Kilgen Organ performance by Jelani Eddington, Oklahoma History Center
January 22, 2018, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm
The Oklahoma History Center will hold a performance featuring Jelani Eddington and the historic Kilgen Organ at 7 pm on Monday, January 22, 2018. The theme for this performance will be “Great American Composers”. Tickets are $10 for OHS members and $20 for the general public and are now on sale. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 405-522-0765.
Eddington has been featured at numerous national and regional conventions of the American Theatre Organ Society and has toured extensively. He has also produced and marketed more than thirty theatre organ albums on some of the best-known and most dynamic instruments in the country. His 2014 performance of the “Main Title” from the Star Wars Symphonic Suite by John Williams has received more than 2.8 million views on YouTube. Watch the video below.
About the Kilgen Organ
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.