Corpus Christi Church, located at 199 Clark St. in Buffalo, has announced a series of Lenten Recitals to take place in the weeks leading up to Easter, as follows:
Friday Feb. 8 – Mr. Bradley Wingert, Director of Music at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in North Tonawanda.
Friday Feb. 15 – Mrs. Gail Shepherd, Director of Music at Saints Peter & Paul Church in Williamsville, with guest vocalists.
Friday Feb. 22 – Mr. Tony Kunz, Organist at St. Stephen’s Church in Niagara Falls.
Friday Feb. 29 – Mr. Bruce Woody, Organist and Director of Music, Corpus Christi Church.
Friday March 7 – Mr. Frank Giuliani-Giancola, Organist, Fatima Shrine in Lewiston.
NOTE: Each program will begin with the Stations of the Cross in the English Language at 5:00pm followed by the musical recital at 5:45pm. The Stations of the the Cross will be offered in the Polish Language starting at 6:30pm.
The recital series showcase the exceptional pipe organ at Corpus Christi Church, built by one of the only pipe organ builders in the Buffalo area of Polish heritage. The three manual 32 rank pipe organ dates to 1928. It was installed in a divided case by the A. Radziewicz Pipe Organ Company of Milburn, New Jersey at a cost of $23,000. The casework of the instrument is made of chestnut wood. The instrument had 2,014 pipes when it was installed, ranging in size from a half inch to twenty feet with most of the facade pipes actually speaking. A unique feature of the organ was that it had a three manual horseshoe console that was mounted on a rotating “Lazy Susan” type of platform that allowed the organist an easily adjusted view of the choir. It is said that the instrument was built on site and used a house on Lombard Street as a temporary shop to construct the necessary parts.
In 1966, the Po-Chedley & Son Company of Tonawanda was commissioned to completely releather and renovate the pipe organ. The horseshoe console was replaced with a new contemporary console. Also replaced were the reservoirs, relays and switches, swell engines, blower and rectifier. Since the general tone quality of the instrument was admired, only some tonal changes were made.
In the 1970’s, the Tenerowicz Pipe Organ Service added a 16 foot Trombone that came from the former Johnson pipe organ of neighboring St. Ann’s Church in Buffalo. A new Principal Chorus from the former St. Paul & St. Mark United Church of Christ in Buffalo was also added. A complete stop list and information card about the instrument will be available at each event.
When an organist plays a superior instrument, “voices” or different sounds of the organ are played individually, or in selected combinations. Corpus Christi’s organ, with its many fine examples of “voices” from diapaisons or principal stops, to rich mellow flutes and strings which are so lush, and even the brassy sounds of the reeds, create a remarkably rich pallette that is available to the artist. The organ’s quality, in combination with Corpus Christi’s impressive acoustics, will make the recitals a truly spirit-filled experience during the most holy season of Lent.