Organ Workshop and Mini-Concert at Bethany Lutheran Church Sunday After Next

The Bethany Lutheran Church organ.

The Bethany Lutheran Church organ.

A press release from Crystal Lake’s Bethany Lutheran Church:

Bethany Lutheran Church hosts free concert of inspiring music, Sunday Jan. 20 to mark 10th anniversary of Church’s custom-built pipe organ

Bethany Lutheran Church is hosting two rare and free events on Jan. 20th:

  1. An inspiring organ recital at 4 pm. Performed by nationally acclaimed musician Craig Cramer
  2. A mini-workshop before the concert, at 3 pm. led by Cramer and the organ’s original builder to discuss the wonders of Bethany’s organ (which has a national reputation for excellence)

World-renown musician Craig Cramer performs at 4 pm, following organ workshop for all ages at 3 pm led by Cramer and organ builder Halbert Gober

Bethany Lutheran Church, invites music lovers of all ages to a performance of inspiring, beautiful music, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 4 pm. when the Bethany Arts Series presents a recital by esteemed Organ Professor Craig Cramer of the University of Notre Dame.

Cramer, who also serves at the University’s Artist in Residence, is a nationally acclaimed artist and Doctor of Musical Arts, with degrees from Westminster Choir College and Eastman School of Music, two of the world’s leading music schools.

At 3 pm. Sunday, music lovers of all ages are invited to a rare pre-concert workshop where Professor Cramer will be joined by the organ’s original builder, Halbert Gober, to discuss the wonders of the Bethany Lutheran Church organ. Gober curates more than 26 organs at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College, Ohio, one of the nation’s leading music colleges.

Craig Cramer

Craig Cramer

Professor Cramer returns 10 years after his first concert, when Bethany Lutheran celebrated the installation of the Agnes Carlson Memorial Pipe Organ. The Carlson family gift enabled the purchase of the pipe organ, which was dedicated in 2002.

“Our beautiful custom-built pipe organ is one of the best-kept secrets of McHenry County, and we want to share this treasure with music lovers throughout the entire Chicago area,” said Bethany Lutheran Pastor Carrie Smith.

“Our community respects our high-caliber of musical artistry that celebrates God’s gifts, and is an extension of worship,” Smith added.

Professor Cramer will perform music that showcases the superb quality of the church’s pipe organ in its musical splendor. The Bethany Arts Series endeavors to nurture and foster community outreach to the glory of God.

Over the years, the staff and parishioners of Bethany Lutheran have lovingly nicknamed the organ “Agnes” in honor of the late Agnes Carlson.

This beautiful organ has also received national acclaim, appearing on the cover of “Pipe Organs of Chicago, Vol. II.” In the words of organ expert David Schrader, who first performed on Bethany’s organ, “the sounds this organ can make under the hands of a good performer are remarkable.”

All performances of the Bethany Arts Series are free; a free-will offering will be collected.

Bethany Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and we are based in Crystal Lake, Illinois. We are a community of faith, committed to gathering people together for renewal and service. We serve others in the name of Christ, both locally and globally, and are known as the “Downtown Church with a World View!” For more information, please visit and LIKE us on Facebook at

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Oberlin College, by the way, has a liberal arts school, too.  I graduated from it in 1964.


Organ Workshop and Mini-Concert at Bethany Lutheran Church Sunday After Next — 1 Comment

  1. Cal,

    Thanks for the wonderful promotion of our concert!
    One correction, however: The above picture is builder Hal Gober, but that’s not our organ he’s working on.

    Thanks Again,

    Andy McKay
    Bethany Choir Director

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