SPRINGFIELD - This autumnal Sunday afternoon, Court Square in downtown Springfield was a bit more reminiscent of what it might have been 200 years ago.
The Springfield Central Cultural District presented three local organists, playing pieces in Old First Church with a free concert.
The organizers hoped to both show how beautiful and versatile the Old First Church space is, as well as provide income to local artists through the program. Morgan Drewniany, director of the Cultural District, said "we aren't just putting on an event – we're showing the potential in this historic building and hoping to encourage future activity in not just Old First Church, but throughout unexpected spaces in the Cultural District."
This musical event featured local organists Lad Pfeiffer, organist and director of music at St. Michael's Cathedral on State Street; Will Lucardi, a local high school student; and Larry Picard, organist and director of music at South Congregational Church on Maple Street. They will play the full size 1958 Aeolian-Skinner organ with 56 ranks and 3,241 pipes, which was renovated in 1997.
Old First Church has been maintained by the Springfield Parks Department for eight years, since its purchase in 2008 when the previous congregation housed there closed its doors.
The last public use of the organ was at Police Chief John Barbieri's installation in 2014.
This event was organized by the Springfield Central Cultural District, with the help of the Springfield Parks Department and Robert McCarroll, a long-time Downtown supporter of culture and historic preservation and SCCD board member.