The Organ Helps Us Create Sacred Space

An introduction to our Organ Sermon at tomorrow’s worship service, written by Richard Spears:

Christians are people of the word. But we are also people of song. There are times when music has a unique message of its own that comes to us in a form that words cannot match. You will experience that kind of music today.

In 1932, a French composer, Olivier Messiaen, wrote Apparition of the Eternal church for the pipe organ.

The piece is most effective when played on a large powerful organ, such as the organ of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. As one might suspect, this piece is about far more than just a magnificent church building. It is revelation.  In 2006, a film was made showing the reactions of people from all walks of life as they hear and experience the image of the Kingdom of God as represented by the eternal church.

The composer wrote his own poetic description of the piece, freely translated here from French into English:

Made of living stone, Made of divine stone,
It appears in the heavens:
And links God to God’s people.
It is the Kingdom of God
The eternal church is built from stones which are the souls of God’s people.
These souls are in God, and God is in them…throughout eternity!

Although the music is highly evocative, the experience might be clearer with a few words of guidance. Perhaps we are ascending a mountain. As we journey upward a vision struggles to enter our consciousness. The pulse of the universe persists. It is the sound of the on-going creation and reconstruction of the universe, the church, and our souls. In time we arrive at a point where for a few seconds we experience a vision, a glimpse of the eternal church, a vision of the Kingdom of God, a taste of peace on earth. This vision is not gentle birdsong or rays of light streaming from golden clouds, but  a majestic and thunderous revelation, asserted with clarity, simplicity, and purity. Our vision persists for a moment while the pulse of the universe continues unabated. The apparition flickers, appears once more—fleetingly—and fades. We descend once again into life’s trials and challenges, life’s discords and resolutions.

The next time we experience  the eternal church it will be the Kingdom of God and our hope is…it will be real.

So, the journey begins:  Apparition of the Eternal Church

An Organ October!

Join us for Organ Month in October!  We will celebrate the recent cleaning, tonal revisions and refurbishment by Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders as well as the 20th Anniversary of its installation by Buzard Pipe Organ Builders.

THE ORGAN IS A POWERFUL AND VITAL PARTNER ON OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

Each Sunday we will explore the many ways the pipe organ is central to our gathering as a community, our praising & praying as a congregation and our spiritual growth as a village of global citizens.

 

The Organ Supports Us In Praise & Prayer    39319715-october-6-day-on-the-calendar-3d.jpg

The organ helps us lift our voices to God.  Featuring the Chancel Choir & Joyful Ringers, and hymn tune arrangements by James Biery, Dan Forrest, Aaron David Miller, Hart Morris, Albert Travis, and Mack Wilberg at our 10:00a worship service.  Guillermo Muñoz Küster, Chancel Choir Director;  Gary Wendt, Minister for Music & Organist.

 

The Organ Helps Us Create Sacred Space      depositphotos_97650890-stock-photo-13-october-calendar-on-white.jpg

The organ adds depth and dimension to our spiritual story.  Featuring Chancel Choir, Children’s Choirs, Soloist Tricia Melzer Swaydrak, and an “organ sermon” – Apparition of the Church Eternal, by Olivier Messiaen –  with preface by Richard Spears at our 10:00a worship service.  Guillermo Muñoz Küster, Chancel Choir Director;  Lydia Lane Stout, Children’s Choir Director; Gary Wendt, Minister for Music & Organist.

 

The Organ Reflects the Signs of the Times   128361325-october-20-calendar-icon-international-chef-day-reminder-calendar-vector-planner-holiday-date-isolat.jpg

The organ is tradition and adventure, celebration and contemplation.  We will re-dedicate the organ at our 10:00a worship service.  Featuring music commissioned by Glenview Community Church for the organ’s installation in 1999 and for its 10th Anniversary as well as historic and contemporary organ repertoire to celebrate the 20th Anniversary.  Music by Dietrich Buxtehude, Alexandre Guilmant, C. Hubert Parry, C. Alexander Peloquin and Paul Ayres.  Guillermo Muñoz Küster, Chancel Choir Director;  Gary Wendt, Minister for Music & Organist.

Join us after worship for an Organ Chat in the Choir Loft with Kelly Monette of Berghaus Organs who will share with us their 4+ month process of voicing and refurbishment.

 

The Organ Is a Kaleidoscopic Collaborator    39318362-october-27-day-on-the-calendar-3d.jpg

The organ’s spectrum of colors make it a transcendent voice of God.  Our music at the 10:00a worship service will feature the many sounds, and combinations of sounds, unique to the Buzard Pipe Organ, Opus 21.

 

Join us!

 

 

A Historic Pipe Organ For the Commons – Wicks, Op. 1751

We are pleased to introduce the addition of a special instrument to our new Commons. When construction began last year, discussions of the use of this new space and potential musical instruments to support its programming included the idea of installing a small pipe organ.  Goals of having such a unique instrument in the Commons include, but are not limited to:

• allowing people, especially youth, to get up close to a pipe organ to better understand and enjoy it.

• allowing the concert series to offer smaller-scaled performances of chamber groups, duos, etc. that are not as well served by the large sanctuary space.

• allowing us to hold hymn sings more regularly, knowing that the organ and sanctuary are often too large for such an event.

• having the flexibility to hold Memorial Garden-side services.

The 1937 Wicks Organ, Opus 1751 is featured in the book Pipe Organs of Chicago, Vol II – S. Schnurr, Jr & D. Northway.

Built for Bethany Lutheran Church of Baltimore, Maryland, the Wicks pipe organ was moved to Good Shepherd Metropolitan Community Church of Chicago.  When the congregation disbanded, the organ was moved to the Northway/Kraus residence of West Rogers Park.  After a fire caused smoke damage to the instrument, it was carefully restored by the Berghaus Organ Company of Bellwood, Illinois.  The organ was further restored by David Brown of Buzard Organ Company of Champaign, Illinois, for use in its new home at Glenview Community Church.

 

We are grateful to our contributors:

In Loving Memory of

Elizabeth Speer (1933-2018)

Mother, Teacher, Church Organist

Sue Cunningham, Shari Speer, Sara Zawila

Anonymous

Tom & Karen Aldrich

Chuck Mize & Jeanie Bond

Organ Update: The Pipes Are In the House & More

Since the end of April, most of our 3865 organ pipes have been in the factory for cleaning and repairs.  They are ready to be returned to the organ chambers, tuned and voiced (adjusted for balance within each rank of pipes, balance among ranks of pipes, etc.), which will take a majority of the month of August.  Thank you to Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders of Bellwood, IL for their meticulous work in cleaning and restoring our King of Instruments!

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In addition to cleaning & repairs, we have moved one of the blowers for the organ out of the chambers and into the “choir stairwell.”  Though it was part of the original plan for the organ in 1999 to install this blower in the stairwell, it was inserted to the organ chamber itself, resulting in a loud hissing sound that we have become accustomed to in the sanctuary.  The blower supports the higher wind pressure of the Major Tuba rank of pipes – our largest sounding solo reed stop.  This was part of the “While We’re At It” list of work done to the organ over the past few months.  Stay tuned for more before/after pictures of some of the other work that has been done to help the Buzard, Opus 21 sing even better than she did before!

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Organ Walk 8 – May 19th

3:00 PM @ Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Our annual organ walk will include St. David’s Episcopal Church, New Church and, for the first time in many years, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Since GCC’s organ has been removed for cleaning, we will not be included in the walk, though our organist, Gary Wendt, will play a duet at St. David’s Church. Join us!

File Cabinets – Free To a Good Home

As we prepare to move the music libraries into our new library space, we are accepting “orders” for anyone who wants a file cabinet. Simply come to the Mayflower Room and put your name on one of the “dibs” sheets located on top of each cabinet. Moving not included. You must be able to move your file cabinet(s) yourself. More cabinets to come later in summer/fall when the Handbell and Clonts Libraries are moved downstairs.

Sing to Live!

Last night, we were blessed with the beautiful sounds of the Sing to Live Community Chorus. A choir of cancer survivors and their families, Sing to Live touched the souls of a packed audience. Bravo! Brava! Many thanks to the GCC volunteers who made it all happen behind the scenes: Barry, Heidi, Mickey, Bill, Pearl, Russ, Peter, Carol, Greg, Doug & the Chancel Choir setup crew!