Skip to main content

St. John’s Organ Society to Host Maine Historic Organ Institute in Bangor Area

BANGOR---The Maine Historic Organ Institute, aimed at high school and college-aged organ students and lovers of organ music, will be held on October 24-28. The institute will include concerts, classes, and guided tours of 19th-century organs in Bangor, Belfast, Bucksport, Hampden, and Stockton Springs, including the Hook Opus 288 at St. John Church in Bangor, one of the most beautiful surviving organs of its time.

In 1993, Kevin Birch, the current director of music and organist at St. John Church in Bangor, established the St. John’s Organ Society, which is organizing the institute. The society is committed to the preservation and appreciation of St. John Church’s historic E. & G. G. Hook pipe organ, Op. 288 (1860).

An amazing collection of faculty and contributors, featuring many who have performed around the world, will present and facilitate at the institute, including:

  • Kevin Birch, music director at St. John Church and member of the music faculty at the University of Maine’s School of Performing Arts in Orono;
  • Margaret Harper, director of music and liturgy at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and a faculty member at the University of Southern Maine School of Music;
  • Christian Lane, winner of the 2011 Canadian International Organ Competition and director of Boston Organ Studio;
  • Jonathan William Moyer, an assistant professor of organ at Oberlin College and music director and organist of the Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, Ohio;
  • Dana Robinson, a faculty member at the School of Music at the University of Illinois, and organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Champaign, Illinois;
  • George Bozeman, who studied organ on a Fulbright grant with Anton Heiller and harpsichord with Isolde Ahlgrimm at the Academy of Music in Vienna;
  • David Moore, founder of A. David Moore Pipe Organs, who designs and builds historically-informed mechanical action organs on his rural farm in Vermont;
  • Bob (Robert C.) Newton, who is widely regarded as an authority on 19th-century Boston organs, especially those built by the brothers Elias and George Greenleaf Hook;
  • Barbara Owen, an author of several books who is a past president of the Organ Historical Society;
  • Stephen L. Pinel, who served as archivist of the Organ Historical Society’s research collection, The American Organ Archives, for 26 years between 1984 and 2010.  
  • Carlton and Lorna Russell, who have been involved with the Hook organ in Stockton Springs for over 40 years;
  • David Wallace, who is the senior partner of David E. Wallace & Company Pipe Organ Builders in Gorham; 
  • Nicholas Wallace, who works for his father David’s company (see above) and completed the major work on the three-manual 1893 Hook & Hastings organ for the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York;
  • and James Woodman, a Portland native who was the first composer-in-residence at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston and is the monastery organist for the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge.

The registration fee is $150 for those ages 18 or over, and $100 for those under the age of 18.

For more information, to register, or to view a schedule of events, click here.