1959 Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Missouri
1959 Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Missouri
Photo–David J. Wheaton

The Auditorium Organ #1044

…a celebration of the iconic 1959 Aeolian-Skinner instrument in the Auditorium of the Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri, with comments from John Obetz and Jan Kraybill.

Hour 1

HENRY PURCELL: Trumpet Tune & Bell Symphony –John Obetz; RBWCD-010

HENRY PURCELL: Fanfare –Jan Kraybill; Kraybill 2009

MARCEL DUPRÉ: Prelude & Fugue in g, Opus 7, number 3. JEAN LANGLAIS: Dialogue for the Mixtures. JOSÉ LIDÓN: Sonata on the 1 st Tone –Catharine Crozier; Fleur de Lis FL0601

SEARLE WRIGHT: Prelude on GreensleevesJohn Obetz; RBWCD-002

JEHAN ALAIN: Dances of Agni Yavishta –John Obetz; RBWCD-010

GERALD KEMNER: 2 Pieces: Rosa Mystica; GloriaJohn Obetz; RBWCD-002

LEO SOWERBY: Passacaglia, from Symphony in G –Jan Kraybill; JK 401

Filler –MARCEL DUPRÉ (see above)

Hour 2

LEO SOWERBY: Fantasy for Flute Stops –Catharine Crozier

HEINZ WERNER ZIMMERMANN: Four Psalms –John Obetz; Celebre 1970

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Hymn-prelude, RhosymedreJohn Obetz; RBWCD-010

HERMAN BERLINSKI: The Burning BushCatharine Crozier; Fleur de Lis FL0601

MAX REGER: Fantasy on Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, Opus 52, number 2 –John Obetz; RBWCD-010

Filler –J.S. BACH: Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, BWV 147 –John Obetz; RBWCD-010


A superb example of the American Classic tonal ideal of the mid twentieth century, the Auditorium Organ was built by Aeolian-Skinner in 1959, and it remains perhaps the most prominent of the firm’s installations from that period. Aeolian-Skinner President Joseph Whiteford, working with an initial design and specification from his predecessor, the late G. Donald Harrison, evolved the instrument’s final 113-rank specification with 6,334 individual pipes in consultation with prominent pedagogues Harold Gleason and Catharine Crozier. The organ is famous for its dramatic visual presence, with a dynamic display of exposed pipework including a towering 32′ pedal register and the powerful antiphonal trompette en chamade.


If you're in the area don’t forget to check out the free 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon recitals as well as the Dome & Spire Series of concerts at the Community of Christ. The location alternates between the Auditorium and Temple.