20th Anniversary Concert Celebrating Dobson Organ at Pakachoag

by | Nov 15, 2017

The Dobson Organ, Opus 69, in The Great Hall at Pakachoag Church [Submitted photo]

On November 19, 2017 at 4:00 p.m., Pakachoag Church will present a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of the installation of Dobson Pipe Organ Opus 69 in its building at 203 Pakachoag Street in Auburn, Massachusetts. Renowned organist Patricia Snyder will present a varied program of works highlighting the versatility of the instrument.

The concert will be preceded by a 30-minute talk given by the instrument’s designer, Lynn A. Dobson, and audience members are invited to greet both the performer and builder at a reception following the recital. The concert is co-sponsored by the Worcester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is free and open to the public. Freewill donations in support of Arts at Pakachoag will be accepted.

The organ at Pakachoag is unique among the variety of significant organs in Worcester in that it is currently the only example of Dobson’s work in Massachusetts. Although designed for the relatively small setting of Pakachoag’s Great Hall, the organ is large enough to support a full range of recital literature, as well as function as a service and teaching instrument.

The two-manual organ features mechanical key action and electric stop action. Guest recitalists over the years have included Jeffrey Brillhart (dedicatory concert in 1997), Martin Baker (1999), Katharine Pardee (1999 & 2013), Murray Forbes Somerville (2000), Peter Sykes (2001), Brett Maguire (2002), Scott Lamlein (2007), and for the tenth anniversary of the installation in 2007, Andrew Shenton, Patricia Snyder, Ian Watson, and Donald Meineke.

Dr. Patricia Snyder [Submitted photo]

As a performer, Ms. Snyder is intimately familiar with the Pakachoag organ, having formerly served as Director of Music at Pakachoag Church. She was the driving force behind the selection of Lynn Dobson as the organ builder and worked closely with him on the building process from design to installation.

The recipient of a number of prestigious awards and grants throughout her career, Ms. Snyder holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from Yale University and currently serves as Director of Music Ministry at Storrs Congregational Church in Storrs, CT. She is an active member of the American Guild of Organists at both the local and national level as a recitalist, presenter at regional conventions, and strong supporter of young organist initiatives. In addition, Ms. Snyder has toured internationally as a performer and has recorded on the Albany label.

Lynn Dobson experimented with organ building during his college years, which led to his establishing Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd., now a firm of national and international stature. Dobson organs are known for well-balanced tonal design and voicing and distinctive case designs, as well as the attention to detail that goes into the design and construction of each instrument. Dobson’s opus list currently numbers 96 instruments, and includes installations in such prominent venues as the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, Merton College at Oxford University in Oxford, U.K., and St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City.

The Pakachoag instrument is maintained by William Czelusniak of Messrs. Czelusniak et Dugal, Inc. out of Northampton, Massachusetts.

About Pakachoag Church
Pakachoag Church is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ, with a long history of promoting arts and culture as a form of religious expression. It has also shared its facility with the Pakachoag Music School of Greater Worcester since that organization’s inception, with which Patricia Snyder formerly served as adjunct faculty.

For more information about Pakachoag Church, visit pakachoag.org.