The organs at St. Mary Church and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Elyria are being recognized by the Organ Historical Society.
The churches’ instruments are featured in the society’s quarterly magazine “The Tracker” and will be played by members of the society in separate concerts July 9 as part of the society’s annual convention, which is in Cleveland this year.
Anne Wilson will play at St. Andrew’s at 10:50 a.m., and Yun Kim will play at St. Mary at 11:45 a.m.
The Skinner organ at St. Andrew’s hasn’t been changed since 1922, even though it has been played almost every Sunday. That unaltered state was a big selling point in the society’s decision to honor it.
“We’re living in a time when it’s so easy to use all the modern things that are out there, music-wise,” music director Joan VanWormer said. “The organ – the purpose of it – is to enhance worship and lead the congregation in singing.”
At St. Mary, the 1865 Johnson Tracker organ is believed to be the second-oldest mechanical Tracker organ in Ohio and has undergone two major renovations in the past 30 years. The church plans to continue to set aside funds for the upkeep of the organ.
“You couldn’t replace it today,” organist Mike Moore said.
And with the instrument being honored, Moore said he hopes people will be able to appreciate the music that can still be produced by such an old piece.
“In this day and age, the emphasis on nostalgia is always an important thing to remember,” Moore said. “This has been here for 163 years and has been a key instrument in life celebrations of four or five generations.”
Contact Andrew Harner at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.