Opus 327 NFP is dedicated to preserving and promoting the historic E. M. Skinner pipe organ, Opus 327, and its perfectly matched acoustical space in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston and to training and engaging young people in the performance of organ and choral 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 3rd annual subscription season!

OPUS 327 2018-19 SEASON

Tickets now on sale!

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

www.stlukesevanston.org

DATES- TIME

EVENT

TICKET PRICES

Sunday,
September 30
4:00 PM
OPUSfest 2018
What The Crown Hears
Great Hymns and Anthems
Featuring the Historic EM Skinner OPUS 327 pipe organ and The St. Luke’s Choir presenting great anthems of the English Church with congregational hymns.Brats and “Twice Lucky” crafted beer from Sketchbook Brewing Company to follow!Benefit Concert to support the trebles in the 2019 St. Luke’s Choir Residency at Wells Cathedral, England.

$50
OPUSfest = premium + beer & brat

$30
premium

$25
general adult

$15
student/senior

Saturday,
October 13
7:30 PM
 Charles Metz and Michael Pecak Fortepiano Duo Recital

Benefit Concert to support the trebles in the 2019 St. Luke’s Choir Residency at Wells Cathedral, England.

$30
premium$25
general adult$15 student/senior
December 5, 12 and 19
11:30 AM
Organ Meditations for Advent

Weekly 30-minute performances by St. Luke’s organist, Dr. Christine Kraemer

Free-will Offering

 free & open to the public
Sunday,
January 13

3:30 PM
Organist Karel Paukert in Concert

The first OPUS 327 Centennial Event leading up to the 100th anniversary of EM Skinner’s OPUS 327 pipe organ featuring St. Luke’s former Organist and Choirmaster, Karel Paukert

Benefit Concert for the OPUS 327 Centennial Organ Fund

$30
premium

$25
general adult

$15 student/senior

Sunday,
February 10
3:30 PM
 Organ Recital – Brian Schoettler

A Tribute Dr. Thomas Matthews

Dr. Matthews was Organist and Choirmaster at St. Luke’s from 1946 to 1960

Benefit Concert for the OPUS 327 Centennial Organ Fund

$30
premium

$25
general adult

$15 student/senior

 Organ Meditations for Lent

Weekly 30-minute performances by St. Luke’s organist, Dr. Christine Kraemer

Free-will Offering

free & open to the public
Saturday,
March 16,
7:00PM
Bach Cantatas
Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12
Wachet! Betet! Betet! Wachet!, BWV 70
with Organ Work
Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564Featuring the Trebles of St. Luke’s with members of Bella Voce and the Bella Voce Sinfonia, and guest organist Stephen Buzard, director of music at St. James CathedralBenefit Concert to support the Trebles in the 2019 St. Luke’s Choir Residency at Wells Cathedral, England.

$30
premium

$25
general adult

$15 student/senior

Monday,
April 22
7:30 PM
The Orbos:
Martin Davids, Baroque Violin; David Walker, Theorbo

Baroque performance specialists perform a virtuosic program in the beautiful and intimate Lady Chapel. Seating is limited!
$30
premium

$25
general adult

$15 student/senior

Saturday,
May 11
4:00 PM

Choir of St. Luke’s “Send-off to Wells Concert”
With Organ Prelude

Followed by High Tea @ 5:30 PM

Featuring the St. Luke’s Choir and their repertoire for Wells.Benefit Concert to support the trebles in the 2019 St. Luke’s Choir Residency at Wells Cathedral, England.

$75
premium + High Tea$30
premium$25
general adult$15 student/senior

The Organ

The 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 Kraemer

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

You will be transferred to a secure PayPal site to process your donation. Thank you so much for your support of the arts.

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

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