Pilgrim Lutheran Church to debut new pipe organ with concert, reception


The new pipe organ at Pilgrim Lutheran Church includes more than 2,000 pipes. (Submitted photo)

By Renee Larr

Pilgrim Lutheran Church will host a concert at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 to celebrate the installation of its new pipe organ, a project 15 years in the making.

“We had heard (in approximately 2000) that our church was going to have to move and build a new building due to the highway construction at 465 and U.S. 31,” said Sarah Gran,  congregation cantor.  “It was our desire that we would have a new pipe organ in this building. From the early design process of the building and the sanctuary, we brought in John-Paul Buzard to meet with our architect.”

The organ was custom-built for the new space. The pipes were made in Germany. All the woodwork was done at Buzard Pipe Organ Builders in Illinois. The organ was assembled in the church.

“Once you get the pipes in and the casework done and it looks like it’s done, you still have to make minute adjustments to all the pipes, and there are over 2,000 pipes in this organ. Each one has to be gently tuned. It’s a very artisan-building experience,” Gran said.

The organ will be used for hymns and liturgy but also concerts like the one Sept. 8. Todd Wilson, a professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music, will perform to demonstrate the varied sounds.

“He’s picked pieces that are really sort of big pieces of repertoire that will do this and be exciting to everyone who comes to hear it,” Gran said. “Then we will have a reception afterward. This is also a time to honor the people who gave money to this to make this possible and be the launching pad for this organ in our community.”

The concert and reception are free. Those interested in staying for the reception should RSVP by calling 317-846-2221.


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