Recital to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Organ

Saturday, May 28, 2016/Categories: Parish News

It is somewhat rare these days when people are fully aware and can appreciate the historic pipe organs that are in many rural churches. One such instrument is a main feature of St. Mary's Church in St. Benedict.

The 1916 tracker organ at St. Mary's Church is a particularly nicely voiced manual instrument manufactured by the Hinners Organ Company of Pekin, Il. The 100th Anniversary of the organ will be celebrated on Sunday, June 5 with a recital presented by Kevin Kissinger, an organist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist from Kansas City, Mo. 

"The organ at St. Mary's Church is just an absolutely awesome instrument," Kissinger says. "This fine organ, combined with the magnificent acoustics of St. Mary's Church provides a musical experience that is just unparalleled. It's terrific," he says. 

The organ at St. Mary's Church is listed on the National Organ Historical Society database. The organ has 17 stops, 17 ranks and a total of 932 pipes. The largest pipes are more than 10 feet long and the smallest are the size of a pencil.

Kissinger graduated from the UMKC Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Organ performance.  During that time he won the Missouri Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and Kansas City American Guild of Organists (AGO) organ competitions. His past positions include organist for the Pontifical Choir at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri. Kissinger has concertized throughout the United States, including recitals in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Utah, California, and numerous cities in Missouri and Kansas.  In 2004, Kevin performed one of his own organ compositions on the PipeDreams Live (national) radio program. He has concertized at conventions including the American Institute of Organbuilders in 2002 and 2004, the American Guild of Organists in 2003, and the Organ Historical Society in 2005. He is currently organist at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Kansas City, Missouri and a staff organist at the Community of Christ world headquarters in Independence, Mo.

Kissinger tunes and services pipe organs throughout the area and is an authorized servicer for Quimby Pipe Organs of Warrensburg, Mo.

The Hinners Organ Company produced many organs that were installed across America. The organ at St. Mary's Church reportedly cost about $4,000. Kissinger says that a comparable instrument today would be at least $400,000. The Hinners Organ Company stopped production just prior to WWII as other manufacturers had more automated processes and could produce organs at lower costs.

Kissinger will present a recital at 4 p.m., Sunday, June 5 at St. Mary's Church. The program will be introduced by Fr. Ed Oen, CPPS, Pastor. St. Mary's Church is one of the five churches in the Archdiocese of Kansas City that has been designated to be a pilgrimage site during this Year of Mercy.

A reception will follow the recital in the parish hall. The event is open to the public.



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