Fred Haas, OHS Convention Co-chair, and Curt Mangel, Honorary Chair
Welcome back to Philly!
Frederick R. Haas
I am honored to be co-chair of the 2016 OHS Convention. And, with my co-chair Steven Ball (and honorary co-chair Curt Mangel), may we be the first to invite you to join us in Philadelphia in June 2016 for what promises to be a special and memorable convention.
Philadelphia is justly famous as an historic city, the cradle of our American heritage, liberty and democracy as well as our nation’s first capital. It became an industrial and cultural center, and this is evident by its world-class civic buildings, libraries, hospitals, opera houses, churches and universities that still stand and amaze us today. While industry has diminished (like so many American cities), new generations have reinvented Philadelphia to be the vital, dynamic center of cultural energy and art that is the envy of other older, established cities.
The city is beautifully situated between two picturesque rivers and boasts the largest urban park (Fairmount Park) in the country. This legacy of William Penn’s “Faire Countrie Towne” lives on in our beautiful central parks like the Rittenhouse and Washington Squares, thought by Penn to help aid good health and combat disease in the populace of the city. Whether strolling the historic blocks of Society Hill with the oldest continually inhabited streets in the country, to taking in the sights of our Waterworks by the Art Museum (one of the first engineered water supply systems in the country that Charles Dickens traveled from England to visit) - convention attendees will be surrounded by timeless beauty and historic sites.
Today’s Philadelphia continues to live up to its culturally rich past. Now a major destination for “foodies,” the city is now home to some of the best restaurants in the country. Seasonal festivals, theater companies, and exhibitions abound. Horticultural fans can stroll the paths of the famous Longwood Gardens, serenaded by industrial tycoon Pierre du Pont’s restored 10,000-pipe Aeolian organ that he built to entertain his guests as they toured the enormous glass conservatory.
As a center for organ building since the 18th century, the Dieffenbach and Tannenberg organs of Berks County still beguile us with their purity and simplicity. These early “Philadelphia” instruments set the stage for an organ culture that has continued to evolve and thrive in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. From the rich and full-bodied tones of Roosevelts and Standbridges to the unsurpassed creations of the famous Wanamaker Organ and the Midmer-Losh Organ in Atlantic City — the two largest organs in the world, a mere hour apart — there is something here for everyone to enjoy.
Please come and enjoy all that Philadelphia has to offer. There is no other city that can claim to be the center of American pipe organ building more than Philadelphia!
Frederick R. Haas
Steven Ball Co-Chairs, OHS 2016 National Convention
Take some quick tours of the
highlights of Philadelphia.
Get the Philadelphia Official Visitors Guide™
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All instruments featured below are
2016 Convention pipe organs.
Hans Davidsson, organist, and his sons
Gabriel Davidsson and
Jonathan Davidsson, dancers, will be performing an organ and dance piece on the Dobson (Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Op. 76) at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts for the Convention.
I was Glad (Sir Charles Parry, arr Peter Conte) performed at Wanamaker Organ Day 2012 at Macy's Department Store in Center City Philadelphia during the 5 pm Gala Concert. Peter Conte performs at the Wanamaker (VI/462) organ, accompanied by the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ Chorus and Brass.
Messiaen's L'Ascension: III Transports de joie performed by 18-year-old Monica Czausz on the Dobson (Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Op. 76) at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. This recording is live from a concert on July 12, 2012.
The Senator's Masterpiece - a documentary film by Vic Ferrer about the Atlantic City Convention Hall Organ at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Built between 1929 thru 1931. The Midmer-Losh pipe organ is the largest instrument in the world and speaks from over 33,000 pipes. (These are six separate videos that play one after another.)
A visit to see the newly restored organ of Longwood Gardens Music Conservatory in Kennett Square, PA, happened quite by chance due to Carlo's longstanding friendship with Nelson Barden November 2011. Even though the conservatory was closed for Christmas decorating the red carpet was rolled out and memories were made. This video was made for another of Carlo's longtime friends Ernest Nichols (also a Fox pupil) so he could experience the amazing sonic sound.
Robert Elmore plays his teacher Pietro Yon's First Concert Study in a tour-de-force performance at the Curtis Sesqui-Centennial Exposition Organ in Irvine Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, c. 1975. Scenes of Irvine Auditorium before and after its restoration are shown. The Curtis Organ, built by the Austin Organ Company for Philadelphia's 1926 World's Fair, is in four chambers. Two pedal chambers flank the stage, and two large sections are behind screens at the top of arches on the left and right.