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August 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pmFREE
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church invites you to celebrate the completion of our organ restoration project with an Inaugural Organ Recital on Friday, August 23rd, at 7:00 PM featuring Dr. Richard Newman, Director of Music at Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria, VA.
He is a native of Copperhill, Tennessee and attended St. Andrew’s Sewanee School, Sewanee, Tennessee, where he studied organ with Robert Delcamp. He is a 2006 graduate of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where he studied with Huw Lewis and was a choral singer and organist for the Hope College Chapel Choir European Tour. During the summer of 2008, he accompanied the choirs of All Saints Church, Worcester, Massachusetts for their tour to Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester Cathedral in England. Additionally, he accompanied the choir of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, Michigan during their residency at Chichester and Southwark Cathedrals in England. Dr. Newman completed his work toward the Doctorate of Music at the University of Michigan in 2013, where he was in the organ class of James Kibbie and a harpsichord student of Edward Parmentier. Before his appointment at Grace Episcopal Church, Alexandria, Virginia, he held the positions as Associate Organist at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit and Organ Scholar at Detroit’s St. John’s Episcopal Church. His interests include collecting and restoring fountain pens and playing board games.
The event is free and open to the public.
There’s a grand new sound in Cleveland, Tennessee, coming from the corner of Ocoee Street and Central Avenue.
St. Luke’s Episcopal, one of the prettiest churches in the region and also one of the most historic, has a newly expanded and rebuilt organ that church leaders say will better serve Christ and hundreds of communicants for decades to come.
And Friday, the public is encouraged and welcome to attend the dedicatory recital at 7 p.m.
Barger & Nix Organs of nearby McDonald, Tennessee, has carried out the project, which was initiated in 2015.
The organ capacity has been increased to 12 ranks, with 852 pipes ranging in size from about 18 feet to 6 inches, according to Dr. Matthew Krepps, a consultant on the project. From flutes, to reeds, to strings, to trumpets, the organ even has a flugel horn.
They provide “the dynamic and tone color variety to effectively and enthusiastically lead vibrant congregational hymn singing, choral accompaniment and authentic playing of organ literature,” Krepps says.
Though the dedicatory is Friday, the completed organ has actually been in use since Pentecost, June 9.
St. Luke’s’ priest, Father Joel Huffstetler, says, “The organ restoration project has been a positive experience from start to finish. Our parishioners were very generous in supporting the project, and we received a very meaningful early ‘boost’ when we received the generous donation of a ‘new to us’ console from Lee University which fits our space and needs perfectly.
“The newly renovated instrument’s sound now fills the room and inspires even more robust congregational singing,” Huffstetler says. “The organ in its previous state was under capacity to accompany our exceptionally strong music ministry under the direction of Dr. Andrea Dismukes. The heart of our parish’s life is worship in the Anglican tradition. Music is one of our congregation’s greatest strengths, and the newly refurbished organ is now one of that ministry’s best assets. It strengthens our worship experience, which in turn inspires our commitment to serving Christ in the world.”
Jonathan Jung is St. Luke’s’ organist. He came to the church “when the restoration project was well up and running. The completed restoration gave new life to the instrument, and the organ now sings with even more extraordinary colors,” Jung says. “I am honored to play this instrument every week to unite the congregation in this place of worship and also to bring the joy of music for many years to come.”
The artist playing the recital Friday is Dr. Richard Newman, director of music and organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia. He is a native of Copperhill, Tennessee. He finished high school at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School in Sewanee, Tennessee, then graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He received his doctorate in music at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Before taking his current post, Newman was associate organist at Detroit’s Cathedral Church of St. Paul. He has been involved with several groups’ choir trips to England.
Newman has a happy connection with Barger & Nix principal Bill Barger, whom he has known since age 12, when he had the audacity to call Barger & Nix and ask the company to come refurbish the small organ at St. Mark’s Episcopal in Copperhill.
Barger “managed to get the (Copperhill) organ in better condition with the little money we had at the time. I am sure he lost money on that deal!” Newman recalls. “However, and most importantly, this started a wonderful friendship that lasts until this day. I would occasionally go over to his organ shop to learn about the inner workings of pipe organs.
“Bill, along with parishioners from St. Mark’s, was instrumental in helping to support and encourage me. It took many people to help me achieve my dreams to become an organist and attend good schools, and Bill is certainly one of those good people.”
The St. Luke’s building was erected in the 1880s. To enhance worship, a 10-rank Pilcher organ was installed, its stenciled pipes being very visible at the front of the sanctuary for more than 120 years.
The Pilcher organ’s works were changed out in the 1950s for a Moller organ, which was placed behind the beautiful Pilcher pipes, which were retained for decorative purposes. An 1890s photo showed that the original case pipes were very bright and highly decorative when they were new. But the Pilcher pipes had suffered over their many years’ time in the church.
Barger & Nix has now replaced those pipes, and new stenciling has been added. “The decorations on the new case pipes are re-creations of the original decorations,” Barger says. The painting was done in the Barger & Nix shop, “but we worked with Charity Horton at Printing Expressions in Ooltewah, which actually made the stencils used for painting the new decorations on the pipes. Their expertise was critical to the project.”
The organ console’s cabinet itself has had an interesting journey, Barger says. “The console we installed is in a Moller cabinet that was built for a music school in North Carolina in the 1920s. Then it was installed some years ago at First Baptist Church of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. When the Baptists stopped using it, they sold it to Lee University for parts. Then Lee donated it to St. Luke’s, a downtown Cleveland neighbor.
Barger promises Friday “will be an enjoyable evening that will be well worth the trip to Cleveland.” Chattanooga Free Press