If you lived in a city of 750,000 people, it would be a big deal for there to be even one pipe organ dating from the early part of the 20th Century which could still make music. But when it's a little city of 50,000 and there are five magnificent, historic pipe organs - well, that's really something to "brag" about!
That's the case for Hanford, California. And this January, Hanford will - for the first time in its history - host an event that showcases the city's treasures. "The Magnificent Pipes of Hanford" will take ticket holders on a musical experience through the historic First Christian Reformed Church, the Episcopal Church of The Saviour, The First Presbyterian Church, The United Methodist Church, and the historic Hanford Fox Theater.
For four hours on Sunday, January 31, 2010, experience silent movies, wonderful pipe organ music, band organ and grinder organ music from a collectors' rally, bagpipes, with outstanding art, at The Kings Art Center, and entertainment by the Hanford West High School Jazz Band during a great buffet lunch. The program has been designed so that visitors can ride Amtrak from the north and south to Hanford to attend the Sunday afternoon event - an important consideration since fog can be a concern at this time of year.
Anne Midgette wrote about the pipe organ's mystique in The Washington Post:
"The church organ is called the queen of instruments, the heart and soul of a church. It is also beautiful, with a warmth and range. Organ music is an old sound, magnifying the sound of humanlike breath through venerable technology in large spaces, all relics of time long past. The music is a kind of shrine to the past. It is hard to resist the instinctive pull toward preserving the organ as part of our history."
The leadership of Hanford UMC has designated any income that it derives from the event for preservation of the church's 1927 organ.
All-inclusive tickets are on sale now for $49. Space is very limited due to the capacity of the churches, so only 525 tickets are being made available, with three rotations for each of the five organ locations.
To encourage early reservations, the Hanford Visitor Agency is offering a free DVD of the Huell Howser Road Trip to Hanford for all paid reservations received by December 15.
Don't miss this one-of-a-kind experience of music and history! Contact the Hanford Visitor Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org, 559.582.5024, or 559.707.9983 for tickets and more information.
Or download interactive reservation form (in PDF format), complete it, and return it with your check to the Hanford Visitor Agency, 504 W. 7th Street, Hanford, CA 93230.