On Sunday, March 30, Kansas Chapters of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) will sponsor a tour of three pipe organs in Great Bend, with a program geared to interest people of all ages, and particularly suited to families. Those who attend will hear the instruments and learn more about how they work.
Beginning at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 2400 Washington St., the tour will move on by family car to First United Methodist Church, 2123 Forest Ave., and the Dominican Sisters’ Chapel of the Plains, 3600 Broadway Ave.
Organ demonstrators will include Kathy Fehrmann and Carrol Hassman. Different pipe shapes and sounds will be explained, and some of the pipe chambers will be opened for viewing. Young keyboard players will also be invited to try their piano pieces at one or more of the instruments.
Refreshments will be served around 4 p.m., and the public is invited to attend, free of charge.
This event is part of the Kansas AGO Chapters’ Sunflower Organ Initiative – a celebration of Kansas organs and organists begun in the state’s sesquicentennial year. The Initiative first sponsored a Family Pipe Organ Tour in Wichita; shortly following, Governor Brownback proclaimed the month of October, 2011, as “Sunflower Organists Month.”
Tours in subsequent years have been staged in McPherson, Pratt and Salina. With the goal of understanding the music and mechanism of the pipe organ, sponsors said the tours are meant to interest young people in taking up the study of playing the instrument – in a day when all too much of our music is experienced via one “black box” or another.