaner sound, but the characteristic warmth of the original instrument has been preserved. Mike Sowa, organist and music director of Saint Peter’s, will be on hand to explain the instrument to those present and to answer any questions.

First Presbyterian Church – 11:00 a.m.
The next stop on the tour will be at First Presbyterian Church, located in downtown Pittston. This church is within a short driving distance of Saint Peter’s. First Presbyterian recently purchased a pre-owned Schantz pipe organ, built in the 1940’s, to replace its original instrument built by G. G. Hook and Hastings. The Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio has the distinction of being one of the longest-operating organ building firms in America which still manufactures many of the best pipe organs today. Schantz is also a member of an alliance of organ builders known as APOBA (Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America).

Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church – 12:00 p.m.
The final stop on the tour will be Saint John the Evangelist R.C. Church, home to the largest functioning pipe organ in the Greater Pittston Area. This unique three-manual instrument was built by the Kilgen Organ Company of Saint Louis, Missouri, during the 1930’s. Those attending the organ crawl will have an opportunity to experience the wide dynamic range of this instrument. Though comprised of only 29 pipe ranks through some effective use of unification, the organ has the power and depth of an instrument with many more ranks. Visitors on the tour will be just as equally impressed with the glorious architecture, artwork, and acoustics of Saint John’s. Joe Holden, organist and music director of Saint John’s, will be on hand to explain the instrument to those present and to answer any questions.

It is hoped that you will be able to join us this day, whether you decide to tour one, several, or all of the organs and hear pieces performed on each of them.

The organ crawl will be sure to be an enjoyable learning and musical experience for organists and non-organists alike. The tour is free and open to the public. We hope you will be able to join us and plan to invite relatives, friends, or neighbors.

Susan Matthews to perform in Wilkes-Barre

Susan Jane Matthews, Organist and Choirmaster of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Burlingame, California, will present an organ recital at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, April 18th, at 3:00 PM.

Dr. Matthews, a native of Wilkes-Barre, is a graduate of Haverford College and the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. She has studied organ with Marjorie George, Claribel Thomson, Jeffrey Brillhart, Mark Laubach, and David Higgs. A prize-winning performer, she has concertized throughout the United States and in Europe. Her compact disc recording, Chosen Tunes, was recorded during her tenure as Principal Organist at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and has been critically acclaimed.

Dr. Matthews will perform works by Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Charles-Marie Widor, Petr Eben, Giles Swayne, Larry King, and Jeanne Demessieux.

A free-will offering will be received.