- The restoration of an 1892 pipe organ was the highlight of the evening, which also featured performances from around the areas.
Grand Hall, Indiana Landmarks Center; Michael Davis, master of ceremonies; Sept. 18
Resounding delight marked the formal dedication of the restored 1892 Thomas Sanborn pipe organ in the elegant Grand Hall of Indiana Landmarks Center.
The Cook family was recognized as the primary benefactors of both the restoration of Central Avenue Methodist Church and the historic organ, which is the centerpiece of the Grand Hall and its sweeping dome, gilded embellishments and brilliantly hued stained glass windows.
A hush swept across the overflowing audience as Dr. Charles Webb, recognized at the premier organist of Indiana, issued forth Louis Vierne's stirring Carillon, showcasing all of the organ's capabilities from richly melodic to bring-the-house-down bombast.
Also participating were organists Martin Ellis, Mary Ellen Burgomaster and June Edison, and violinist Ginny Womack, trumpeter Mike White and pianist Randy Frieling. Dr. Michael Davis served as Master of Ceremonies and director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Chamber Singers, whose rendition of Shenandoah was a highlight.
The audience participated in the singing of five hymns, leading Davis to comment that a 600-voice choir with organ accompaniment fills the space with magnificent qualities.
Goulding & Wood Organ Builders of Indianapolis was entrusted with the restoration of the 119-year-old organ and the Conrad Schmitt Studios of New Berlin, Wisconsin oversaw recreation of the stenciled pipe display, the motif of which appears on the walls throughout the Hall. The concert was presented by Indiana Landmarks and the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.