Welcome to the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ!
This year's free Spring Concert is on Saturday April 11 at 2:30 pm and Wanamaker Organ Day on Saturday June 6. Please mark your calendars now! For a daily concert schedule, click HERE.
For a preview of Johann Vexo's program, please click on the banner above. The concert is slated to close with an improvisation.
Peter Richard Conte's new CD, My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice, is now available! Featuring Flugelhornist Andrew Ennis, it includes lush and lyrical works by Puccini, Verdi, Richard Strauss, Bizet, Wagner, Percy Granger, Gounod, Saint-Saens, Durufle, Debussy and Robert Hebble.
Those of you who have been clamoring for the easy-listening side of the Wanamaker Organ, chock-full of familiar tunes, will be more than gratified by the gorgeousness of this exciting new release!
Please stop by our webstore or click on the icon at left for details!
Wanamaker Organ Day 2015 features free tours, audio-visual presentations and concerts, and includes a Grand Opening Concert at 11:30 am featuring Peter Richard Conte, Rudy Lucente and Peter Krasinski. Mr. Krasinski will be featured again at our Greek Hall Wurlitzer playing the silent comedy "It" starring Clara Bow, the original "It" Girl (admission $10 at the door).
The action then shifts to the Grand Court at 5 pm where Peter Richard Conte is joined by the Philadelphia Brass and Tympani for sonic fireworks. At night the stars come out with a ticketed Grand Evening Concert featuring Peter Richard Conte with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra under maestro Louis Scaglione in the capstone concert of the orchestra's 75th Anniversary Celebration. Further details will be forthcoming soon!
Macy's spectacular Flower Show is being held from March 22 through April 5 this year. Special thanks to Rick Seifert for supplying us with this photo of the Eagle in its new bower. The temperature of the Grand Court is reduced during this period for the sake of the display, slightly affecting the tuning of the organ. The tuning will return to normal when normal temperatures are again achieved.
The first issue of our newsletter, The Stentor, has been published and should arrive on members' doorsteps shortly.
e are very sorry to report that Assistant Curator Sam Whitcraft passed away unexpectedly in his home on January 10. Sam did such exceptional bench work for the Wanamaker Organ and was a human encyclopedia on its construction and maintenance,
Sam was a much beloved father figure of the Wanamaker Organ shop and loved interacting with the many doing work there from his King Chair. Woe to anyone else who sat in his King Chair...or borrowed a tool that was not returned.
Sam was preceded in death by his beloved wife Routh about a decade ago.
ON JANUARY 31 a wonderful concert and reception was held in Sam's honor under Macy's and the Friends' sponsorship (pictured, right). Featured were performances by Peter Richard Conte, Fred Haas, Michael Lawrence, Rudy Lucente and Michael Stairs. John Binsfeld was also in attendance. Special thanks to them and to Maurice O'Connell of Macy's and Curt Mangel and the Wyncote Grant restorers, and to Gary Haines for spectacular bouquets of flowers sent for the occasion.
Wanamaker Organ assistant organist Harry C. Wilkinson died peacefully at his home on Thursday January 14. Born in England in 1922, his career as an organist and
church musician was long and distinguished. A tribute by Frederick Hohman is found HERE.MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION TO THE FRIENDS HERE! OR RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE
We are please to offer immediate shipping for the Wanamaker Organ Centennial CD, DVD, and DVD combo at our webstore. Be among the first to obtain this spectacular new recording. Just click on the icon at left to secure your copy, or check out our full Webstore using the menu at top for a complete listing of Wanamaker Organ products!
Two Friends DVDs, the "Wanamaker Organ Curators Tour" and "Around the Wanamaker Organ in 80 Minutes," received glowing reviews in The American Organist Magazine. You may view the reviews HERE. Our CafePress store makes items individually as ordered and direct mails them to the purchaser. As a result, classic Wanamaker items are available on everything from posters to cufflinks. Check it out by clicking the banner above!
Some readers may remember the James Burke program Connections, which showed how a series of seemingly unrelated ideas led to a specific historical result. Charles Jenkins has achieved similar ends with three fascinating web pages on the Wanamaker Organ. His story begins, appropriately enough, with the Louisiana Purchase and can be followed HERE.
A Philadelphia Daily News video piece is available HERE. An article on the Wanamaker Organ is accessible by clicking the bannker below.
Our prayers and condolences go to Curt Mangel and his family on the occasion of the passing of Curt's brother James. Also our condolences go to Alex Thielens on the sudden passing of his beloved wife Maureen.
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 9am 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), and Emily Cronrath are your hosts.
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.
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.
IMPORTANT: Are you using a mobile device for turn-by-turn directions to the Store? Please enter 1300 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 to reach Macy's and the Wanamaker Organ. Please do NOT enter the Friends' business address below.