ickets for our Big Fall Concert Event are on sale now at our webstore. It's an after-hours Fantasia for Halloween, held on Saturday October 31. Peter Richard Conte plays hair-raising pieces from the classic Disney Fantasia films, and other works, in the Grand Court at 8:30pm.
Admission to the evening includes a Greek Hall gathering at 7pm with Rudy Lucente playing lighter Disney favorites on our Wurlitzer. Light refreshments will be served at this informal social opener as guests gather before the Peter Richard Conte Wanamaker concert.
As the action moves to the hushed Grand Court, included in the hair-raisingly fun evening is Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain," Bach's towering Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, the Dance of the Hours, the Scaffold Scene from Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique, Schubert's beloved Ave Maria and numerous other popular favorites.
The full resources of the Mighty Wanamaker will set the place seriously shaking, and look for the long-awaited return of the Great Chorus Division in all its restored majesty! Also flugelhornist Andrew Ennis, who wowed the ATOS convention this past summer, makes a cameo appearance in a Wanamaker Organ duet.
Members get a $10 discount and, for the first time, youth under age 22 may obtain tickets for $30 (ID required for those of college age). Join the Friends for just a $25 starter membership and become eligible for the $10 discount for yourself and all in your party. Details are still coming together.
At the evening concert we will also honor Fred Haas as our special guest of honor. Fred has consistently supported the Wanamaker Organ through the Haas Charitable Trusts and has been a major supporter and champion of the King of Instruments. Macy's has refurbished the console loft in his honor, and that area will receive its official dedication with a presentation at the beginning of the concert. A plaque has been made which will be permanently hung outside the console loft in his honor. All of us are profoundly in debt to his philanthropy.
Hearing the Wanamaker Organ without the daily Store noises of commerce is a rare and unforgettable sonic experience. Look to this page for exciting updates and further details and refinements.
Peter Richard Conte and flugelhornist Andrew Ennis were interviewed by WRTI's Susan Lewis HERE.
The noon concert on Wednesday October 7 is being pre-empted by a fashion show.
visited the Store in mid-September and marveled at the grandeur of the
world's most beautiful department store. She even gamely posed at the
Wanamaker Organ! Read about it on her photo-filled blog by clicking the
Take a look at the new Friends of the Wanamaker Film intended as an orientation for Store visitors. Linked here is the most recent edit.
to Evan Jones of RBY Productions for his video work and Bill Bragg for
his outstanding narration. Also thanks go to Bob Krist for allowing us
to use some of his footage of the ongoing restoration, and Jon Buchanan for putting it on the new kiosk outside the console. To play the
video, simply click on the illustration at right.
A new article on the Rodman Wanamaker flag collection by Karen Chernick of Hidden City is HERE.
Pasternak, longtime WRTI host and the First Lady of the Wanamaker
Organ, quietly retired from the station as of September 1 following an extended
vacation. The official announcement is HERE.
She loved the Wanamaker Organ, Peter Richard Conte and the Friends and
will be very much missed.
The Wanamaker Organ Hour program continues
on WRTI-FM and at WRTI.org on the first Sunday of each month, at 5 pm.Matt Blitz is a writer for Smithsonian.com who
took a tour of the Wanamaker Organ a few weeks ago and was so impressed
that he wrote a detailed feature article on it for Smithsonian Travel.
Included is video footage of Michael Stairs playing the organ, with the
assistance of Doug Backman.
You can click HERE to read Matt's engaging new feature.
Peter Richard Conte's new CD, My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice,
is now available! Featuring Flugelhornist Andrew Ennis, it includes
lush and lyrical works by Puccini, Verdi, Richard Strauss, Bizet,
Wagner, Percy Granger, Gounod, Saint-Saens, Durufle, Debussy and Robert
Hebble. Those of you who have been clamoring for the
easy-listening side of the Wanamaker Organ, chock-full of familiar
tunes, will be more than gratified by the gorgeousness of this exciting
new release! Please stop by our webstore or click on the icon at left for details!
We now have available for immediate shipping the Wanamaker Organ Centennial CD, DVD, and DVD combo at our webstore. Just click on the icon at left to secure your copy, or check out our full Webstore using the menu at top for a complete listing of Wanamaker Organ products!
Writes reviewer Rollin Smith of this CD: "Now you can have in your living room what Alexander Russell described when he heard the Widor Symphonie:
'A Perfect Niagara of sound.'. There is no one in the world as adept at
displaying the Wanamaker Organ as Peter Richard Conte, and it shows on
this CD. The whole is a thrilling and artisic experience. The orchestra
is top-notch, impeccable in its ensemble playing, and gorgeous in its
shading. This is one CD not to miss: the combination of organ, organist
and orchestra would be hard to beat."
Two Friends DVDs, the "Wanamaker Organ Curators Tour" and "Around the Wanamaker Organ in 80 Minutes," received glowing reviews in The American Organist Magazine. You may view the reviews HERE.MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION TO THE FRIENDS HERE! OR RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE
Admission to our monthly last-Saturday-of-the-month Organ Tours are available by appointment. Secure your admissions clicking HERE and meet your tour guide Nik Sizgorich at
noon at the Eagle on the day of each tour. After the noon concert is
finished, Nik will then take ticketholders on the tour.
NOTE: There are no
tours in November or December because of the Christmas Light Show. Private tours are available by appointment when guides are available, but incur an extra charge to cover the expenses of securing a guide. (We are a small organization and do not have a tourguide staff on site.) Also note that taking a tour makes a participant eligible to get issues of The Stentor. If you take a tour and someone else submits their name with the financial information, e-mail us with your own information as well. You can E-mail us about tours and availability at firstname.lastname@example.org.
membership in the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ enables us to be
eligible for the special funding that allows this restoration work to go
forward. You can help support the restoration and all our programs and
get prompt news on our events by becoming a new Friend of the Wanamaker Organ.
For just $25, new members receive our acclaimed quarterly 16-page
newsletter, which is chock full of concert and restoration news and
historical memorabilia, information that is only available in printed
You can Join the Friends by clicking here or on the membership icon at right. (Members may renew by clicking the Renewal Box at the top of this page.
Tourist information for Wanamaker Organ visitors, including hotel and restaurant ideas and money saving tips, is available by clicking the banner below. We look forward to seeing you!
to Matt Taft, who was named Assistant Curator of the Wanamaker Organ
and works under Curator Curt Mangel. The Friends much appreciates Macy's
longstanding commitment to the Wanamaker Organ.
to all those who took part in July's Sansom Wanamaker student program.
The group (Michael Bennett, Adrian Binkley, Benjamin Henderson, Martin
Jones, Lorraine Mihaliak and Aaron Patterson) is shown at left with
instructors Alan Morrison and Peter Richard Conte.
surprisingly, Macy's in the Wanamaker Building was listed prominently
among 15 beautiful buildings every Philadelphian needs to see by The Voice. The full article is here!
Our CafePress store makes items individually as ordered and direct mails them to the purchaser. As a result, classic Wanamaker items are available on everything from posters to cufflinks. Check it out by clicking the banner above!
Some readers may remember the James Burke program Connections, which showed how a series of seemingly unrelated ideas led to a specific historical result. Charles Jenkins has achieved similar ends with three fascinating web pages on the Wanamaker Organ. His story begins, appropriately enough, with the Louisiana Purchase and can be followed HERE.
A Philadelphia Daily News video piece is available HERE.
to the many working tirelessly behind the scenes to make our June 6
Wanamaker Organ Day possible, including Grand Court Organist Peter
Richard Conte, Rudy Lucente, Fred Haas, Andrew Ennis, Peter Krasinski,
Macy's Mike Gansmoe, Amy Kule, Melissa Ludwig, Maurice O'Connell,
Martine Reardon and Barbara Beck; Curator Curt Mangel; Bill & Kim
Bragg, Diane Conte, Don and Jan Drury, Steve Emery, Tom Engstrom &
Valerie Kuehn, Charles Gagnon, Colleen Hood, the Scott Herr family, Judi
Audsley Kosco, Alex Thielens, Mary Anne Fry, Sam Hughes, Roger Lane,
Steven Moore, Maria Newman, Rick Seifert and Jesse Arce, Holly Odell,
Tour Coordinator Nik Sizgorich, Michael C. Smith, Symposium Coordinator
Jim Stemke, Volunteer Coordinator Claire Whiting; Wyncote Grant
restorers Jon Buchanan, Scott Kip, Rion Mora and Matt Taft, Friends
board members Ray Biswanger, Bill Eads, Dennis Elwell, Colvin Randall
and Michael Stairs; and all the talented organists and musicians
participating. Profound, heart-felt thanks also to Frederick R. Haas and
the Wyncote Foundation, Kristin Ross, managing director; and to Martha
Seifert and the U.S. Charitable Gift Trust.
masters thesis on the liturgical decorations Rodman Wanamaker gave to
St. Mark's Church in Philadelphia and the Royal Family parish at
Sandringham in England may be found here.
It is an enlightening dissertation that surveys many beautiful objects
without quite pinpointing why they have that certain "It" factor of
beauty. Surely that must have come from Rodman's unerring taste.
MACY's INFORMATION DESK:
Information on the Wanamaker Organ and the historic Store is available at the MACY's INFORMATION DESK on the Main Floor of the Center City Macy's Men's Department. At the present time, the desk has discontinued offering a selection of organ CDs, DVDs and Books as their sales system is being reviewed.
You will find the desk along the right side of the center aisle just as you enter the Grand Court.
The desk is generally staffed from 9am to 7pm, Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. (Please remember that the Wanamaker Organ does not play on Sundays.) The staff prides itself on its knowledge of the Store and its heritage.
Folks who identify themselves as Wanamaker Organ tourists are entitled to a Macy's Savings Pass, so be sure to ask about that as well!
Incidentally, there is no sales tax on most clothing purchases in Pennsylvania! Jennie Funches (pictured), and Emily Cronrath are your hosts.
The YesterdayUSA app is
a wonderful addition to any Smartphone and provides hours of free
entertainment anywhere on many phone data plans. Bill Bragg is the host.
The service may also be accessed at YesterdayUSA.com. You may also
hear the Wanamaker Organ the first Sunday of each month at 5pm on WRTI-FM in the Philadelphia area. Hear it around the world via streamcast at wrti.org. Peter Richard Conte and our much loved co-host Jill Pasternak are featured.
Keep up with all the restoration news in the Friends' newsletter The Stentor. Four issues come with your membership, and are packed with restoration and concert news with historical insights and letters from other members.
The Friends has launched an ambitious Century II Music Endowment drive to as the Wanamaker Organ turns the corner on its first century in the Store. Among the uses of the fund is revenue to buy much needed chairs for our concerts. We are a small nonprofit with a big mission.
Please consider making a contribution here. A prospectus on the fund is available here.We are counting on this fund to create quality presentations for many years to come as we help secure the Wanamaker Organ's place in musical life in the years ahead.
The icon above takes you to a page with interactive links to media stories on the Wanamaker Organ, including a recent Pipedreams with highlights from Wanamaker Organ Day, a fascinating interview with our carpenter Scott Kip, and a superb Bob Krist National Geographic short film on "The Voice of Philadelphia."
Hearing Philadelphia's Wanamaker Organ is a life-changing experience. Our society is sponsored by people around the world who are helping protect the world's largest playing pipe organ. We invite you to join the Friends and receive four issues of our 16-page newsletter and member-access to all Friends activities.
The Wanamaker Organ is undergoing a multi-year restoration. Divisions that have been patched together are getting a thorough restoration. Members help sustain this crucial work and our music, education and hospitality programs.
Members receive all the details on the restoration and Friends concerts, as well as news of private concerts, tours, and fund-raisers, in our acclaimed quarterly newsletter, The Stentor.
Macy's and the Wanamaker Organ are located at the Wanamaker Building at 13th and Market Streets in Center City Philadelphia, PA, next to City Hall.
This website was made possible by people just like you who love the Wanamaker Organ and want to share that joy. Please look through our website menus for answers to all common questions about making your visit to our Philadelphia wonder thoroughly enjoyable.
IMPORTANT: Are you using a mobile device for turn-by-turn directions to the Store? Please enter 1300 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 to reach Macy's and the Wanamaker Organ. Please do NOT enter the Friends' business address below.