by Daniel Hathaway
The staff and parishioners of Lorain’s First Lutheran Church must have found images of the burning of Notre-Dame de Paris last April especially poignant. In August of 2014, arson reduced their sanctuary to rubble, taking with it the church’s stained glass windows and its historically important organ built by John Brombaugh in 1970.
On Sunday, August 25, nearly five years to the day after that conflagration, the church will formally inaugurate a new instrument by Paul Fritts of Tacoma, Washington in a 3:00 pm recital by Katelyn Emerson. The recitalist, who graduated from Oberlin in 2015 with degrees in organ performance and French and is now based in Stuttgart, Germany, will play a varied program of music by Lübeck, J.S. Bach, Muffat, Bridge, Brahms, and Franck, as well as the premiere of a commissioned work by Aaron David Miller. The recital is free.
Music director Brian Wentzel said in a recent telephone conversation that working on the project of a new sanctuary and organ has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “It’s one that I never imagined I’d have. But it’s been very fulfilling, and a joy to work with Paul Fritts and his crew. I’m very pleased with the result.” [Read more…]