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


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!


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!


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!