Recitals with Dr. Gordon Turk
Auditorium Organist Artist in Residence
Organ Concerts are held in the Great Auditorium
Wednesdays at 7:30pm
Saturdays at Noon
August 4, 11, 18, 25
Guest Organists — Wednesdays at 7:30 PM
Pipes and Stripes:
A holiday concert
with Michael Stairs and Gordon Turk
A ‘rising star’
Madison Symphony Orchestra, WI
Virginia International Organ Festival
San Diego Civic Organist Emerita
A ‘rising star’
Faculty, Univ. of Oklahoma
Holiday Encores — Monday, September 3 at 7:00 PM
Labor Day Concert
$14.00 (includes taxes and fees)
The Auditorium Organ
The origin of the present auditorium organ was an instrument built by Robert Hope-Jones, an Englishman who immigrated to this country in 1903 and opened his own factory in Elmira, New York in 1907. The company received major financial support from Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) who was a member of the board of directors and a great admirer of Hope-Jones.
This instrument was dedicated by a concert on the evening of July 3, 1908 by organist, Mark Andrews, with over eight thousand persons in attendance. During the summer of 1908 the very famous concert organist Edwin H. Lemare gave a series of ten daily recitals in the auditorium during the convention of the National Association of Organists.
Since 1908 the organ has undergone several rebuilding projects. Beginning in 1974 and continuing through the present, a major expansion program was initiated under the leadership of Auditorium Organist, Dr. Gordon Turk and Organ Curator, John R. Shaw in an effort to create a more versatile instrument. In keeping with accepted standards of organ construction, full diapason, flute, and reed choruses were built for each of the major divisions. Currently the instrument consists of ten (10) divisions, totaling 202 ranks and over 12,000 pipes, played from a console of five keyboards (manuals) and pedals. All of the restoration and expansion projects over the years have been funded through memorial contributions and generous gifts from benefactors. Several projects still await funding.
As the centerpiece of the Auditorium's music program the instrument is in constant use during the summer program, and it receives regular care and maintenance. It is used for the worship services, choral concerts, weekly organ recitals featuring the resident organist and numerous guest recitalists, and other concerts with instruments and orchestra.
Today the auditorium organ is in the category of ‘the largest pipe organs of the world’, and has acquired and international reputation; it is celebrated for its musical expressiveness, versatility and powerful sonority. The versatile tonal capabilities of this instrument enables the organist to perform a broad range of repertoire, and it is heard by thousands of listeners each season.
To celebrate 100th anniversary of the organ (2008) a new Antiphonal division consisting of 15 ranks of pipes (built by A.R. Schopps' Sons, Alliance, Ohio) was installed in September 2007. This division of pipes is located in the real gallery of the auditorium, 300 feet from the main (front) organ. The gallery organ is the result of funds provided by a generous anonymous donor.