7 ways to find a pipe organ concert in your area

Spreckels Organ Pavilion, San Diego, CA
Spreckels Organ Pavilion, San Diego, CA.
Photo by Ian. D. Keating (Creative Commons License)

I have written many posts about pipe organ concerts that I have attended. If you would like to go to a concert, here are some tips for finding concerts in your area.

1. The American Guild of Organists

Over 300 cities in the United States have a chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). To find the chapter nearest to you look at the AGO chapter list. Most chapters will have a website and include an event listing. Most chapters cover the surrounding region and may have events in nearby towns.

2. College and universities

College and universities in your area may have a pipe organ program. If they have a program, the students are likely required to give recitals. Look for the music department’s website for an event listing. For an example, look at the University of Michigan’s organ recital list.

3. Check the local newspaper

Local churches may advertise for concerts that they are having in the local newspaper. I learned of the last concert that I attended because my mom read about it our local paper

4. Watch Dr. Carol Williams plays the Spreckels pipe organ online

If you can’t find any concerts with in driving distance* watch Dr. Carol Williams plays the Spreckels organ in San Diego, CA at 2:00 PM PST most Sundays. The concert is streamed live on UStream for free. This pipe organ is outdoors at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (pictured above). If you live near San Diego visit the park and enjoy the concert.

5. If you are in the UK, www.organrecitals.com

If you live in or near the United Kingdom, www.organrecitals.com appears to be an excellent resource. The site already has over 2,000 recitals listed for 2014.

6. Look on the website of  your favorite organist

Check the website of your favorite organists. See when they will be performing at a location within driving distance* of your location. For example, Stephen Tharp, Paul Jacobs, and Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc. (representing many organists). Their websites list upcoming concerts.

7. Go to church

Attend a church service that uses the pipe organ for their music. Every service can feel like a mini-organ concert especially if the organist plays a prelude and postlude!

Thank you to long time reader, Mark, for giving me the idea to write this post. If  you use or have used any of these ways to find a pipe organ concert, leave a comment which can serve as success story!

*Reasonable driving distance to be determined by each person. Some may only want to attend events within their city while others could be willing to drive 1 or 2 hours or more!

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Heidi Bender writes about her experiences of learning to play the organ. She started on the adventure in 2009.

She also writes on her website Tons of Thanks, which helps people write thank-you notes. Heidi is also a cat lady who writes at The Joy of Cats.

13 thoughts on “7 ways to find a pipe organ concert in your area”

  1. Heidi,

    I thought this was interesting reading. I do like organ music but rarely go a concert since most are not right here in Adrian. Also we did enjoy going to the outdoor band concerts this summer in Adrian. Since Dad and I were both in high school band many years it is an added attraction. Plus dad played french horn in the Defiance College symphony orchestra when in college. We attended outdoor concerts in San Diego when we lived there during dad’s Navy days. Also have gone to outdoor band concerts in Mackinaw City, MI when on vacation in that area. Your twin, Brian and you were always in band too. Plus Brian played french horn in some orchestra at Sienna Heights College. Renee played piano quite a few years too as well as you and Brian. We know Jennifer likes music but playing both hands at same time or marching and playing flute at same time didn’t work out well. Many concerts are free so everyone can afford to add enjoyment to their life.

  2. This is interesting Heidi. I think a lot of people have lost interest
    or just think about organ concerts. I know I keep my open for you
    in the local newspaper. Hope sometime in 2014 I can attend one with you.

    • Hi Mom,

      I will let you know the next time I’m going to a concert. It seems like there are less on the summer.

      I think some people act like organists and pipe organs are extinct! There are still plenty around. 🙂


  3. Heidi,
    Thanks for writing this. I found some using the AGO chapter list that would only be about 2 hours away. 🙂


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