The Organ Historical Society celebrates the pipe organ each year through a convention featuring instruments of historical interest in one location in North America. The pipe organ community gathers at these conventions for fellowship, recitals, lectures, and to sample the local culture and architecture. In many instances, the work of a local organbuilder (recent or historical) is highlighted. Non-members are very welcome to attend, although members receive a significant discount on registration, so we encourage attendees to join. The E. Power Biggs Fellowship can provide funding for first-time attendees of OHS conventions.
Call for Conventions
Are you proud of the historic pipe organs in your area? Would you like to share them with the rest of the OHS membership?
The Organ Historical Society is seeking proposals to host conventions in 2020 and 2021, and we would love to come visit! If you’ve ever wanted to show off the organs in your area to the rest of the OHS membership, this is a great opportunity. As a first step, please contact the CEO, Jim Weaver to start a conversation about the possibility of hosting. After this, an initial proposal will need to have a preliminary list of organs to visit and a preliminary itinerary, as well as a list of people who would be willing to serve on a convention committee. For complete information on hosting a convention, please download the convention guidelines here:
Days to OHS 2018 — Rochester
NESTLED ON THE SOUTHERN SHORE of Lake Ontario, traversed by the Genesee River and its dramatic downtown waterfalls, and situated on the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Rochester offers something for the music lover, art aficionado, wine connoisseur, and everyone in between. Visit the world-famous International Museum of Photography, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, or any number of more than twenty museums and galleries in the area. Whose curiosity would not be piqued by the Strong National Museum of Play, home to the nation’s second-largest collection of antique and collectible toys? A thriving festival culture is part of the vital heartbeat of New York’s third largest city, among which are counted the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Rochester International Film Festival, Fringe Festival, Lilac Festival, the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) Festival, and too many others to innumerate here. And with stunning natural beauty surrounding the city, those who opt to join us for the post-convention day can enjoy a wine tasting in the picturesque Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
OHS 2018 — Rochester
Convention Co-ChairA star among young classical musicians, concert organist Nathan Laube has quickly earned a place among the organ world’s élite performers. In addition to his busy performing schedule, Mr. Laube serves as Assistant Professor of Organ at The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he teaches with distinguished professors David Higgs and Edoardo Bellotti.
Convention Co-ChairMyles Boothroyd is a concert saxophonist and chamber musician who has earned top prizes in national and international competitions. A founding member of the award-winning East End Quartet, Boothroyd also serves as assistant editor of The Saxophone Symposium. He is Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at Roberts Wesleyan College and holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Central Michigan University.
Nestled alongside Lake Ontario and the Erie Canal, home to the Genessee River, Rochester offers a cultural landscape with something for the music lover, art aficionado, wine connoisseur, and everyone in between. We are home of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1922, which presents more than 120 performances per year to 170,000 concertgoers. If you come to the convention a few days early, don’t miss the Strong National Museum of Play, home to the nation’s second-largest collection of antique and collectible toys. Your tour of the city might also include a stop at the International Museum of Photography, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Memorial Art Gallery, or any number of more than twenty museums and galleries in the area.
At the core of Rochester’s music scene is the Eastman School of Music, the result of George Eastman’s vision in 1921 to construct a world-class conservatory replete with the nation’s finest faculty and artists. Eastman has remained a leader in music composition, performance, and education for nearly a century, and today, the school’s concert season includes more than 700 performances each year.
There is certainly no shortage of adventures to be had here. The third largest state in New York, Rochester hosts an international summer jazz festival, the beautiful Highland Park (adjoined by Warner Castle), the Geva Theatre Center, Auditorium Theatre, and more microbreweries and wine tasting sites that we can possibly list here. In fact, those who can join us for an optional post-convention day will enjoy a wine tour and tasting in the stunning Finger Lakes region of upstate New York!
Our pipe organ culture in Rochester truly has a life of its own. The more than thirty organ majors studying at Eastman bring music to church services across the city, and multiple community concert series have earned a devoted following of pipe organ enthusiasts. 18th-century instruments include an anonymous Italian Baroque Organ in the Memorial Art Gallery, just a few blocks from the Craighead-Saunders Organ at Christ Church (the latter a process reconstruction of a 1776 instrument by Adam Gottlob Casparini). In the same building, one can hear a 19th-century Hook & Hastings with original pipes from 1862 and 1893. Early 20th-century organs include a 1909 Hope-Jones at First Universalist and a 1928 Skinner at Church of the Ascension. A short trip forward in history brings us to the 1964 Holtkamp at Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word and the 2008 Fritts in Sacred Heart Cathedral.
These instruments represent only a sampling of what is in store for the 63rd annual convention of the Organ Historical Society, Jul 29 – Aug. 3, 2018. We look forward to welcoming you to Rochester!
Co-Chairs, OHS 2018 National Convention
The OHS Mission Statement
The Organ Historical Society celebrates, preserves, and studies the pipe organ in America in all its historic styles, through research, education, advocacy, and music.
The Organ Historical Society
330 North Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085 – 1737