SOLD OUT Kilgen Organ dedication, Oklahoma History Center
April 24, 6:00 pm–8:30 pm
The April 24 Kilgen Organ dedication is sold out. Tickets for the July 31 and October 23 performances are still available.
The Oklahoma History Center will reintroduce the sound of the Kilgen Organ to Oklahoma City with a dedication performance on April 24, 2017. The program will include the history and reconstruction of the organ, as well as performances that place the organ music in its theatrical context. Dr. John Schwandt, a nationally recognized organist and the director of the American Organ Institute at the University of Oklahoma, will perform. A wine and cheese reception will be from 6 pm to 7 pm. The performance and program will begin at 7 pm.
Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for members of the Oklahoma Historical Society and may be reserved by calling 405-522-0765.
The performance history of this Kilgen Organ dates back to April 13, 1936, when it premiered to the radio audience of WKY, broadcasting from the Skirvin Tower in downtown Oklahoma City. Beginning just a week later, WKY presented Ken Wright on the Kilgen for one hour every night at 10:45 pm.
When WKY moved to their new location on East Britton Road, the Kilgen did not make the move to the new studio. Instead, it was sold to the City of Oklahoma City and moved to the Municipal Auditorium (now the Civic Center Music Hall). For the next forty-seven years the organ remained in the Civic Center and was used for a variety of programs and concerts. Renovations to the Civic Center in 1998 did not include a place for the Kilgen Organ, leaving the City of Oklahoma City to consider its fate. Dr. Bob Blackburn made a plea to keep the organ in Oklahoma. The city council agreed to donate the organ to the Oklahoma Historical Society. After more than two years of repair and reconstruction by the American Organ Institute at the University of Oklahoma, one of Oklahoma’s most interesting and complex musical instruments now has a home at the Oklahoma History Center.