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>



Upcoming is Spring 2018! 

West Side Story: Leonard Bernstein at 100
Two Wednesdays, March 21 and 28, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Private residence directions to subscribers
A few seats available


Farming Wonders in Richmond, Texas
Saturday, March 24
Details to subscribers
A few seats available


What's on Lisa Falkenberg's Mind
Tuesday, March 27, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, 77004


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


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.