2019 June Grand Wanamaker Organ Facade Restoration Concert Review

Macy's Wanamaker Organ Restoration Unveiling Surpasses All Expectations!

2019 Wanamaker Organ Day Facade Restoration Dedication floor Paint TN

Macy's presents a glorious new look after 108 years.

On Saturday June 1st, at 9:15 AM Wanamaker Organ historian, Rick Seifert opened the day by presenting an exciting rendition of his Musical Documentary "The Greatest Musical Wonder in The World" a history of The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, for a crowd of one hundred enthusiastic guests in historic Greek Hall Auditorium at Macy's. After the rousing finale of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, we moved quickly downstairs to the Grand Court where a crowd of over 1,500 concert goers had gathered to witness the Wanamaker Organ Facade dedication and unveiling ceremony. Channel 6 ABC News was on hand to record the Macy's executives from Philadelphia and New York as they presented the historic dedication, along with Philadelphia philanthropist/musician Fred Haas; and introductory remarks by Friends of the Wanamaker Organ executive director Mr. Ray Biswanger.

The big moment arrived as Grand Court Organist Peter Richard Conte turned on the massive Wanamaker Pipe Organ (which dimmed Philadelphia's Power Grid up until the early 2000's) and launched into the opening Fanfare filling the entire building with dramatic melodious sound accompanied by a stunning Brass ensemble led by conductor Andrew Ennis. At the climax of the music an enormous 7 foot diameter Chinese Gong was powerfully struck by Dylan Shaw with a crash echoing across the court as the imposing black curtain rapidly fell to the floor revealing a glistening work of 24 K golden Organ pipes and beautifully gleaming painted woodwork. A stunned audience cheered in delight with whistles, shouts and applause at the sight; then instantly a surprise chorus of over 600 singers burst forth with Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, filling the room with music as the Wanamaker Organ majestically led the throng of singers.

ABC News Wanamaker Organ live streamed program. Newspapers ran full page color photos of the event with articles for this historic day of Music in Philadelphia. As historian for the Wanamaker organ, I am quite certain that John and Rodman Wanamaker must have been smiling down upon this event from heaven with pride and delight.

To view the ABC News Wanamaker reveal go to: ABC Wanamaker Organ https://6abc.com/community-events/inside-the-wanamaker-organ/5326224/