The Friends of the Wanamaker Organ Welcomes You!
Celebrating the world's largest playing pipe organ
in the world's most beautiful department store.
NEW ARTIST - NEW TIME!
Plan now to attend our big SPRING FLING CONCERT
on Sunday April 27 at FIVE PM. Michael Stairs is no stranger to the Wanamaker Organ Loft, and the order of the day is sublime music spiced with fiery virtuosity from an artist who knows how to squeeze the full potential from our Symphonic masterpiece. A draft of the exciting planned program is here.
The afternoon opens with a free 3 PM showing of historian Rick Seifert's acclaimed audiovisual presentation "The Greatest Musical Wonder of the World," in Greek Hall on the Third Floor, Market Street & 13th Street corner. A flier on the presentation may be viewed here.
Please note that this concert information updates printed information from the Spring newsletter, which may reach you after you read this. We apologize that circumstances made it impossible for us to present Thomas Sheehan, Joseph Russell and Bryan Anderson.
Admission is free for this the first in an oustanding series of musicales this year-all made possible by your generosity! Why not treat yourself to a lovely Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia followed by dinner at one of the City's celebrated array of restaurants! Bring your friends!
Folks going to the AGO Convention in Boston may wish to return home through Philadelphia for the Wanamaker Organ Day festival Saturday June 28.
The first music event of Wanamaker
Organ Day itself is a concert at 11:30 A.M. in the Grand Court, featuring Peter Richard Conte, Jeremy Filsell, Rudy Lucente and Tedde Gibson on the Reigning Monarch of All Instruments.
As in past years, the event will be broadcast live on WRTI-FM in a special airing of Jill Pasternak's "Crossover." Listeners-in around the world, together with the more clever of you traveling from Boston to the evening events, might be able to hear it live at WRTI-org as streamcast over the Internet and smartphones.
Tedde Gibson (right) performs on our acclaimed Wurlitzer in Greek Hall at 2:30, with a mini pops concert and a special Silent Movie. Tickets are $10 at the door, and folks attending our ticketed Evening Concert are admitted free.
At 6 pm the Philadelphia Boys Choir
will be performing numbers ranging from light classics and musicals, including the thrilling Wedding March
from "The Sound of Music."
That number brought down the house several years ago, when the choir sang for a special Grand Court appearance by Julie Andrews. Scroll down for our visitors guide banner with ideas for traveling, touring, dining and lodging.
We will be having a ticketed evening concert at 8:30 Saturday, featuring organ solos and an organ-piano concerto together with the day's free daylong festivities, chamber tours and concerts. Secure your tickets now by clicking HERE or on the Tickets Icon above. Friends of the Wanamaker Organ members, including brand-new members, receive a $10 discount for each ticket they order.
Those arriving on Friday June 27 can hear the performances of brilliant young organists who are attending the Wanamaker Organ Camp at Macy's, courtesy of the Sansom Foundation. That free event begins at 6:30pm Friday night and kicks off this spectacular musical weekend. Among other events being planned is an exhibition of historic phonographs playing vintage Wanamaker Organ music. Sam Whitcraft hosts.
LOOKING TO THE FALL, ON SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 6 New Jersey's acclaimed Symphony in C orchestra will return to the Grand Court for a long-awaited return, featuring maestro Rossen Milanov and Peter Richard Conte in works by Saint-Saens and Poulanc.
Details on seating and ticketing will be forthcoming as the event nears. The marble acoustics of the Grand Court have been acclaimed for over a century, and the orchestral spectacles we have been privileged to co-produce have rivaled those available anywhere else. What is exclusively ours, of course, are the matchless symphonic resources of the mighty Wanamaker. Watch this space for the latest information.
l Flags from the Rodman Wanamaker collection preserved by the Flag Heritage Foundation may be viewed here. The flags presently are not on display. The Foundation was given the collection when Wanamaker's downsized from nine floors to five in the late 1980s. Most are of silk and they had been stored in the fur storage room to slow deterioration of the material.
We have moved our special tourism guide to its own page. Please click the image of Independence Hall above to go there! Send us your own experiences, so we can improve our presentation.
THE BEAUTIFUL RAILING in front of the console was removed January 20 for a complete restoration, allowing the spectacular view of the console, seen here from above.
A temporary rail has since been put in place, and for safety reasons the loft will be closed to visitors until the restored railing is returned in its original splendor. It is slated for refinishing and repainting in May. Thank you for your understanding during this beautification program.
Secure tickets to our monthly last-Saturday-of-the-month Organ Tours by clicking on the icon at left and meet your tour guide Nik Sizgorich at noon at the Eagle on the day of each tour. After the noon concert is finished, Nik will then take ticketholders on the tour.
Please print out your order as your receipt (ticket). Those taking part in the tours are also eligible for Macy's savings passes at the Visitor Center, when available. Wanamaker Organ merchandise is also offered there. Tours are not offered during November and December because of conflicts with the Christmas Light Show. Click on the icon to go to the tour portion of the webstore.
The YesterdayUSA app is a wonderful addition to any Smartphone and provides hours of free entertainment anywhere on many phone data plans. Bill Bragg is the host. The service may also be accessed at YesterdayUSA.com. You may also hear the Wanamaker Organ the first Sunday of each month at 5pm on WRTI-FM in the Philadelphia area. Hear it around the world via streamcast at wrti.org. Peter Richard Conte and our much loved co-host Jill Pasternak are featured.
Special thanks to all of you taking part in our 2014 Membership Campaign. Members may renew by clicking the box at the top of the page. Donations that are fully tax deductible as allowed by law may be made by clicking the box at top. Thank you all for supporting our crucial musical mission!
l The Kimmel Center is offering free monthly tours and demonstrations of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ on the first Saturday of each month. You may read an article about it here. Coming this fall are special Friends of the Wanamaker Organ discounts for Kimmel Center organ events. Watch this space for your special passcode! June 7 is their organ day and features a number of free and exciting programs at Verizon Hall.
l Our good friends at Stylin' Tea Blends continue to offer tea packages that help fund the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ. You are invited to visit their website by clicking here!
Check out new Friends of the Wanamaker Organ offerings on YouTube here!
Included is a rare interview with Keith Chapman, home movies of Virgil Fox and the Wanamaker Cadets, and rare recordings of Robert Elmore playing the Curtis Organ at Penn's Irvine Auditorium.
Special thanks to Evan Jones of RBY Productions for his help in preparing these offerings!
Rick Seifert has posted a number of Keith Chapman Christmas pieces at his YouTube site, accessible here. The National Trust for Historic Preservation blog has a wonderful feature on the Wanamaker Building, Macy's the Organ, Eagle and Light Show here(hat tip Nik Sizgorich).
MACY's INFORMATION DESK
Information on the Wanamaker Organ, the historic Store and a selection of organ CDs, DVDs and Books is available at the MACY's INFORMATION DESK on the Main Floor of the Center City Macy's Men's Department.
You will find the desk along the right side of the center aisle just as you enter the Grand Court.
The desk is generally staffed from 8am to 7pm, Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. (Please remember that the Wanamaker Organ does not play on Sundays.) The staff prides itself on its knowledge of the Store and its heritage.
Folks who identify themselves as Wanamaker Organ tourists are entitled to a Macy's Savings Pass, so be sure to ask about that as well!
Incidentally, there is no sales tax on most clothing purchases in Pennsylvania! Jennie Funches (pictured), Jasmine "Jazz" Dottin and Emily Cronrath are your hosts.
An Internet article on beautiful church vestments commissioned by Rodman Wanamaker from the Sisters of Bethany is viewable here. Further images are here. A thesis on the Wanamaker Memorial Tower documenting its deterioration is here. Further details are in the Winter issue of the Friends newsletter, The Stentor.
JIM RIGGS: FIRST TIME OUT! Our first professional Compact Disc recording of the Friends Wurlitzer is now available at the Friends webstore. The recording uses the full resources of our state-of-the-art Studio 2M designed by Jim Stemke and featuring the finest audio equipment anywhere, and is playable on any CD player.
Our Wurlitzer was originally part of the Smithsonian Institution because it is one of the few Wurlitzers still in its factory manufactured condition, with all pipework and mechanism intact and pristine.
Hit the Keep Shopping button. For the first time we are offering Centennial Celebration pins and stationery marking the first 100 years of the Wanamaker Organ, plus dozens of organ CDs and DVDs!
You can help support our programs and get prompt news on our events by becoming a new Friend of the Wanamaker Organ. For just $25, new members receive our acclaimed quarterly 16-page newsletter, which is chock full of concert and restoration news and historical memorabilia, information that is only available in printed form.
Members are also eligible for generous discounts on tickets for our after-hours events.
You can Join the Friends by clicking here or on the membership icon at right. (Members may renew by clicking the Renewal Box at the top of this page.
Keep up with all the restoration news in the Friends' newsletter The Stentor. Four issues come with your membership, and are packed with restoration and concert news with historical insights and letters from other members.
The Friends has launched an ambitious Century II Music Endowment drive to as the Wanamaker Organ turns the corner on its first century in the Store. Among the uses of the fund is revenue to buy much needed chairs for our concerts. We are a small nonprofit with a big mission.
Please consider making a contribution here. A prospectus on the fund is available here.We are counting on this fund to create quality presentations for many years to come as we help secure the Wanamaker Organ's place in musical life in the years ahead.
The icon above takes you to a page with interactive links to media stories on the Wanamaker Organ, including a recent Pipedreams with highlights from Wanamaker Organ Day, a fascinating interview with our carpenter Scott Kip, and a superb Bob Krist National Geographic short film on "The Voice of Philadelphia."
Hearing Philadelphia's Wanamaker Organ is a life-changing experience. Our society is sponsored by people around the world who are helping protect the world's largest playing pipe organ. We invite you to join the Friends and receive four issues of our 16-page newsletter and member-access to all Friends activities.
The Wanamaker Organ is undergoing a multi-year restoration. Divisions that have been patched together are getting a thorough restoration. Members help sustain this crucial work and our music, education and hospitality programs.
Members receive all the details on the restoration and Friends concerts, as well as news of private concerts, tours, and fund-raisers, in our acclaimed quarterly newsletter, The Stentor.
Macy's and the Wanamaker Organ are located at the Wanamaker Building at 13th and Market Streets in Center City Philadelphia, PA, next to City Hall.
This website was made possible by people just like you who love the Wanamaker Organ and want to share that joy. Please look through our website menus for answers to all common questions about making your visit to our Philadelphia wonder thoroughly enjoyable.