Organ Update (9/4/2014)

  • Posted on: 4 September 2014
  • By: iduerr

After a decade of planning and five years of intense fundraising, Zion is proud to have its new pipe organ fully restored and in regular use every Sunday. During the summer, the installation of the final components for the 32-foot Trombone and Subbass digital pipes by Virtuoso completed the organ restoration. Our worship services are once again richly enhanced with the vibrant sound of the new instrument, providing inspirational support for our congregational singing.

Zion’s organist John Heizer has resumed playing organ preludes and postludes, moving and reflective arrangements by composers such as Flor Peeters, Johann Pachelbel, Dietrich Buxtehude, G.F. Handel, and J.S. Bach. Zion’s Easter service concluded with a stirring performance of Toccata by C.M. Widor, previously recorded by Michael Britt, Dean of the Baltimore Chapter of the A.G.O., playing Zion’s organ. This opportunity was made possible by one of the innovative capabilities of our new organ, Opus 60, built by Patrick J. Murphy Organbuilders.

Zion now looks forward to sharing this musical asset with the community. The new organ will be formally dedicated in a special bilingual Worship Service on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 11:15 a.m. Later that same day, Zion is pleased to host guest organist Eric Plutz of Princeton University for our Organ Dedication Recital at 4:00 p.m. Mr. Plutz, a gifted concert organist, has performed in locations across the United States and abroad. We are grateful to the American Guild of Organists, Baltimore Chapter for co-sponsoring Mr. Plutz’s performance at Zion. A reception in the Adlersaal will follow the recital.

This highly anticipated event will celebrate all the hard work and faithful commitment which made our organ restoration possible, a gift of praise to the glory of God. The 2005 Anniversary Concert by Hilary Hahn which initiated Zion’s Organ Fund, was a fitting musical kick-off. Since then, many have contributed to the Fund through countless creative efforts: Luther T-shirts, tip money at the Sour Beef Dinners, raffles at the Christkindlmarkt, sales of organ artifacts and Zion Calendars. Beginning in 2010, many members and friends have supported the Fund with sizable donations and pledges. In April 2014, we raised $6,500 for the Fund at our “Traditional German Feast” with a delicious Rouladen Dinner. We owe a huge thank-you to the planning committee and all the volunteers who made this event so successful! Most recently, we benefited from the Raffle for Ravens and Orioles tickets, which raised over $3,100 for the Organ Fund. We are most grateful to Leslie and Mike Trageser for their generous donation of tickets towards this effort.

The Organ Fund will continue to seek contributions to support the loan re-payment which funded the balance of the organ contract. Our next organ fundraiser will be an Art & Music Event on September 6, 2014. See details on the enclosed flyer to learn more about the German Expressionist Art Movement from Baltimore Museum of Art curator Oliver Shell.

We invite everyone who contributed to the Organ Fund to share our joy and gratitude on September 21 for the festive dedication events. Your ongoing support of the organ restoration project has renewed Zion’s commitment to provide uplifting music for future generations.

Please come and join us on September 21, 2014 as Zion dedicates its new church organ to the Glory of God!