I am honored to be co-chair of the 2017 OHS Convention, and with my colleague, Michael Barone, invite you to visit the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota in August, 2017.
In this land of 10,000 lakes, and almost as many cultural events, the Twin Cities has been called the cultural capital of the midwest. We are home to the highly-renowned Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Minnesota Opera Company, recognized for world-class artistry and innovative commissions. Choral music has long been an important part of our state’s heritage, and our choirs include such professional ensembles as Vocal Essence, the Minnesota Chorale, the Singers, the Rose Ensemble, the Oratorio Society of Minnesota and Cantus, along with many college choirs of note, such as the St. Olaf Choir and the Concordia Choir, and countless community and professional level church choirs round out a vibrant choral music scene, fueled by the Lutheran tradition of choral singing.
The famous Guthrie Theater lives here, though we boast many other production companies and more theater seats per capita anywhere in the US outside of New York City, and many Broadway touring shows begin their run in the Twin Cities. We have over 60 museums, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Walker Art Center and the Weismann Art Museum (a Frank Gehry building) at the University of Minnesota. And for convention goers who may be able to spend some extra time here, the Twin Cities Early Music Festival and Twin Cities Fringe Festival will be underway both before and after our Convention dates.
Our Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are divided by the Mississippi River, and more than 900 lakes and 50 parks lie within the Metropolitan area. Those who choose the additional day in Duluth will be treated to the unsurpassed beauty of Lake Superior, the world’s largest fresh-water body. Minnesota has over 4,000 miles of paved biking trails and countless hiking and walking trails and in all parts of the state.
Organ building has flourished in Minnesota. Local builders, past and present include Vogelpohl and Spaeth, Lorenz, Hendrickson, Marrin, Jaeckel and Van Daalen. Organs of exceptional historic note in Minnesota include the largest extant Johnson & Son organ, relocated to the Convent of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, the 1927 Casavant of 108 ranks at St. Andrew’s Lutheran, Mahtomedi, a rescue-relocation of an instrument formerly at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, re-engineered by Schantz with no tonal alterations, and the memorable 1898 Felgemaker organ in the former Cathedral of Duluth, now the Sacred Heart Music Center. Our important mid-20th century organs include the 1961 Holtkamp in the stunning Marcel Breuer-designed Abbey Church at St. Johns University, Walter Senior’s last major installation, and the 1966 Schlicker in Mount Olive Lutheran Church, designed and played by Paul Manz.
These builders and numerous others will be featured as we travel out and about during the exciting 62nd annual Organ Historical Society Convention August 5–11, 2017. We look forward to sharing with you the riches that the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota have to offer. Come early and stay late!
Co-Chairs, OHS 2017 National Convention