Unique event to celebrate Christmas season to be held at Speed Memorial Church Print

An historic pipe organ at a historically unique church is the setting for a Winter Organ Recital, Sunday, December 18 at 3 p.m. 
Speed Memorial Church will host the American Guild of Organists program, featuring nine organists from Indiana and Kentucky, playing on a 95?year?old Henry Pilcher pipe organ.
The organists performing and showcasing the two?manual 12 rank organ with music of the season will be: Dr. David K. Lamb, Columbus, Theresa Bauer, Corydon, Judith E. Miller, Corydon, Bradley Johnson, Louisville, Judy Diekhoff, Jeffersonville, Carol Johnson, Sellersburg, Tim Baker, Louisville, Dennis Blake, Louisville, and Mary Vessels, Corydon. Soloist for the event is Linda DeRungs, of New Albany.
The pipe organ, manufactured by the Henry Pilcher Company of Louisville, was built originally for the First Methodist Episcopal Church in South Harrodsburg, Kentucky in April 1916 for $2,500.  In 1979, the University of Kentucky School Of Music received the organ, and in 1982 Dr. John W. Landon purchased it and had it installed in his home. A friend of Dr. Landon read of the disastrous 1989 fire at the Speed Church, and knowing he was moving to Florida, asked him if he would like to give his Pilcher organ to the church to replace their Pilcher, destroyed by the water. Speed Church, thrilled by the gift, had the organ installed in 1991. It is currently valued at $193,326.
The organ console was “married” to a set of 835 pipes from a 1910 Pilcher organ from the First Christian Church in Jeffersonville destroyed in the 1937 flood. A unique coincidence – Mabel Spellman, grandmother of the organist at Speed Church, Carol Johnson, was the choir director of the First Christian Church at that time, and Carol’s mother, Glenore Spellman Frederick, was the organist trainee at First Christian Church during the 1930’s.
The setting for the recital is Speed Memorial Church, built in 1924 in memory of James Breckinridge Speed, by the same family that created the Speed Art Museum in Louisville. The church, fondly known as “The Little Brown Church in the Wildwood”, is located right next to the well?known Art in Speed Park area. Its beautiful New England architecture lends a wonderful Christmas warmth and spirit to prepare hearts and minds for the true reason for the season.
Gather a group from your church family on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., December 18, just one week before Christmas, for a grand opportunity to celebrate the holidays with glorious pipe organ music in a “Norman Rockwell” setting. Don’t miss this unforgettable event, followed by a cheery reception hosted by the church.
For information regarding this special WInter Organ Recital please contact the church at 812-246?3262.