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Four Boston Organists Rededicate Methuen


Distinguished Boston organists Richard J. Clark, Mark Dwyer, Ross Wood, and Leo Abbott will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the rededication of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall’s Great Organ this Wednesday. Henry Vaughan designed the auditorium in 1899 as Edward F. Searles’s private concert hall to house the Walcker organ from the old Boston Music Hall*. After the Hall was incorporated as a nonprofit cultural center in 1946, G. Donald Harrison and the Æolian-Skinner Organ Company restored and revised the instrument. On June 24, 1947 Arthur Howes (Phillips Andover Academy), Carl Weinrich (Princeton University), and Ernest White (St. Mary the Virgin, NYC), who had all served as consultants for the organ’s renovation, played the re-inauguration.

The first half of Wednesday’s commemoration will feature American composers. Richard J. Clark, Director of Music & Organist at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, will play his 5-movement suite, Ascent to Freedom (2005). Mark Dwyer, Organist and Choirmaster at Church of the Advent, will perform the Pageant of Autumn, H. 234, by Leo Sowerby. In the French and Belgian second half, Ross Wood, Associate Organist at the Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, will essay two movements (I. Moderato, II. Chorale) from Widor’s Symphony No. 10 in D Major, Op. 73 Romane, and Leo Abbott, Music Director and Organist Emeritus of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, will offer Naïades from Louis Vierne’s 24 Pièces de Fantaisie, Op. 55, and the Toccata, Fugue and Hymn on Ave Maris Stella, Op.28 by Flor Peeters.

The instrument is sounding better than it has in years thanks to a recent cleaning and reregulation funded by a friend of the Hall.

Complete program HERE. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online HERE. The concert may also be viewed live, or on demand, online through the Music Hall’s subscription portal


  • The Intelligencer published interesting accounts of the reenactment of the 1863 dedication of the Walcker in the Boston Music Hall HERE and HERE,

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  1. This is going to be an absolutely wonderful event! If you can be there, Go!

    Comment by Peter Krasinski — June 27, 2022 at 11:24 pm

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