Friends of the Wanamaker OrganThe
Philadelphia Organ Quartet-Wanamaker veterans Rudy Lucente, Colin
Howland, Peter Richard Conte and Michael Stairs-are doing a benefit for
the beloved Girard College E.M. Skinner organ on Sat. April 29 at 4 pm at Girard College.
Tickets are at the Girard College website. Details are HERE!
Wanamaker Organ Day is Saturday June 3!
Our signature festival (details still coming together) actually begins FRIDAY JUNE 2. For exciting details on Friday Events, please scroll down below, but first we will list the big Saturday activities...
WANAMAKER ORGAN DAY PROPER is SAT. JUNE 3, with free events including a free Coronation Music choral tribute marking the Sapphire Anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II (5 pm), and a ticketed Grand Evening Concert showcasing the talents of Peter Richard Conte, Steven Ball, Todd Wilson and Andrew Ennis.
Click on the poster at upper right to secure your tickets!
Wanamaker Organ Day opens at 10am with Wanamaker Organ chamber tours, and with Rick Seifert's wonderfully updated presentation on the Wanamaker Organ, shown in Greek Hall at 10 am. (Greek Hall is on the Third Floor of Macy's.) The presentation is filled with Wanamaker Organ music and salutes the heritage and history of the Greatest Musical Wonder in the World.
The musical splendor begins at 11 am in the Grand Court with a Grand Opening Concert featuring Peter Richard Conte, Todd Wilson, Steven Ball, Andrew Ennis and Rudy Lucente. It is simulcast over WRTI-FM and may be heard around the world live at wrti.org.
At 2 pm the action moves to Greek Hall, where acclaimed Boardwalk Hall organist Dr. Steven Ball puts our Wurlitzer through its paces with favorites from the Great American Songbook. Also featured is a comedy short, tentatively expected to be Harold Lloyd in "Safety Last." Lloyd did many of his own stunts, and this campy romp is a cliffhanger--er clockhanger, as Lloyd dangles dizzily from the hands of a giant skyscraper clock. Tickets are $10 at the door and admission is free with an Evening Concert admission.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II CORONATION TRIBUTE
5 pm brings one of the greatest displays of musical pageantry we produce, as the Sapphire Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne is commemorated. The Friends of the Wanamaker Organ Festival Chorus and Brass Ensemble bring their combined strengths to the might of the Reigning Monarch of All Instruments as spine-chilling Coronation music fills the Grand Court with musical majesty. This event, like the morning concert, is free and not to be missed!
GRAND EVENING CONCERT
At Night the Stars Come Out! There is NOTHING like hearing the Wanamaker Organ in the hush of the closed store, when all the fine subtleties can be discerned and the full thunderous torrent experienced. Our Grand Evening Concerts are rare and not to be missed. Remember that members (even new members) and their guests are entitled to a $10-per-ticket discount for themselves and all in their party. Featured this year are Peter Richard Conte and guests Todd Wilson, Steven Ball and Andrew Ennis.
Newly restored sections of the Wanamaker are slated to make their debut, including the dramatic 32' Contra Bombarde, The Swell Mixture V, and an exciting new Flugelhorn given by reed restorer Sam Hughes. That rank was given to the Orchestral Division in memory of former Wanamaker Organist Keith Chapman and his wife Sally, and family representatives will be present for the occasion.
SPECIAL MACY'S WANAMAKER ORGAN DAY OFFER
Patrons with Evening Concert tickets who spend $50 or more apiece at Macy's are invited to a pre-concert artists' reception with wine and light refreshments in Greek Hall on a limited first-come basis. Please help us help our host by taking advantage of this offering!
Events on Friday open with the noon Wanamaker Organ Concert. That
is followed by free Shop and Chamber tours, and a showing of Rick
Seifert's riveting presentation on the Wanamaker Organ in Greek Hall. Times and further to come.
Capping Friday Evening at 7 pm is a Macy's first: a Wanamamaker Organ-accompanied Fashion Show in the Grand Court, with seating.
Friday is a good day to visit and take in the Wanamaker Organ in a more leisurely and detailed way, without the press of crowds and pressures of time. During the tours there is time to meet and talk to the talented members of our restoration staff, and our dedicated volunteers.
Please scroll down the page to click on our Visitor's Guide, filled with tips for those new to Philadelphia and the Store.
The full roster of festival artists for Wanamaker Organ Day weekend is shown on the banner below, and you may hear Parry's "I Was Glad" from the 2012 concert by clicking on the banner. Details subject to change.
Please scroll down to see our Dining and Hotel guide. There are a huge number of hotels in the Philadelphia area, and often significant savings can be realized by staying at the Airport and taking the frequently running Center City trains, or staying just outside the City, in King of Prussia, Cherry Hill, N.J., and other hostelries.
Saturday September 23 we are having an after-hours ticketed concert
with the Symphony in C. An announcement with details is posted on their website, HERE. Please look to this space as further details are
New DVD! Immediate Shipping! Ever wonder what it is like to sit down and play the Wanamaker Organ? Our exciting new DVD, The Wanamaker Organ: A Sonic Odyssey, is now available! Just click on the icon at left to secure your copy.
Peter Richard Conte and Yale organist Thomas Murray go through the Organ's formidable resources in a fascinating, fun, three hour film full of insights from two master musicians. A companion to our Curator's Tour DVD. Orders are being shipped immediately since stock has arrived. An enclosed booklet includes registration and playing insight from Conte, Keith Chapman, Virgil Fox, and more!
Read Peter Dobrin's marvelous paean to the Wanamaker Organ in the Philadelphia Inquirer HERE. Writes Dobrin: Whatever your taste, this is music of the best sort -- music you didn't find, but that found you.
a Valentine's Day treat, watch Wedding Party "royalty" acknowledge
enthusiastic shoppers at Macy's Center City--by clicking on the icon at
left. The brief film clip (hat tip Matt Taft) was taken as the happy
couple had their pre-nuptial photos taken (by pre-arrangement) in front
of the Organ Case. Jeremy Flood provided suitably thrilling weddy music.
The ceremony itself was held afterward in the Crystal Tea Room. All
congratulations to the honeymooning newlyweds!
Nik Sizgorich sent us this link honoring the 30th anniversary of the release of the cult classic Mannequin, filmed at John Wanamaker Philadelphia. Details are HERE.
Title character Kim Cattrall visited Macy's and Peter Richard Conte in
the loft during a fairly recent touring engagement, and sang along to a
medley from "The Wizard of Oz." Cattrall's character soared through the
Grand Court on a hang glider in the movie. Costar Andrew McCarthy was
filmed at the console. In 1991, a sequel was released that includes
scenes from the area that is today our Organ Shop.
You may renew your membership safely and instantly HERE. Donations at larger levels entitle the giver to special premium gifts. Thank you so very much for your help in sustaining our musical mission!
Enjoy the 2016 Christmas in the Grand Tradition concert HERE.
first-time visitors ask about whether there is a charge for the daily
concerts, or if special preparations are needed. The answer is a simple no. The Wanamaker Organ
plays into the huge atrium of a grand department store, and the concerts
are a free part of the daily Macy's shopping experience. The reg
daily schedule is Here.
JULY 2016 SANSOM STUDENT CAMP - Congratulations to this year's
participants: Emily Amos, Adrian Binkley, Benjamin Henderson, Matthew
Johnson, Aaron Patterson and Martin Jones. We extend heartfelt thanks to
the Sansom Foundation, Rudy Lucente and Macy's for making this rare
Aaron Patterson's sassy performance of George Gershwin's 'Promenade' is excerpted Here.