Our Savior’s planing to rededicate organ

Published 9:53 am Friday, April 5, 2013

On April 21, a special concert will celebrate the renovation of the pipe organ at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1600 Oakland Ave. W in Austin.

Wyatt Smith, an acclaimed organist, will rededicate this instrument with a free concert at 3 p.m. The music-loving public is invited to attend this celebration.

For forty years, a Casavant Freres Pipe Organ has been played in the choir loft at Our Saviors. Casavant Freres, located at St. Hyacinthe in Quebec, Canada, is one of the world’s longest-established and most well-known manufacturer of pipe organs.

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The 1973 instrument has been a vital part of the worship experience at Our Saviors and remains central to the church’s musical ministry.

After four decades of continuous use, renovations and repairs to the pipe organ were necessary and this work was completed early this Spring by David Grandall, a skilled technician from West St. Paul. Grandall was raised in Spring Valley, is a mechanical engineering graduate of the University of Minnesota and was trained in Massachusetts in the art of organ repair and renovation.

To celebration of the organ’s restoration, Smith will demonstrate the refurbished instrument’s range and capabilities in concert.

Smith is a native of Rapid City, S.D., and a lifelong musician. He began studying the piano when he was seven and first played the organ at age ten.

He holds performance certificates from the American Guild of Organists and has studied organ and organ improvisation in South Dakota and Nebraska.

Smith is the winner of the 2011 competition for young organists conducted by the American Guild of Organists in Des Moines, Iowa, and was also a winner in the Concerto Competition at the University of South Dakota. He has performed in many concert halls and churches throughout the United States and was designated a “Rising Star” in Nashville at the 2012 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists. His organ performances have been featured on both South Dakota public television and radio.

Mr. Smith will perform works by J.S. Bach and Charles Ore in the acoustically splendid sanctuary of Our Saviors Lutheran Church. The concert is free to the public and a reception will follow his performance.