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2018 Organ Historical Society Convention opens in Rochester

This weekend, hundreds of musicians and music lovers will gather in Rochester for the 2018 Organ Historical Society (OHS) Convention. The OHS began in 1956 as a small group of young musicians who met in New York City to talk about locating and preserving historic pipe organs in the city. Since then, the society has grown from that small group to an international organization.

The society’s mission is advocacy for the preservation and use of the pipe organ in the United States, for both historic and modern instruments. The OHS curates an online database of more than 60,000 pipe organs, along with the world’s largest collection of pipe organ-related archives.

The society hosts an annual convention that takes place in different locations around the country. This year’s convention will be held in Rochester; it will draw organists, organ builders, historians and music lovers, and will include concerts on instruments all around the Finger Lakes region.

There will also be lectures, demonstrations, and several organ crawls, where participants can play the instruments and look inside the pipe chambers. Another important – and rousing – part of the convention is hymn singing.

The 2018 Organ Historical Society Convention opens Sunday evening with a public concert at Christ Church in Rochester by David Higgs, chair of the Organ Department at the Eastman School. And the convention attendees will wrap up their activities next weekend with a Finger Lakes wine tour. Here is the complete schedule of public events.

Listen to the Eastman Italian Baroque Organ.

Domenico Zipoli: Sonate d'intavolatura Book I, Al Post Comunio; David Higgs, organ; The Eastman Italian Baroque Organ; Loft Recordings 1077

Listen to a Hymn from the 1994 OHS Convention in Connecticut.

CHH Parry: And did those feet in ancient time (JERUSALEM); R Walden Moore, organ; Historic Organs of Connecticut, OHS Recordings 94

Jeanne Fisher is Vice President for Radio at WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester New York, where she oversees WXXI-AM and FM, WRUR, WEOS, WITH, and Reachout Radio. She has served on the national boards of the Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio and the Public Radio Program Directors Association, and was recently Chair of the Board of Eastern Region Public Media. Before coming to Rochester, Jeanne was program Director of the West Virginia Public Radio Network.