Historic Detroit church breathes new life into old organ

The Casavant organ has been inside the First Presbyterian Church in Detroit since 1965, but hasn't been played in more than a decade.

With its 48 tons of 3,700 pipes and more than 250 keys, this organ produces a variety of sounds.

"There's not another instrument like this," says solo organist Dr. David Wagner.

"One of the things that's remarkable about getting this organ up and running again is that it's one of the great gems of the musical traditions here in Detroit," says Rev. Dr. Stephen Murray.

The organ has been brought back to life just in time for the inauguration of Rev. Dr. Murray, who is the new president of the Ecumenical Theological Seminary.

A celebration this weekend is part of a new direction for this new president.

"Ministry is something that can't just be done as a pretty thing on Sunday mornings for one hour, but has to be deeply involved with what's going on in the neighborhoods and the street; looking at how religion and the arts comes together as a real commitment, and where better to do that than Detroit," says Rev. Dr. Murray.

There was also a concert Friday night honoring the late composer Gordon Young. He wrote more than 800 published songs, and is also responsible for many church anthems.
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