Pandemic or no, the Methuen Memorial Music Hall continues to have it’s annual Wednesday evening concert series featuring its Great Organ. This year, due to the novel coronavirus, the series will be streaming from the MMMH’s YouTube channel.
When the Great Organ, shipped from Germany at great peril during the Civil War, had its inauguration concert in the Boston Music Hall in 1863, it was considered a celebrated musical event throughout the country. This beautiful, gleaming organ was indeed great; having some 6,000 pipes, it was then the largest concert organ in America. The variables of changing times and maintenance issues led to a decline in the organ’s fortunes. In 1897, Edward Frances Searles, a railroad magnate from Methuen, MA, bought the neglected organ ‘for a song’ and moved it to Methuen where he had a remarkable barrel-vaulted concert hall built for the purpose of preserving the sounds of this great American treasure.
Since 1947, the Trustees of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall have shared this sonorous object of pride with the community through tours and their annual Organ Recital Series. This year’s series, running through August 26th, will be streamed live through YouTube. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear the majestic sounds of the Great Organ and to learn about its curious history! The music must go on!
For more information on the concert series, the remarkable history of the Organ and the Building, or to donate to this organization, see the MMMH website.
If you are a Massachusetts library patron, you may have free access to The Boston Globe and their recent (6/14/20) article on Methuen’s Great Organ, “Now Streaming From Methuen: a treasured organ with nine lives” (Jeremy Eichler), through our online database.