Organ music was first heard by Clarion Methodists in 1871, and the first pipe organ was installed in the building of what is now First United Methodist Church in 1894. The church's current Austin organ has been the source of majestic music for 100 years.
Given by Mrs. Anna Brenoel Keatley in memory of her husband and his brothers, in 1921, the organ was completely rebuilt and expanded in 1971.
An instrument to be appreciated and celebrated, the church will celebrate that gift in a concert with several area organists on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.
Organists for the program will include: Mary Brooks, Janice Grunenwald, Christopher Long, Jean Mitrosky, and Christina Shrewsbury. Mary has been the organist at First UMC of Clarion for more than 40 years. Janice is organist for both Grace Lutheran Church and Immaculate Conception Church in Clarion. Chris formerly served as Assistant Organist at FUMC and currently teaches choral and instrumental music at Keystone Junior Senior High School. Jean is organist for both First Presbyterian Church and Immaculate Conception Church in Clarion. Christina recently moved to Sigel, and had previously served churches in the Greater Buffalo area as organist and music director for over 20 years.
Interspersed with the organ pieces will be brief narratives about the history of organ music in the church. The narratives will feature coordinating slides of the organ pipes as well as historical photos. On the screen there will be an opportunity to watch the fingers and feet of the organists as they offer their talent in ways you may not have been able to see before.
A reception will follow the musical program in the Gathering Room. Keyboard students will also be given the opportunity to see the organ console after the program.
A love offering will be accepted for the Mary McKissick Brooks Organ Fund which will provide financing for the maintenance and preservation of the organ.