OPUS 327 NFP is dedicated to preserving the historic E. M. Skinner organ, Opus 327, and its perfectly matched acoustical space in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston and to training young people in the traditions of sacred music.

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About

OPUS 327 NFP is music performance, music education, and stewardship.
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Organ Specifications

The Skinner organ at St. Luke’s Church in Evanston, IL is both magnificent and exceedingly rare.
Learn About Opus 327
View Specifications

Listen

Opus 327 is today one of a very few close-to-original Skinner organs left in the United States.

Listen Here

Buy Tickets

Buy tickets here to any of our upcoming paid performances, or see season listing below for details of all events.

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About Us

OPUS 327 NFP carries out three activities:

  • music performance
  • music education
  • stewardship

All activities involve the historic Skinner Opus 327 pipe organ and its acoustical setting, which is the nave (central worship space) of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois.

OPUS 327 NFP promotes performance by maintaining a fund to support festivals, recitals, and recordings. Organists regularly contact the church and ask to play the instrument, and many American organists have honed their improvisational skills on Opus 327. Many choral and instrumental groups, a large number of which involve members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, regularly offer concerts in the nave. For performance, the organ and its acoustic space are inseparable.

Opus 327 has been used for master classes and individual organ lessons. It also supports the internationally recognized music program at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which provides rigorous music education and choral practice to kindergartners through adults of diverse circumstances. Opus 327 permits the church to introduce children to the finest in sacred music, leading the children, in turn, to aspire to their finest vocal work. The music education program is fully described through the church’s website.

E. M. Skinner’s Opus 327 is an intricate instrument whose musical legacy requires stewardship. In the 1990s, every pipe was cleaned and repaired and every leather part was replaced. The entire console was gutted and rebuilt to update its brass, wood, leather, and steel components and miles of wiring. In 2013, the St. Luke’s congregation replaced the original Opus 327 motor. When Opus 327 was installed, the church regularly hosted close to a thousand Sunday worshippers. Today, the regular Sunday attendance hovers near 200. Donations and grants to OPUS 327 NFP ensure that Opus 327 and its environment will provide superlative music for many decades to come.

There are many beautiful organs in America, but there is no organ more beautiful than Skinner Opus 327 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, IL.

— Nathan Laube, June 2016

Though I had already recorded on several Skinner organs dating from the 1920s and early 30s, I was nonetheless delighted by the exceptional refinement of the organ’s voicing.

— Ken Cowan, September 2002

Events and Tickets

Welcome to OPUS 327's premier subscription season!

OPUS 327 2016-17 SEASON

All events take place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman Ave, Evanston

www.stlukesevanston.org

DATES- TIME

EVENT

TICKET PRICES

October 7,
7:30 PM

The American Guild of Organists,
North Shore Chapter and OPUS 327 Present
Vincent Dubois
Titular Organist Notre Dame, Paris
in Recital playing E.M. Skinner’s  OPUS 327 Organ

He plays with consummate passion and breathtaking virtuosity, yet with absolute technical control.” The American Organist

 Free Event

October 14,
6:00-8:00 PM

An Oktoberfest celebration to benefit OPUS 327 NFP featuring the debut of DIAPASON, the Oktoberfest lager from Sketchbook Brewing Company, food and music.

The 1922 Skinner pipe organ, which DIAPASON honors, will be played in short presentations (or “flights”) starting at 7:00 PM.

$25 Food + Beer, must be age 21 or over with valid ID

$20 Food + Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Free for children age 5 and under

October 16,
4:00 PM

Northwestern University’s
Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble    
Donald Nally Conducts this 24-voice ensemble drawing heavily on 21st Century music and drawing relationships to its polyphonic roots in early sacred music

 Free Event

November 30, December 7, 14, & 21,
11:30 AM

Organ Meditations for Advent
Dr. Christine Kraemer
Organist and Organ
Curator St. Luke’s and OPUS 327

Free Will Offering

January 20,
7:30 PM

OPUS 327 Presents
An Evening of Organ and Brass
featuring the Gaudete Brass and Dr. Christine Kraemer, Organist
“Gaudete Brass Quintet is an outstanding young group bringing fresh ideas to brass chamber music.”  Raymond Masse, Chair of Brass, The Julliard School

General: $25
Premium:  $30
Seniors/Students:  $15
Children under 18: Free

February 18,
7:00 PM

OPUS 327 Presents
Bach Cantata BMW 39
Brich dem hungrigen dein Brot
and Bach Cantata BWV 180
Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele        
Bella Voce Camerata, Trebles of St. Luke’s choir,  and period instrument orchestra, Ars AntiguaAndrew Lewis, Conducting
Organ Works by JS Bach
Dr. Christine Kraemer , Organist

General: $25
Premium:  $30
Seniors/Students:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

March 12,
4:00 PM

OPUS 327 Presents
Charles Metz

Fortepiano Recital in the St. Luke’s Lady Chapel

Sonata in F major, Hoboken XVI:23    Joseph Haydn

Variations in f minor, Hoboken XVII:6    Joseph Haydn

Sonata in G major,  K. 283   W.A. Mozart
Nine Variations on “Lison dormait” by Dezède   K. 264     W.A. Mozart

General: $25
Premium:  $30
Seniors/Students:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

March 8, 15, 22, & 29,
11:30 AM

Organ Meditations for Lent
Dr. Christine Kraemer
Organist and Organ Curator
St. Luke’s and OPUS 327

Free Will Offering

May 5,
7:30 PM

OPUS 327 Presents
Dexter Kennedy
Internationally renowned organist and winner of the Grand Prix d’Interprétation at the 24th Concours International d’Orgue de Chartres
in recital playing EM Skinner’s  OPUS 327 Organ
Mr. Kennedy is praised for his “prodigious technique and grand style musicality” American Guild of Organist

General: $25
Premium:  $30
Seniors/Students:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

May 20,
7:00 PM

OPUS 327 Presents
Missa in Illo tempore” Claudio Monteverdi
Bella Voce, in celebration
of Monteverdi’s 450th Birthday Andrew Lewis, Conducting
Organ works by Bach
Dr. Christine Kraemer, Organist

General: $25
Premium:  $30
Seniors/Students:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

The Organ

Ernest_M_Skinner_001The Skinner organ at St. Luke’s Church in Evanston, Illinois, Ernest M. Skinner’s “Opus [work] 327,” is both magnificent and exceedingly rare. Fully restored in the 1990s, Opus 327 is today one of a very few close-to-original Skinner organs left in the United States, a rare surviving example of Skinner’s artistic and engineering genius.
The organ and its acoustic space are inseparable. The St. Luke’s nave, or central worship space, is itself a powerful musical instrument. The Gothic-style building was begun in 1906 to the designs of John Sutcliffe and erected in several stages. In 1914, the nave was completed to a height of seventy feet. Construction halted after the 1929 stock market crash and never resumed.

In 1922, the Skinner Organ Company of Boston, Massachusetts, installed its Opus 327, a four-manual organ. The organ is in chambers to the right (south) of the chancel area. The Choir and Pedal divisions have the lowest position; the Great and Solo are above; the Swell division is at the top. The main façade, facing the chancel, includes some speaking pipes. A smaller façade in the south aisle is composed of dummy pipes. In 1959, the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company installed the Fanfare Trumpet above the west doors of the nave.

Opus 327 was built to mimic the sounds of a full orchestra. The organ’s console, to the left (north) of the chancel, allows the musician to create sound using “a sophisticated electro-pneumatic computer” that Ernest M. Skinner invented and perfected. The voice of each of its thousands of metal and wooden pipes (see the specifications) is controlled by air that enters a leather pouch through a valve. The pipes sit in “windchests” that receive air from reservoirs that must be kept at optimal pressure and humidity. A motor forces air into the reservoirs through a blower in the church’s lower level.

dr-kraemerIn the 1990s, after 70 years of steady use and wear and tear, every pipe was cleaned and repaired and every leather part was replaced. The entire console was gutted and rebuilt to update its brass, wood, leather, and steel components and miles of wiring. In 2013, the original Opus 327 motor was replaced. In 2014 the church launched a $1.8 million capital campaign to restore the nave, a process completed in 2016.

The Diapasons in the Great division of the organ in St. Luke’s Church, Evanston, Illinois, are most satisfactory to me and are of ideal Diapason character. This church has fine acoustics and, in their locations, these Diapasons have an indescribable glow and richness, making them exceptionally churchly.

— Ernest M. Skinner (Composition of the Organ)

Listen!

Opus 327 is today one of a very few close-to-original Skinner organs left in the United States.

Organ Solo from Missa Glagolitica, Leoš Janáček

Karel Paukert

Variations, Maurice Durufle

Christine Kramer

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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Lifetime Founding Member

$10,000 and up.  Major program listing, 4 premium seats for five seasons

Presenter - lifetime

$5000 – 9,999 includes headline with OPUS 327 as presenter of a given concert and 4 premium season subscriptions

Sponsor - annual

$1000 – $4,999 includes 4 premium season subscriptions and program listing

Major Sustaining Member - annual

$500 – $999 includes 2 season subscriptions with premium seats and program listing

Sustaining Member - annual

$200 – $499 includes a season subscription with premium seating and program listing

Friends of OPUS 327 - annual

$25 – $199 per year – includes program listing