Organ Day Returns The Free, Family-Friendly Event Featuring The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ

Organ Day kicks off at 11:30 AM with a free performance from the GRAMMY Award–winning Philadelphia Orchestra.

By: Feb. 22, 2024
Organ Day Returns The Free, Family-Friendly Event Featuring The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ
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Ensemble Arts and The Philadelphia Orchestra will present the 12th Organ Day on Saturday, March 23, 2024, a free, family-friendly event featuring the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ.

“Organ Day is a fantastic opportunity for the community to experience the vast array of artistic mediums presented in our venues, from orchestral music to opera, ballet to jazz, and so much more,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO. “The event, which is generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation, celebrates and showcases the versatility of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, a majestic instrument in Verizon Hall.”

Organ Day kicks off at 11:30 AM with a free performance from the GRAMMY Award–winning Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Assistant Conductor Austin Chanu with organist Paul Jacobs. Free tickets are required for this portion of the program; details are below. A small break from programming on the Verizon Hall stage will follow the Orchestra’s performance, during which the Lucas Brown Trio will play on the Plaza stage at 12:30 PM. Back in Verizon Hall at 1:20 PM, children are invited to touch and explore the organ with Kids Play the Organ, followed by the Gospel Fusion on the Organ program with organist Evelyn Simpson Curenton at 1:50 PM.

The day continues with a Philadelphia Ballet performance on the Verizon Hall stage at 2:30 PM, accompanied by Erik Meyer. After a small break, organists Dr. Jay Fluellen and John Walthausen will play together at the same time in a Multi-Player Organ Performance at 2:55 PM. Organist Christian Schmitt will then perform a solo recital at 3:05 PM, followed by the Opera Philadelphia Chorus with conductor Elizabeth Braden and organist Meghan Meloy Ness at 3:45 PM. The FREE day of activities wraps up with Saint Mark’s Church Boy & Girl Choir with choirmaster Dr. Robert Lehman and organist Dr. Thomas Gaynor at 4:35 PM; the return of a silent film screened with live organ accompaniment as organist Luke Staisiunas performs to Laurel and Hardy’s 1927 Leave ’em Laughing at 5:15 PM; and the popular “organ pumps” at 5:45 PM, during which guests are invited to leave their seats and lie on the stage of Verizon Hall, feeling the powerful vibrations of the organ.

The day will be cohosted by Tyrone Whiting and Michael Barone. Full schedule and repertoire are below.

The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, Dobson organ Op. 76, is located inside Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “Fred” ranks as the largest mechanical-action concert hall organ in the United States with 6,938 pipes, four blowers, 300 levels of memory, 111 stops, and a total weight of approximately 32 tons. The largest pipes are made of wood and are about 32 feet tall, while the smallest metal pipes are similar in size to a slender drinking straw. It is the culmination of more than six years and 52,000 hours of planning, construction, and voicing.



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