Medina church will unveil new pipe organ at concert on Friday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Trinity Lutheran Church will celebrate its new organ with a 7 p.m. concert on Friday at the church, 1212 West Ave.

The organ actually isn’t new. The 28-rank organ was in Christ Episcopal Cathedral of Cincinnati. That church donated the Holtkamp pipe organ to Trinity in 2014. Chesapeake Organ Service was hired to clean, rewire, and reinstall the organ at Trinity.

The organ replaces one from 1925 with eight ranks or eight sets of pipes and two manuals or keyboards. Trinity’s new organ has three keyboards.

The organ, located in the balcony, debuted for the church on Easter Sunday on April 5, but only became near fully functional in the past three to four months.

“It’s had a marked change in the energy of the service,” said Andrew Meier, the church organist.

Friday’s concert will feature Tim Smith, founder and executive director of the Portageville Chapel in Wyoming County. That site offers retreats for organ musicians and has been booked every weekend from April through November.

Smith also owns Chesapeake Organ Service, the company that took out Trinity’s old organ and put in the much-improved instrument, which is distinguished by its exposed pipes, limited casework, and bright, assertive voicing.

Admission to the concert on Friday is no charge with a free-will offering.

Andrew Meier, organist for Trinity Lutheran, plays the instrument last week.

Meier said Medina has several high-quality organs. St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Medina also is putting in a new one.

The organs could add to Medina as a destination, said Meier, who is also Medina’s mayor. More importantly, the instruments add to the worship expeirence at local churches.

He said some churches shifted to electronic instruments, but now the organs are becoming more desired by some congregations.

“In the ’60s and ’70s, the trend was toward electronic organ technology,” he said. “But the pendulum is going the other way. It’s a bonus now when you have a pipe organ.”

Trinity’s organ has about three times as many pipes as the previous one that had about 500.

“There is a real presence a pipe organ has during a service that you don’t get with an electronic instrument,” Meier said. “Electronic is one-dimensional, but a pipe organ hits you from many levels.”

The concert on Friday includes a mix of traditional and classical Christmas music and carols.