Suntree United Methodist Church celebrates restored 1920′s era organ with grand concert, video tour

(SUNTREE, FL) October 8, 2018 – An idea hatched in a mini-storage is set to become a full fledged community treasure.  A 1924 Hook & Hastings pipe organ once in thousands of parts, has been given new life and is ready for its official debut during Music for All Reasons, a grand concert and video tour of the restoration on Sunday, October 21 at 3:00 PM at Suntree United Methodist Church, 7400 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne. The concert playlist for the instrument of monumental power and grandeur is impressive: Organist Tom Taylor will perform timeless organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn and Charles Ives, together with transcriptions from the operas of Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Giacomo Puccini. Additionally, Taylor will engage the audience with a “name that tune” game of famous movie themes and composers. Salvaged at no cost from a private owner in Stuart, Florida, the pipe organ parts were reassembled and married to a fully functional Rodgers digital organ to create a unique hybrid instrument that allows the player to choose between the pipes or the digital circuitry for sound production. The Pipe Organ Project Suntree (P.O.P.S.) took 24 months from the initial concept to completion, raising $130,000 along the way from church and community members for the official design, assembly prep, building modifications and installation of the organ. The Music for All Reasons dedication concert and restoration video tour is presented free of charge.  For more information about the concert, call 321-242-2585.

Since the 1960′s, Tom Taylor has been presented in concerts and accompanied silent films.  He has performed on the Mighty Wurlitzer at the Century II Civic Center of Wichita Kansas, as well as in the Miller Theatre in Wichita, along with locations in Missouri, California, and now Florida. In recent years, he has gained kudos for his development of the Suntree Silent Cinema series, which screens silent film classics to his historically accurate organ accompaniment.  Not surprisingly, the history of the pipe organ holds a personal appeal for Mr. Taylor.

“The rescued 1924 Hook & Hastings pipe organ is registered with the national Organ Historical Society,” said Taylor.  “It was already in service when Lindbergh first crossed the Atlantic, when the Korean conflict ended and when man first walked on the moon.  It has its own unique history and now forms the core of a brand new instrument. I feel genuinely privileged to have been part of the project that brought this magnificent organ back to life.”

Tom Taylor has been the principal organist at Suntree United Methodist Church, for over 11 years.  A member of the American Guild of Organists and Wichita Theatre Organ, Inc., Taylor is reminded of the special joy he can now bring to many during services and concerts alike.

“The congregation of Suntree United Methodist Church always wanted a pipe organ,” said Taylor.  “And through the generosity and hard work of many, we have finally realized our dream;” adding, “There is nothing that can really describe the glorious physicality of the pipe organ. It’s the ultimate surround sound experience.”

Tom Taylor with pipesTom Taylor stands among the pipes of the newly restored 1924 Hook & Hastings pipe organ at Suntree United Methodist Church in Melbourne.  The public is invited to the pipe organ dedication concert, Music for All Reasons.  Call 321-242-2585 for more information. PHOTO BY BUZZ BIZ PUBLIC RELATIONS

concert works:

BachSinfonia in D Major from Cantata no. 29, Toccata and Fugue in D minor;

Bernstein – “Make Our Garden Grow” from the opera Candide

Gershwin – “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from Porgy and Bess

Ives – “Variations on America”

Mendelssohn – “Rondo and Capricioso”

Puccini – “Un Bel Di” from the opera Madama Butterfly

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ABOUT TOM TAYLOR –Tom Taylor received his Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance in 1971 from Friends University, Wichita, Kansas. As a professional organist, director and accompanist, he has served Protestant and Catholic churches in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois and Florida for over 45 years.  He has directed and accompanied choirs, soloists and ensembles with members of all ages.  He has amassed over 90 productions in amateur and professional Musical Theatre as pianist and vocal director, bandleader, orchestra conductor or arranger/composer. His composing credits include: “The Golden Stairs – a New Musical” – a remembrance of the changing high school scene in the early 1960’s. Book and Lyrics by John Laubahn. “Inspiration,” was released in 2008, a recording of selected organ works and improvisations. Taylor’s concert appearances include organ, choral and instrumental concerts, including the March 2013 Mozart “Requiem” with the Central Florida Winds directed by Rick Sabino.  He has also performed with retired U.S. Army Bandmaster Hal Gibson’s wind ensemble, the Melbourne Municipal Band and the Space Coast Symphony under the direction of Artistic Director, Aaron Collins. Mr. Taylor has been a producer/bandleader of benefit shows for Hospice of Olathe, Kansas as well as Resurrection Ranch and The Haven for Children in Brevard, Florida.  Tom Taylor is a member of the Space Coast chapter, American Guild of Organists, where he was a  Dean, as well as a past member of the American Federation of Musicians in Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois.

ABOUT SUNTREE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH –Suntree United Methodist Church is a place where all are welcome and encouraged to investigate spiritual matters, in the hope of experiencing God’s grace and the discovery of joy that comes from a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. The church provides two different styles of worship each Sunday morning. The Traditional service at 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM includes a full choir and hymns. The Gathering at 9:30 AM is a worship experience that promotes a “come as you are” casual atmosphere with refreshments and an extended greeting time. The church is located at 7400 N. Wickham Road in Suntree.  For more information about Suntree United Methodist Church, call 321-242-2585 or visit. www.SuntreeUnitedMethodist.org