Recent Meeting Photos

October 23, 2016

Pedals Pipes & Pizza

Hosted by Jonathan Riss


Irvington Presbyterian Church

25 North Broadway

Irvington, New York









Above: Terry Flanagan playing the organ with Frank Miller and two young people looking on



Notice the video screen on the right so people in the audience can also see what is happening at the organ.


Above: Craig Degener speaking



Above: Blowing into the pipe

To the right: Frank Miller and an 8 foot pipe


Above: The youngest attendee


Above are participants trying the organ

Below are some participants eating the pizza


Westchester County, N.Y. Oct. 23, our second event of the season was a rousing success. About 20 young people (with accompanying older types and others interested in the organ) came to our Pedals Pipes and Pizza extravaganza. The Irvington Presbyterian Church was ringing with the sound of 32’ pipes, zimbelsterns, Bassoon pedal stops, and laughter. Terence Flanagan (dean) welcomed everyone, and Craig Degener launched into Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor to get us in the mood. We were fortunate to have a video system that allowed us to see what was happening near the organ, both hands and feet. Then, Frank Miller gave an interesting demonstration with a series of organ pipes from 8’ to 1’, wood and metal. We learned about flutes, principals and reeds as Jonathan Riss, the church's music director, demonstrated the sounds on the organ. Terence returned to the organ bench and played Boëllmann’s Toccata from Suite gothique as students crowded around. Following this, Jonathan gave us an insider’s view of the workings of the machine. We saw the chamber where the wires pull the valves to allow air into the pipes. Jonathan also showed us the “bells and whistles” of the organ and played Sowerby’s Pageant to show off the pedals. We were treated to a fascinating video that showed us the different ways the organ is used in cinemas and concert halls, and watched organ builders pour molten metal into the pipe molds. Everyone, young and old, was allowed a few moments on the organ bench to try out some different sounds. Others tested their lungs trying to blow into an 8’ pipe and make a sound. Of course, after that pizza was required! Thanks to Craig and Ruth Ann Degener for providing refreshments. Thanks to Terence and Lisa Flanagan, Craig Degener, Jonatahn Riss and Frank Miller, for organizing an enlightening program. Perhaps there will be some inspired organists-to-be coming out of this evening. – Karen Longwell

as published in the January, 2017 edition of The American Organist


Photos: Courtesy of Lisa Flanagan and

Karen Longwell

Last updated:January 17, 2017