Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Organ Crawl in Winona on March 5, 2016

11 Feb 2016 6:43 PM | Matthew Lehman (Administrator)

Please plan to join your Chapter on a "road trip" to Winona, Minnesota for a second Organ Crawl. The crawl will be on Saturday, March 5, 2016 beginning at Wesley Methodist Church, on the corner of Main St. and Broadway in Winona starting at 9:30 AM. Three churches will encompass the crawl, Wesley Methodist (formerly Central United Methodist); St. Paul's Episcopal, Broadway and Lafayette Sts. and The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka on Fourth St. at Carimona Street.

Wesley Methodist has a 3-manual, 34 rank Moller organ of four divisions placed in the front of the sanctuary, and a 12 rank antiphonal organ placed at the rear of the sanctuary. The building itself dates from 1962 following a devastating fire that left only the bell tower and fellowship hall intact. The building is an artistic blending of old and new, with obvious honor being made to the original church.

The second organ on the crawl will be St. Paul's Episcopal Church. This magnificent building dates from the 1870s and houses a 3-manual, 30 rank Austin organ installed in 1907 using some pipes from a previous Jardine. Horace Seaton, respected organist, played the organ for decades originally from England. The Austin Organ was rebuilt and enlarged in 1957. The worship space has been beautifully conserved and maintained. It gives a feeling of being transported back through time to the post-civil war era.

The final organ on the crawl, back by popular demand, is the Toledo Organ at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka. The Basilica is possibly one of the finest acoustical environments for organ in Southeast Minnesota. The organ is a 3-manual, 32 rank Toledo Organ which began life as an E. M. Skinner Organ which was moved to Winona in 1935. The organ of four divisions is in three cases, two placed on the first balcony encompassing swell, great and pedal, with the choir organ in a case on a high second balcony.

The crawl will provide a brief history of each organ and congregation, a demonstration by selected organists, then a chance for Chapter Members to play the instrument. Please prepare your favorite selections, including hymn tunes, for this wonderful opportunity to see, hear, and play three distinctively different organs in three outstanding worship spaces.

Following the crawl, organists are invited to lunch (at your cost) at Signature's Restaurant at the former Winona Country Club. Please RSVP by February 24, to Jon Nienow (jcnienow@hotmail.com or by telephone 507-523-2002 [toll free from Rochester and Winona], in order to prepare for the luncheon).


Wesley Methodist Church, Winona, MN

Moller organ at Wesley Methodist Church, Winona, MN

Wesley Methodist Church, Winona, MN

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Winona, MN

Austin organ at St. Paul's Espicopal Church, Winona, MN

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Winona, MN

The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka

Toledo Organ at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona, MN

The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona, MN

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