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Acclaimed concert organist will perform Sunday at Medina church

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Andrew Meier, organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Medina, points to the loft where the newly-installed Holtkamp pipe organ will be played in concert Dec. 2 by noted concert organist Judith Hancock.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 27 November 2018 at 10:45 am

‘Nothing compares to the sound of a pipe organ’

Photo by Lisa Hancock: Judith Hancock will play the organ during a concert Sunday in Medina.

MEDINA – Dedication of Trinity Lutheran Church’s newly-expanded pipe organ in a concert Sunday will be like deja vu for nationally acclaimed organist Judith Hancock.

The 1968 Holtkamp organ, which was relocated from Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, was played by Hancock’s late husband Gerre, who supervised its installation and performed when it was originally dedicated 50 years ago at Christ Church Cathedral. He passed away in 2012.

Judith Hancock is one of America’s leading concert organists, said Trinity Church’s organist Andrew Meier. Her husband was also revered for his skills with the instrument.

The organ is being expanded by the Timothy E. Smith Company.

“Trinity Medina is honored to have Dr. Hancock perform on the 50th anniversary of the Holtkamp’s original dedication,” Meier said.

Hancock has degrees from Syracuse University and Union Theological Seminary. She previosuly held positions of associate organist at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, and organist/director of music at St. James’ Church on Madison Ave., New York City. She has performed all over the world in solo performances, in concert with St. James Church choir and with her late husband.

Meier has been organist at Trinity Lutheran Church since 1995, when they had a small pipe organ. In 1998, they switched to an electronic organ, but returned to a pipe organ in 2015.

“Nothing compares to the sound of a pipe organ,” Meier said. “It is really authentic.”

Meier explained the Holtkamp organ is a rare instrument. The company, founded by Walter Holtkamp in Cleveland, only made about 300 of them. It’s probable he worked on Trinity’s organ himself, Meier said.

Meier said the Trinity church is honored to have Judith Hancock coming to perform in concert for this re-dedication of the Holtkamp organ.

“She is an exceptional organist, acclaimed nationally and internationally,” Meier said. “When her husband was named music director at St. Thomas Church in New York City, she became associate music director with him. She has extraordinary performance ability.”

Meier said it is amazing that 700 miles and 50 years later, she’s playing at the Holtkamp’s re-dedication.

The concert will begin at 3 p.m. and a reception will follow at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1212 West Ave.

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