Random Acts of CultureHallelujah chorus at Macy's Philadelphia
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is helping produce 1,000 of these Random Acts of Culture over the next three years, bringing classical artists out of the performance halls, into the streets
In 1909, Philadelphia merchant-prince John Wanamaker bought the instrument for his new Philadelphia emporium. Despite its immense size, the tone was judged inadequate to fill the huge court. Wanamaker's opened a private pipe-organ factory in the Store attic, employing up to 40 full-time employees to enlarge the instrument. It currently contains 28,500 pipes ranging in size from 1/4 inch to 32 feet.
Commanding these huge resources is a massive console with six ivory keyboards and 729 color-coded stop tablets. There are 168 piston buttons under the keyboards and 42 foot controls. The console weighs 2.5 tons; the entire instrument weighs 287 tons.
It is now a National Historic Landmark and valued in excess of $57 million.
33 Participating Choruses:
Abington Choral Club, Academy of Notre Dame, Ambler Choral Society, Arcadia University, Bel Canto Lyric Opera, Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Camden Catholic High School, Central High School, Choral Society of Montgomery County, Delaware Valley Chorale, Greater South Jersey Chorus, New Jersey Master Chorale, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Penn Glee Club, Penn Singers Light Opera Company, Pennsylvania GirlChoir, Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus, Philadelphia University, Philadelphia Chorus, Philadelphia Singers, Philadelphia Voices of Pride, Philomusica Chorale, Princeton Pro Musica, Singing City, St. Agatha-St. James Church, St. Steven's Church, Temple University, Villanova Pastoral Musicians, Villanova Voices, Wayne Oratorio Society, West Chester Area Community Chorus, Woodstown High School Chamber Choir,