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ASU Gammage to rededicate pipe organ at free concert

The organ has been fully renovated and is ready to make music once more, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Kimberly Marshall, DMA student Alexander Messier, Jeff Rollins, Reuter Organ Company CEO Albert Neutel Jr., Albert Leffler, Terri Cranmer, Grady Gammage Jr., Heather Peel, Karen Taylor, and DMA student Brandon Burns.

October 02, 2018

It’s been over half a century since ASU Gammage’s trademark pipe organ was first dedicated to the theater, and now the historic instrument will be celebrated once again  

ASU Gammage will rededicate its famous Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ with a free concert on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. by Richard Elliott, principal organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City.  

The rededication concert celebrates the modernization of the 53-year-old instrument specifically designed and voiced for the world-renowned concert hall acoustics of ASU Gammage. 

The original ASU Gammage organ-dedication concert in 1965 was given by Alexander Schreiner, principal organist of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and one of the most popular and often-heard organists through recordings, broadcasts and live performances given around the world. 

Elliott follows closely in the footsteps of Schreiner; he participates in the daily recital series on the 206-rank Aeolian-Skinner organ and accompanies the Tabernacle Choir in the choir’s weekly radio and TV broadcast, “Music and the Spoken Word.”  

“It is an honor to help commemorate such a unique and entrancing instrument, and what better way to do so than with a concert open to the public,” said Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU Gammage executive director and vice president for ASU Cultural Affairs. “The concert selections are specifically chosen to demonstrate the ASU Gammage’s extraordinary sound and captivate the audience.”

gammage asu

The updated organ back in its home at ASU Gammage.

As accompanist for the choir, Elliott has performed in many of the world’s great halls and has appeared in numerous television and radio programs. For the rededication concert, he has prepared a mix of compositions to demonstrate the tonal range of this unique instrument and its specific design for the acoustics of ASU Gammage. 

The ASU Gammage pipe organ was the gift of Hugh W. Long and his wife Barbara V. Long and is known as the Hugh W. and Barbara V. Long Family Aeolian-Skinner Organ. The costs of the console modernization and addition of several ranks of digital pedal pipes were made possible through the gift of Hugh W. Long Jr. who attended the original dedication concert when he was 8 years old. 

This is a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s great organists perform on a significant pipe organ in one of the great concert halls. 

Both the concert and parking in the ASU Gammage lot are free.

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