Houston’s Hidden Treasures: Church Organs

A Study Tour

Three Tuesdays, September 28, October 12 and 26, 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. | Limited Enrollment. (Each session includes lunch. Parking instructions will be furnished to subscribers.)

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Hidden away in several architecturally significant Houston churches are organs as important as great pieces of fine art. On this tour, we will visit several of these instruments, including an internationally known Baroque-style organ built according to the methods of an eighteenth-century builder revered by Bach and a jewel-like small organ built by Houston&rsquo;s only organ-building firm. Also on the tour is Houston&rsquo;s oldest church organ, a Romantic instrument created by the leading nineteenth-century American builder.</p>
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We will examine organ pipes close up, learn how an organ&rsquo;s soul-moving sound is affected by its setting, and consider what makes each organ&rsquo;s voice unique.</p>
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Robert Bates, associate professor of organ at the University of Houston&rsquo;s Moores School of Music, will play each organ and demonstrate its distinctive qualities. We will also hear from the resident organists. Bates was formerly university organist at Stanford University, where he earned his doctorate in musicology. He was a prizewinner in the Bruges international organ competition, and won two French conservatory prizes, the Prix d&rsquo;Excellence and the Prix de Virtuosit&eacute;. His numerous CDs include the complete organ works of Brahms, Daquin and Correa de Arauxo, as well as his own compositions.</p>
<strong>September 28: Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Boulevard at Greenbriar</strong>.<br />
Charles Tapley and Gerald Moorhead, architects, 1982. Noack Organ, 1995. <em>(lunch at Christ the King)</em><br />
<strong>St. Paul&rsquo;s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main Street</strong>.<br />
Albert Finn, architect, 1930. Schantz Organ, 1981.</p>
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<strong>October 12: Covenant Church (American Baptist), 4949 Caroline</strong>.<br />
Appel, Rogers &amp; Labarthe, architects, 2000. Hook and Hastings Organ, 1893. <em>(lunch at Covenant)</em><br />
<strong>Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, 6221 Main Street</strong>.<br />
William Ward Watkin, architect, 1928. Fisk Organ, 1991.</p>
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<strong>October 26: St. Martin&rsquo;s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road</strong>.<br />
Jackson &amp; Ryan Architects, 2004. Schoenstein Organ, 2004. <em>(lunch at St. Martin&rsquo;s)</em><br />
<strong>Chapel of Villa de Matel Convent, 6510 Lawndale at Wayside Drive</strong>.<br />
Maurice J. Sullivan, architect, 1928. Visser-Rowland Organ, 1977.</p>



Registration for fall 2018 is ongoing. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


If you are interested in traveling with the Houston Seminar to Natchez October 26-29, 2019 you may access the itinerary, trip cost, and registration documents here.

If you are interested in traveling to Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy. 


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern on Wednesday, November 14 is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. A second session has been added and will meet Monday, November 12 from 2:00-3:30 P.M. Registrations are being accepted for November 12. You may register online, or by phone.


Who Gets to Vote: Challenges for the 2020 Elections?
Speaker: Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voter Rights Project
Monday, November 19, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Location to be announced


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For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.