A close up view of our organ's keyboard.

Hillsdale College Unveils New Chancel Organ in Dedication, Recital

Internationally renowned organist performs on Mary Waterman Memorial Organ

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On April 15, members of the College and community gathered in Christ Chapel at Hillsdale College for an organ dedication and recital featuring internationally renowned concert organist Nathan Laube. The recital was performed on the College’s Mary Waterman Memorial Organ, a gift made possible through a bequest from longtime College supporter Mary G. Waterman of Greenwich, Connecticut, and formerly of Saint Clair Shores, Michigan.

Larry P. Arnn, president, offered opening remarks before Laube performed works by Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, and others. Laube, a Chicago-area native, has been a member of the organ faculty at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, Germany, since October 2020. His extensive recital career includes major venues spanning four continents.

“Laube has knowledge of different organs all over the world, most of which he has played,” said James Holleman, chairman and professor of music, choirs, and orchestra at Hillsdale College. “His insight into each individual instrument, its unique qualities and idiosyncrasies, is tremendous.”

The chancel organ was designed and built by Paul Fritts & Company Organ Builders of Tacoma, Washington.

“Working from architect Duncan Stroik’s [organ] case design, we have created a fine organ that will serve for centuries like the organs that inspired it,” said Fritts.

Fritts has produced organs for Princeton Theological Seminary, the Eastman School of Music, and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. The company is also building the grand organ, which will be installed in the south balcony of Christ Chapel in 2022.

Photos of the ceremony and the speakers are available here.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.5 million. For more information, visit hillsdale.edu.

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