Organist Randall Harris to perform on former First Baptist Church organ | Arts & Culture
The following is a press release from Westminster Presbyterian Church:
On Dec. 9, organist Randall Harris will be performing at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. The concert is free and everyone is invited to attend. It will include classic pieces, concert arrangements of hymns, and Christmas music.
The history of the Kilgen-Reuter organ spans back 60 years. In 1951, First Baptist Church signed a contract with Kilgen Organ Company to build an organ for the new sanctuary on West Pine Street. It was installed in 1952 at a cost of $25,440. The organ was a gift of the T. E. Ross family in memory of their mother.
In 1986, The Reuter Organ Company renovated and expanded the Kilgen organ at First Baptist. The basic composition of stops was conceived by professional musicians and church members, Dr. Donald Winters and Helen McWhorter, organist.
In 2006, First Baptist began construction of a new building in west Hattiesburg. There were no plans to relocate the organ to the new facility.
In 2008, Westminster began searching for a new organ for their sanctuary. It wasn’t until August of 2009 that Westminster and First Baptist executed a final contract for sale of the Kilgen-Reuter organ. In January of 2010, organ builder David Finch added a Peterson ICS 4000 digital system that upgrades the console to allow recording, playback and transposition. Finally, in March of 2010, Westminster held its first service using the renovated organ.
Randall Harris has served as the organist at Westminster for the past 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology and Immunology from Vanderbilt University, and he currently serves as Professor of Biology and Microbiology at William Carey University. Westminster is located at 115 N 25th Ave. in Hattiesburg. Please call 601.584.7574 or visit www.wpchattiesburg.com for more information.
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