The church’s annual “A Celebration of Church Organ Music,” a free concert of contemporary, hymnal and classical pipe organ music, is set for 7 p.m. at the church’s 152 Seaward Ave. location.
The four organists on the agenda have all participated in previous organ recitals and have a special connection with the church’s musical history. They are Gary Britton, Jeanne Gross, Regina C. Gabriel and Rick Snyder.
Britton was one of Emanuel’s first organists in the 1950s when the church building was located at the corner of Walker Avenue and Mechanic Street. He has earned music degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Union Theological Seminary. He has also studied at Westminster and Eastern School of Music. Currently, he is organist and director of music at St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, N.Y.
Gross started playing at Emanuel at age 11 at the early church and had been Emanuel’s principle organist and choir director for a number of years. Since then, she has played at the First United Methodist and First Presbyterian churches and is currently the organist at Hill Memorial Church. She is well known for her work with the “Praise Team.”
Gabriel began playing the organ in high school and has studied under Robert F. Greely, a well-known and respected local teacher. She has earned degrees from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and St. John’s University in Minnesota. She was Emanuel’s organist/choir director from 2007-2011. Currently, she teaches organ, piano and voice at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and is director/organist at the First Presbyterian Church.
Snyder, a resident of Olean, had been Emanuel’s organist and choir director for two separate periods. Until his retirement in 2010, he was a band director for the Olean city schools. He is an organist for the First Presbyterian Church in Olean. He has received degrees from SUNY at Fredonia.
The Emanuel Lutheran Church houses a M.P. Moëller pipe organ that was purchased in 1927.
All are invited to attend this delightful evening of music; a light reception will follow.