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Decoding the 'king of instruments' with the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Jan Kraybill plays the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant organ in Helzberg Hall

Classical KC speaks with organists Jan Kraybill and Joshua Hearn about how they started playing the pipe organ and their work with the Kansas City chapter of the American Guild of Organists. We'll hear a diverse program or music featuring the organ, including music from J.S. Bach, Maurice Duruflé, César Franck and more.

Founded in 1938, The Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists has 150 members, including organists, choir directors, organ builders, technicians, clergy, students, and others. Each year the KC AGO holds performances with local and international artists and works to connect the pipe organ world to the local community.

Joshua Hearn, dean of the Kansas City chapter, sees the organ as a "great partner" and values how the GKCAGO puts organists together with other local musicians. "As organists, we live a pretty solitude existence. It's just us. And so, being able to play and perform with other musicians is a real treat."

Jan Kraybill, the Grammy Award nominated regular with the Kansas City Symphony and Conservator of the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has been a member of the GKCAGO since moving to Kansas City in 1986. "They have nurtured me throughout my career and I've gotten to nurture younger organists through this same guild. I feel very connected to these people, they are precious to me."


Brooke Knoll


Jan Kraybill
Joshua Hearn


Prelude et fugue sur le nom d'Alain, Op. 7
by Maurice Duruflé
Scott Dettra, organ

Messe solennelle
II. Gloria
by Jean Langlais
James O'Donnell and the Westminster Abbey Choir
Robert Quinney, organ

The Trumpet Sounds Within-A My Soul
by Ian Coleman
Anthony Maglione and the William Jewell College Concert Choir and GKCAGO Schola Cantorum
Ann Marie Rigler, organ
Randolph Lee, trumpet

3 Pieces, M. 37
Pièce héroïque
by César Franck
Jan Kraybill, organ

Organ Concerto in D Minor, BWV 596
I. Allegro
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Kimberly Marshall, organ

Fantasia in G major, BWV572
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Scott Dettra, organ

Bonus Content
If you want to learn to play the pipe organ, where do you begin? Jan Kraybill and Joshua Hearn describe the start of their journey with with pipe organ.
casavant organ.jpeg

Membership and performance information for the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists can be found at kcago.com. More information about Jan Kraybill at jankraybill.com.

Brooke Knoll is the digital audience specialist and on-air host for Classical KC. You can reach her at brooke@classicalkc.org.
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at samwisman@classicalkc.org.