“Organ Day” returns, with FREE performances from The Philadelphia Orchestra and more!

-Courtesy of the Kimmel Cultural Campus

The Kimmel Cultural Campus and The Philadelphia Orchestra are proud to work in association with the Philadelphia Chapter of The American Guild of Organists (AGO) to present the 11th Organ Day, a FREE, family-friendly event featuring the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

“The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ is a true highlight of Verizon Hall,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. “We look forward to turning the spotlight on this majestic instrument, the largest mechanical pipe organ in a concert venue in the entire country, during our Organ Day festivities, which include performances from The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Ballet, and Opera Philadelphia. In addition to featuring the organ extensively in our season programming, Organ Day helps to build audience interest in this magnificent instrument, and to inspire visitors of all ages about its musical capabilities.” 

Organ Day 2023 kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with a FREE performance from the Grammy® Award-winning Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Tristan Rais-Sherman and accompanied by organist Paolo Bordignon. Full repertoire is below. A break will follow, during which organist Lucas Brown will play the Hammond B3 Organ as part of the Lucas Brown Trio outside Verizon Hall on the Plaza stage. Back in Verizon Hall at 1:20 p.m., children are invited to touch and explore the organ with Kids Play the Organ. A DJ (to be announced at a later date) & Lucas Brown on the Hammond B3 Organ will perform beginning at 1:45 p.m., followed by an intermission until 2:30 p.m.; audience members are invited to stay in their seats, leave the theater, or enjoy a snack from Garces Trading Company @ the Kimmel, the new café located inside the Kimmel Center.

After the break, Philadelphia Ballet will perform on the Verizon Hall stage from 2:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., accompanied by organist Peter Conte. Philadelphia Ballet’s repertoire is listed below. Organist Paolo Bordignon will then perform a solo recital at 3:15 p.m., followed by an Opera Philadelphia showcase at 3:45 p.m. (repertoire below) and later a Gospel performance at 4:30 p.m. The late afternoon wraps up with the return of the silent film portion of the day, screened with live organ accompaniment, and with the popular “Organ Pumps,” during which guests are invited to leave their seats and lie on the stage of Verizon Hall, feeling the powerful vibrations of the organ. The day will be cohosted by Tyrone Whiting & Michael Barone.

Unveiled in May 2006, The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, Dobson organ Op. 76, is located inside Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. “Fred” ranks as the largest mechanical-action concert hall organ in the United States with 6,938 pipes, four blowers, 300 levels of memory, 111 stops, and a total weight of approximately 32 tons. The largest pipes are made of wood and are about 32 feet tall, while the smallest metal pipes are similar in size to a slender drinking straw. It is the culmination of more than six years and 52,000 hours of planning, construction, and voicing.

Tickets are required for the 11:30 Orchestra performance. Free tickets can be reserved by visiting the Organ Day webpage at www.kimmelculturalcampus.org and clicking “Free Orchestra Ticket”.

All performances 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. are unticketed. Come and go as you please!

Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus
Saturday, February 25, 2023 I 11:30 AM – 6:00 PM

For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.kimmelculturalcampus.org. Additional information will be announced at a later date.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
The Philadelphia Orchestra with conductor Tristan Rais-Sherman and organist Paolo Bordignon

Gigout Grand Chœur dialogué, for organ, brass, and percussion

Jongen Fourth movement from Symphonie concertante, Op. 81, for organ and orchestra

Bach “Sinfonia,” from Cantata No. 29, “Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir,” BWV 29

Gabrieli Canzon in Double Echo, for 12-part brass choir and organ

Beach Prelude on an Old Folk Tune (“The Fair Hills of Éire, O!”)

Handel Selections from Organ Concerto No. 8 in A major, Op. 7, No. 2

Saint-Saëns Finale, from Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 (“Organ”)

12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
Lucas Brown on the Hammond B3 Organ with Lucas Brown Trio

1:15 PM
Welcome from Organ Day 2023 cohosts: Michael Barone and Tyrone Whiting

1:20 PM – 1:45 PM
Kids Play the Organ

1:45 PM – 2:20 PM 
DJ (to be announced at later date) and Lucas Brown on the Hammond B3 Organ

2:20 PM – 2:30 PM

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM
Philadelphia Ballet with organist Peter Conte

Precious Stones
Puss and Boots
Red Riding Hood
Grand Pas – with variations and coda

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM
Recital with organist Paolo Bordignon

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM
Opera Philadelphia chorus with conductor Elizabeth Braden and organist Jeffrey DeVault

Zadok the Priest, by Handel
Psalm 100, by David Hurd
I Love All Beauteous Things, by Judith Weir
O Lord Our Governor, by Healey Willan
Look Up into the Heavens, by Marcus DeLoach
Their Kingdom, the Air, by Hannah Kendall
Be Strong! The Lord Will Be With You, by Roy L. Belfield, Jr.
I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me, by C. Hubert H. Parry

4:30 PM – 5:15 PM
Gospel program (repertoire to be announced at a later date)

5:15 PM – 5:45 PM
Silent film with live organ accompaniment

5:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Organ Pumps

Organ programming is generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation. All scheduled programming and performers subject to change.

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