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Posted on June 04, 2019

For a PDF version of this press release, click here.


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FREE “Organ Day” at the @KimmelCenter is back for its 9th year, 6/15! Organ programming including performances from @operaphila , @paballet, Organ Pumps, Grow Up Great learning time, and MORE!


Press Contact:

Lauren Woodard







SATURDAY, JUNE 15 – 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Enjoy FREE family-friendly programming for all ages,

 including PNC Grow up Great, Organ Pumps, and silent film,

as well as performances from Opera Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Ballet



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, June 4, 2019) –– The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus, in association with the Philadelphia Chapter of The American Guild of Organists (AGO), is proud to present the 9th Annual FREE Organ Day, a six-hour marathon of FREE organ music performed on The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, taking place on Saturday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Audiences of all ages are invited to explore the largest mechanical pipe organ in a concert venue in the United States, through a diverse lineup of programming tailored to include something for everyone. Audience members are invited to attend for any-and-all portions of the day. Also, don’t miss Organ Pumps, where audience members are invited to lie on the stage of Verizon Hall and feel the powerful vibrations of the organ!  


“The annual Organ Day celebration is one we look forward to all season long. This is our opportunity to open our doors to the Philadelphia community and to show off our extraordinary ‘King of Instruments’, The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “It truly becomes a Cultural Campus-wide event, with participation from our beloved Resident Companies, including Pennsylvania Ballet and Opera Philadelphia, as well as silent film and more!”


Back by popular demand, this year’s Organ Day will include free performances by esteemed Resident Companies, Pennsylvania Ballet and Opera Philadelphia. Accompanied by Organist Jeffrey DeVault, Opera Philadelphia will present a Tribute to Giuseppe Verdi. Pennsylvania Ballet will perform a program entitled “Pipes and Tutus”, accompanied by Organist Martha Koeneman. Koeneman is the longtime principal pianist for the Pennsylvania Ballet and serves as music director and organist at St Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Valley Forge.


Organ Day showcases the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in its full range of glory, beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a short welcome from Michael Barone and an overture by Organist Monica Czausz. PNC Grow Up Great kicks off the performances at 11:15 a.m., narrated by former Kimmel Center Theater Residency artist M’Balia Singley and featuring organist Parker Kitterman. Following PNC Grow Up Great, participating children are then invited to touch & explore the organ. At 12:00 p.m. there will be a viewing of Buster Keaton’s silent film, Cops, with organist Jackson Borges performing the score. This will be followed by several AGO soloists, including Laurie Mueller, Erik Meyer, Edward Landin, and Kathleen Scheide with instrumentalists Pamela Baxer (cello), Anna Meyer (flute), Helen Gerhold (harp), and Barbara Prugh (trumpet). Closing out the first session’s programming is a performance presented by Opera Philadelphia.


After a short break, there will be a Soler concerto movement for both consoles by organists Michael Diorio and Kathleen Scheide at 2:15 p.m., and a solo recital directly after by organist Monica Czausz. Pennsylvania Ballet will perform at 3:00 p.m., followed by the Organ with Instrument (Organ & Cello Duo) featuring cellist Thomas Mesa and organist Greg Zelek at 3:45 PM. The final solo recitals of the day begin at 4:15 p.m. with AGO Soloists Michael Diorio, Laurie Mueller, Jinsok Kraybill, and H.L Smith II. The day concludes with the Kimmel Center’s famed Organ Pumps, during which guests are invited to lie on the stage of Verizon Hall and feel the powerful vibrations of the organ.


Unveiled in May 2006, The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, Dobson organ Op. 76, ranks as the largest mechanical-action concert hall organ in the United States with 6,938 pipes, four blowers, 300 levels of memory, 111 stops, and a total weight of app. 32 tons. The largest pipes are made of wood and are about 32 feet tall, while the smallest metal pipes are similar in size to a slender drinking straw. It is the culmination of more than six years and 52,000 man-hours of planning, construction, and voicing (the process of producing specific tones by manipulating the speech of organ pipes).



Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall

Saturday, June 15, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.



This is a free, non-ticketed event. Guests are invited to come-and-go at any time.




11:00 AM • Overture

Featured Performer, Organist Monica Czausz


11:15 AM • PNC Grow Up Great! – The Child’s Book of Beasts

Narrated by M’Balia Singley

Organist—Parker Kitterman       


11:40 AM • Kids Play Organ

                        Organist—Michael Barone                                                 


12:00 PM • Silent Film: Cops, starring Buster Keaton

                       Organist—Jackson Borges


12:20 PM • Organ with Instruments

AGO Members—Laurie Mueller, Erik Meyer, Edward Landin & Kathleen Scheide

Instrumentalists—Pamela Baxer (cello), Anna Meyer (flute), Helen Gerhold (harp), and Barbara Prugh (trumpet)


1:00 PM •   Opera Philadelphia: Tribute to Giuseppe Verdi

Organist— Jeffrey DeVault


Opera Philadelphia is committed to embracing innovation and developing opera for the 21st century. The company presents masterpieces of the canon and has earned recognition as a champion of new works through commissions of world premieres and by presenting the annual Festival O, which returns September 18—29 with two world premieres and two company premieres.




2:15 PM • Soler Concerto movement for both consoles

Minuet from Concerto in D major, Antonio Soler(1729-1783)

Organists—Michael Diorio and Kathleen Scheide


2:20 PM • Solo Recital

Featured Performer, Organist—Monica Czausz            


3:00 PM • Pennsylvania Ballet: “Pipes and Tutus”

Organist—Martha Koeneman



White Swan Pas de Deux from Swan Lake

Dancers: Oksana Maslova and Sterling Baca


White Swan Act 2 Variation from Swan Lake

Dancer: So Jung Shin


Flames of Paris Pas de Deux

Dancers: Nayara Lopes and Aleksey Babayev


Aurora 3rd Act Variation from The Sleeping Beauty

Dancer: So Jung Shin


Solar Act 1 Variation from La Bayadere

Dancer: Sterling Baca


Nikiya Act 1 Variation from La Bayadere

Dancer: Oksana Maslova


Solar/Nikiya Act 1 Pas de Deux from La Bayadere

Dancers: Oksana Maslova and Sterling Baca


3:45 PM • Organ with Instrument (Organ & Cello Duo) – Astral Artists

Cellist Thomas Mesa & Organist Greg Zelek


4:15 PM • AGO Soloists

                      OrganistsMichael Diorio, Laurie Mueller, Jinsok Kraybill, and H.L Smith II


4:45 PM • Organ Pumps

Organist— H. L. Smith II


Organ programming is generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation.

All scheduled programming and performers are subject to change



The American Guild of Organists 

The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to foster a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire passion for the organ. The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. The Guild serves approximately 14,700 members in approximately 300 chapters throughout the United States and abroad.


The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, our mission is to engage the region’s diverse communities with art through performance and education. Our Cultural Campus serves more than 1 million guests per year and includes the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy of Music, and the Merriam Theater- representing more than 160 years of rich history for the performing arts along Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. We are home to eight esteemed Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, we are the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. Our Cultural Campus serves as a preeminent and inclusive place to enjoy exceptional experiences that reflect the spirit of our region by cultivating a creative and socially-responsible environment where our community shares experiences that are delivered with pride, integrity, and respect. As a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization, we collaborate on, present, and produce a broad range of relevant and meaningful events, we serve as an active gathering space for social and community events, we educate the region’s young people through access to quality arts experiences, and we provide support to artists in the creation of new work. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is our proud sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2018-2019 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit

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For a PDF version of this press release, click here.

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