OHS 2017 - Registration

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First Baptist Church
George Jardine & Son, 1863

Description of Optional Days

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Saturday, August 5
We encourage you to come early and stay late, as our pre- and post-convention offerings should not be missed!
      For the always eager pre-convention crowd, we cross into Wisconsin to visit some of the region’s most significant historic instruments. First we tour the recently renovated 1889 Mabel Tainter Theater in Menomonie, with its marble staircases, hand stenciled artwork, unique stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and an intriguing 1890 Steer & Turner organ of 25 stops. We next visit First Congregational United Church of Christ to hear their wonderfully colorful 1894 J.W. Steere & Son organ of 19 stops, played by OHS stalwart James Hamman. From Menomonie, we travel to First Baptist Church in Hudson with its fully restored 1863 George Jardine & Son organ of two manuals and 12 stops that retains its original hand pumping mechanism. A younger OHS regular, Rhonda Sider Edgington will play here, after which you can explore restaurant options in downtown Hudson, adjacent the scenic St. Croix River. The evening’s concert, by ATOS prize-winning talent Justin LaVoie, includes a silent movie and takes place at the Phipps Center for the Arts, which contains a 1926 Rudolph Wurlitzer theater organ, now in its third home.

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First Lutheran Church
Daniel Jaeckel, Opus 52
Friday, August 11
You don't want to miss this splendid day in Duluth, featuring what many consider the most important indigenous 19th-century pipe organ in Minnesota. But there is the city itself, located on the spectacular North Shore of Lake Superior, which is the world’s largest fresh water lake. Our first stop featuring two instruments by resident organ builder Daniel Jaeckel at his home parish, First Lutheran Church. The astonishing virtuoso Isabelle Demers and one of her prize pupils, Jillian Gardner, will showcase Jaeckel’s Opus 1 (1980) of two manuals and 10 ranks, and his magnum Opus 52 (2011) with three manuals and 72 ranks. Lunch will be served at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, an Egyptian revival hall with lovely woodwork and stained glass, numerous original “scenic backdrops” on its stage, and a 1910 W.W. Kimball organ of two manuals and 20 ranks. After lunch, and an impromptu demonstration by Ms. Demers, we will visit St. Mary Star of the Sea, built in 1905 in the basilica-style with beautiful altar carvings, statues, stained glass windows, and a mechanical action organ of 14 stops ordered from Lyon & Healy in Chicago in 1906. Local soloist David Tryggestad will demonstrate it for us.
      Our final afternoon visit will be to the Sacred Heart Music Center, the former first Roman Catholic Cathedral of Duluth, built in 1896. The 1898 A.B. Felgemaker Company organ (Opus 664, with two manuals and 26 ranks) may have been “ordered from a catalog,” but it represents one of those miracles where instrument and room are in perfect harmony and the mundane nature of its purchase and installation belies its high artistic quality. Every stop has its own personality, and all work together in marvelous and memorable ensemble. The importance of this superb instrument, in itself and as a representative of late 19th-century upper Midwestern cultural achievement, cannot be overestimated. This organ (which received OHS Citation #228) will be showcased with period repertoire by Bruce Bengtson, whose program also includes a work commissioned for the Felgemaker’s centenary and featuring a local Native American women’s chorus. This unique score was written in tribute to the parish’s founding priest, Father John Chebul, whose relationship with the native community in Duluth’s early days was particularly friendly. Dinner will be served before our ride back to Saint Paul.

Northrop Auditorium
Aeolian-Skinner, Opus 892
Listen to an MPR radio interview about the auditorium renovation. The University of Minnesota has hired Connecticut-based Foley-Baker Inc. to restore and reinstall the instrument.
Saturday, August 12
Visit to Northrop Auditorium
If you decide to stay for the post-convention day in Duluth, we have a special surprise for you on Saturday morning, August 12.

We'll visit the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium, where re-installation of its 108-rank Aeolian-Skinner Opus 892 is underway. Enjoy an audio-visual presentation of the instrument’s history plus opportunity for a guided tour of the new chambers (not ADA-accessible, unfortunately) and a chance to hear sounds from this work-in-progress, a taste of what's in store when the instrument is completed and re-inaugurated in Autumn 2018.

To minimize cost and complication, we'll be using public transit (Green Line Light Rail from Central Station in Saint Paul, 3 minutes from the Hotel; disembark at East Bank Station in Minneapolis). Trains depart every 10 minutes ($1.75 each way; tickets at the station kiosk), the ride is @30 minutes, plus 10 minutes walk at the Minneapolis end to Northrop. Get with a group, or you can drive yourself and park in the Church Street garage, or take a cab or Uber. Enter Northrop through the East Doors.

Everyone attending the Convention will receive an instruction sheet in their tote bag.

The “official presentation” runs from 9:30-11:30 so you can be done and back to the hotel by noonish, leaving you plenty of opportunity for an afternoon return flight home!

Certainly there are many additional cultural and scenic attractions to justify your taking up permanent residence in Minnesota, but we hope you will at least consider taking full advantage of our entire 2017 OHS Convention offerings, before, during and after.

To register for the Northrop Auditorium Visit
click on the envelope above.

  • Please contact Michael Barone directly at mbarone@mpr.org or phone 651-290-1539.
Please fill out the form below to contact Michael Barone about reserving your space on the Northrop Auditorium Visit.


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